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Rev Neurol (Paris). 2013 Nov;169(11):871-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neurol.2013.01.626. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

[The Goblets test: Norms in the elderly population and properties in the detection of cognitive impairment in elderly individuals selected from the general population].

[Article in French]

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Inserm U897, université Victor-Segalen Bordeaux-II, 146, rue Léo-Saignat, 33076 Bordeaux cedex, France. Electronic address:



Most current tools exploring visuospatial memory abilities are poorly adapted to the elderly population. The Goblets test allows a brief evaluation of visuospatial memory abilities through an encoding phase in which the participant has to learn a particular sequence and a further delayed recall phase. The aim of the present work was to produce normative scores for this test and to study its properties in the detection of dementia.


Data were collected in a sample of 1002 agricultural retirees aged 65 years and over included in the AMI study, a population-based cohort study conducted in Gironde (southwestern France). The sample analyzed to establish normative data included 795 non-institutionalized and non-demented participants. Regarding the validity study, the sample analyzed included 912 participants of whom 76 subjects with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.


Normative scores were calculated according to age (65-74 years and 75 years and over) and educational level (primary school level not validated by a diploma, primary school level validated by a diploma and more than a primary school level). The normative scores of the learning phase were described using the percentiles while rates of success were reported for the delayed recall. Regarding the properties of the test, the Goblets test seemed to be more specific than sensitive and presented high negative predictive values. The Youden index showed that the better cut-off score was two trials (with 75.0% sensitivity and 83.0% specificity).


The Goblets test can be a helpful tool in screening for dementia. Nevertheless, like many other simple and quick cognitive tests, it cannot be used alone to establish the diagnosis of dementia. This test has the advantage to be easy to administer in clinical situations; the normative scores presented in this study could be used as an aid to interpret a patient's performance.


Alzheimer's disease; Dementia; Démence; Elderly population; Maladie d’Alzheimer; Mémoire visuospatiale; Normes; Norms; Sujet âgé; Visuospatial memory

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