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Psychol Aging. 1986 Mar;1(1):69-77.

Clinical tests of memory in dementia, depression, and healthy aging.

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Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles.


In Study 1, carefully screened elderly adults with primary degenerative dementia or major depression were compared to healthy aged control subjects on three tests of learning and memory: the Benton Visual Retention Test, Inglis Paired-Associate Learning Test, and the Fuld Object-Memory Evaluation (OME). The sharpest distinction in performance among the groups was observed on the OME, and discriminant equations based on this test correctly classified a high percentage (greater than or equal to 90%) of participants. Study 2 applied the classification rules derived in the first investigation to an unselected series of geropsychiatry inpatients referred for neuropsychological evaluation. There was agreement between memory test classification and general categories of clinical discharge diagnosis (organic vs. functional) for 21 of 25 patients, and with status at follow-up approximately 18 months later. Predictive value computations suggested that the OME is more accurate in confirming true dementia than in detecting dementia syndromes associated with functional disorders.

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