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Pre-Screening for Episodic Memory Deficits Can Enrich Detection of Participants for Early Alzheimer

A key challenge of clinical trials is identifying participants that meet the screening criteria for both biomarker and cognitive deficits. Identifying participants in the pre-clinical or prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease - prior to the onset of cognitive and functional decline - can be challenging, time-consuming and expensive.

Here, in research presented at AAIC 2017, we evaluated the use of an online pre-screening instrument to predict deficits in commonly-used cognitive screening tasks; RBANS delayed memory index, list learning and total score, Clinical Dementia Rating Scale Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB), and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).


Data was collected on cognitive function and CSF biomarkers (AB1-42, tau) during screening for an early phase AD spectrum study. The ability of the Paired Associates Learning (PAL) task to detect a deficit in RBANS, CDR-SOB and MMSE was based on demographically-adjusted logistic regression. Participant scores were also evaluated relative to quantile bands of normative PAL data.


PAL was highly predictive of a deficit in the cognitive measures, with classification accuracy ranging from 88.7 (RBANS DMI) to 76.9 (CDR-SOB) with AUC .96-.80. Participants with a predicted deficit on RBANS (DMI) also showed a lower average MMSE score (24.8 versus 28.6) and a higher CDR-SOB score (1.85 versus 0.48).

Interested in learning more about how pre-screening for episodic memory deficits can enrich detection of eligible participants for early Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials? Download this poster.


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