The increasing population of elderly people in Japan has accelerated the demand for a simple screening test to detect cognitive and affective declines in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and the early stage of dementia.
We compared the cognitive and affective functions, activities of daily living (ADLs) and the results of four computerized touch-panel screening tests in 41 MCI subjects, 124 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and 75 age- and gender-matched normal controls.
All computerized touch-panel games were successfully used to discriminate the AD patients from the normal controls (** p<0.01). Although there were no differences in the findings of the conventional cognitive assessments, the results of the flipping cards game were significantly different (** p<0.01) between the normal controls (19.3±9.5 sec) and MCI subjects (30.9±18.4 sec). Three conventional affective assessments, the ADL score, Abe's behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (ABS) (** p<0.01) and the apathy scale (AS) (* p<0.05), could be used to discriminate the MCI subjects (ABS, 0.9±1.5; AS, 12.8±5.9) from the normal controls (ABS, 0.1±0.4; AS, 8.9±5.3).
In the present study, all four touch-panel screening tests could be employed to discriminate AD patients from normal controls, whereas only the flipping cards game was effective for distinguishing MCI subjects from normal controls. Therefore, this novel touch-panel screening test may be a more sensitive tool for detecting MCI subjects among elderly patients