Practice Effects on Story Memory and List Learning Tests in the Neuropsychological Assessment of Older AdultsReportar como inadecuado

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Two of the most commonly used methods to assess memory functioning in studies of cognitive aging and dementia are story memory and list learning tests. We hypothesized that the most commonly used story memory test, Wechsler-s Logical Memory, would generate more pronounced practice effects than a well validated but less common list learning test, the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery NAB List Learning test. Two hundred eighty-seven older adults, ages 51 to 100 at baseline, completed both tests as part of a larger neuropsychological test battery on an annual basis. Up to five years of recall scores from participants who were diagnosed as cognitively normal n = 96 or with mild cognitive impairment MCI; n = 72 or Alzheimer-s disease AD; n = 121 at their most recent visit were analyzed with linear mixed effects regression to examine the interaction between the type of test and the number of times exposed to the test. Other variables, including age at baseline, sex, education, race, time years since baseline, and clinical diagnosis were also entered as fixed effects predictor variables. The results indicated that both tests produced significant practice effects in controls and MCI participants; in contrast, participants with AD declined or remained stable. However, for the delayed—but not the immediate—recall condition, Logical Memory generated more pronounced practice effects than NAB List Learning b = 0.16, p < .01 for controls. These differential practice effects were moderated by clinical diagnosis, such that controls and MCI participants—but not participants with AD—improved more on Logical Memory delayed recall than on delayed NAB List Learning delayed recall over five annual assessments. Because the Logical Memory test is ubiquitous in cognitive aging and neurodegenerative disease research, its tendency to produce marked practice effects—especially on the delayed recall condition—suggests a threat to its validity as a measure of new learning, an essential construct for dementia diagnosis.

Autor: Brandon E. Gavett, Ashita S. Gurnani, Jessica L. Saurman, Kimberly R. Chapman, Eric G. Steinberg, Brett Martin, Christine E. Chai



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