The utility of simple questions to evaluate cognitive impairment

Yugaku Daté, Daisuke Sugiyama, Hajime Tabuchi, Naho Saito, Mika Konishi, Yoko Eguchi, Yuki Momota, Takahito Yoshizaki, Kyoko Mashima, Masaru Mimura, Jin Nakahara, Daisuke Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives As the population of patients with cognitive decline grows, physicians and caregivers need brief screening tools. Comprehensive neurocognitive batteries require special training and time for evaluation. We focused on accessibility and compared the diagnostic power of several easy questions. Design “Attended With” (AW) and “Head-Turning Sign” (HTS) factors and participants’ replies to following questions were recorded: “Do you feel that you have more difficulties in your daily life than you used to?”, [no consciousness (C-) or consciousness+ (C+)], “Could you tell me about your daily pleasures or pastimes?” [no pleasure (P-) or pleasure + (P+)], “What are notable current/recent news/topics?” [no news (N-) or news+ (N+)]. Setting This took place in our Memory Clinic between May 2016 and July 2019. Participants We enrolled 162 consecutive cases (44 cognitive normal (CN), 55 amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), and 48 Alzheimer’s disease (AD)). Measurements The sensitivity and specificity of each battery were calculated, and on account of those numbers, the population attributable risk percent % (PAR%) of (AW and HTS+), (C- and P-), (C- and N-), (P- and N-) as analysis of combination of questions, respectively, were calculated. Results AW had high sensitivity, 87.4, 95.8% (CN vs aMCI + AD, CN + aMCI vs AD) but the sensitivity of HTS was only 46.4, 57.7%, and HTS showed high specificity, 100.0, 71.8%. C- had high sensitivity, 80.6, 87.5%, whereas P- and N- had high specificity, both 83.9% in CN vs aMCI + AD, 88.1% and 75.9% in CN + aMCI vs AD, respectively. In combination analysis, the PAR% of (C- and N-) were as high as (AW and HTS+). Conclusions The combination of (C- and N-) is as powerful as (AW and HTS+) in screening AD. Our findings provide novel insights for screening utility of brief questions “Consciousness of Impairment” and “Recent News.”

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0233225
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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