The use of biomarkers in early Alzheimer’s disease detection is growing. However, it is not clear whether sophisticated biomarker testing is more efficient than neuropsychological tests focused on memory. The goal of this study was to evaluate the predictive value of the Memory Impairment Screen (MIS), a simple and brief memory test, in elderly subjects with subjective memory loss.
A prospective cohort of 105 patients with subjective memory loss was followed up from December 2007 to April 2011 in Zaragoza, Spain. At baseline, the patients underwent neuropsychological examination with Mini-Examen-Cognoscivo (Spanish adaptation of the Mini-Mental State Examination), MIS, Clinical Dementia Rating scale, Blessed Dementia Rating Scale, and Geriatric Depression Scale. The final endpoint of the study was the conversion to dementia, mostly of probable Alzheimer’s disease type according to the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association work group criteria. The patients were reevaluated every 6 months.
Many tools for evaluating memory and other cognitive functions are time-consuming, so brief instruments are welcomed by general practitioners and general neurologists.
The Memory Impairment Screen (MIS) is a brief instrument that can be easily administered, even to illiterate patients, as a first evaluation of recent memory in those with memory complaints who do not fulfill criteria for dementia. A score of 0 or 1 on the MIS suggests eventual conversion to dementia of Alzheimer’s type. However, a normal score does not exclude such a conversion. Therefore, the MIS should be used in combination with other more sensitive tools.