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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764

Dement. neuropsychol. vol.3 no.1 São Paulo Jan./Mar. 2009 

Original Articles

Comparison of performance on neuropsychological tests in amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's disease patients

Comparação do desempenho em testes neuropsicológicos em pacientes com comprometimento cognitivo leve amnéstico e com doença de Alzheimer

Patrícia Helena Figueirêdo do Vale 1  

Lívia Spíndola 1  

Maira Okada de Oliveira 1  

Cristiane Garcia da Costa Armentano 1  

Claudia Sellitto Porto 2  

Sonia Maria Dozzi Brucki 3  

1Psychologist, Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Unit, Department of Neurology of the University of São Paulo School of Medicine and Cognitive Disorders Reference Center (CEREDIC), Hospital das Clínicas of the University of São Paulo School of Medicine, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

2PhD, Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Unit, Department of Neurology of the University of São Paulo School of Medicine and Cognitive Disorders Reference Center (CEREDIC), Hospital das Clínicas of the University of São Paulo School of Medicine, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

3MD, PhD, Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Unit, Department of Neurology of the University of São Paulo School of Medicine and Cognitive Disorders Reference Center (CEREDIC), Hospital das Clínicas of the University of São Paulo School of Medicine, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) can be an intermediate state between normality and dementia in some patients. An early diagnosis, through neuropsychological assessment, could identify individuals at risk of developing dementia.


To verify differences in performance on neuropsychological tests among controls, amnestic MCI (aMCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients.


Sixty-eight AD patients (mean age 73.77±7.24; mean schooling 9.04±4.83; 40 women and 28 men), 34 aMCI patients (mean age 74.44±7.05; mean schooling 12.35±4.01; 20 women) and 60 controls (mean age 68.90±7.48; mean schooling 10.72±4.74; 42 women) were submitted to a neuropsychological assessment composed of tasks assessing executive functions, language, constructive abilities, reasoning and memory.


There were statistically significant differences in performance across all tests among control, aMCI and AD groups, and also between only controls and AD patients. On comparing control and aMCI groups, we found statistically significant differences in memory tasks, except for immediate recall of Visual Reproduction. There were also statistically significant differences between aMCI and AD groups on tasks of constructive and visuoperceptual abilities, attention, language and memory, except for delayed recall of Visual Reproduction.


Neuropsychological assessment was able to discriminate aMCI from AD patients in almost all tests except for delayed recall of Visual Reproduction, visual organization (Hooper) and executive functions (WCST); and discriminate controls from AD patients in all tests, and controls from aMCI patients in all memory tests except for immediate recall of Visual Reproduction.

Key words: Mild Cognitive Impairment; Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment; Alzheimer's disease; neuropsychological tests; memory.


Comprometimento Cognitivo Leve (CCL) pode ser um estágio entre normalidade e demência em alguns pacientes. Um diagnóstico precoce, com avaliação neuropsicológica, pode identificar indivíduos com risco para desenvolvimento de demência.


Verificar diferenças no desempenho em testes neuropsicológicos entre controles, pacientes com CCL amnéstico (CCLa) e com doença de Alzheimer (DA).


Sessenta e oito pacientes com DA (média de idade 73,77±7,24; média de escolaridade 9,04±4,83; 40 mulheres), 34 pacientes com CCLa (média de idade 74,44±7,05; média de escolaridade 12,35±4,01; 20 mulheres) e 60 controles (média de idade 68,90±7,48; média de escolaridade 10,72±4,74; 42 mulheres) foram submetidos à ampla avaliação neuropsicológica.


Houve diferenças estatisticamente significativas em todos os testes entre os grupos controle, CCLa e DA, e entre controles e o grupo DA. Na comparação entre controles e pacientes com CCLa foram encontradas diferenças estatisticamente significativas nos testes de memória, exceto na evocação imediata do teste de Reprodução Visual. Foram também encontradas diferenças estatisticamente significativas entre pacientes com CCLa e DA, nas tarefas de habilidades construtivas e visuoperceptuais, atenção, linguagem e memória, com exceção da evocação tardia do teste Reprodução Visual.


A avaliação neuropsicológica foi capaz de discriminar pacientes com CCLa de pacientes com DA em quase todos os testes exceto na evocação tardia do teste Reprodução Visual, organização visual (Hooper) e funções executivas (WCST); controles de pacientes com DA em todos os testes, e controles de pacientes com CCLa nos testes de memória, exceto na evocação imediata do teste Reprodução Visual.

Palavras-chave: Comprometimento Cognitivo Leve; Comprometimento Cognitivo Leve Amnéstico; doença de Alzheimer; testes neuropsicológicos; memória.

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Received: October 20, 2008; Accepted: December 29, 2008

Patrícia Helena Figueirêdo do Vale - Rua Teodoro Sampaio, 408/83 - 05406-000 São Paulo SP - Brazil. E-mail:


The authors reports no conflicts of interest. Sources of aid: None.

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