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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764


FERRETTI, Renata Eloah de Lucena et al. Post-Mortem diagnosis of dementia by informant interview. Dement. neuropsychol. [online]. 2010, vol.4, n.2, pp.138-144. ISSN 1980-5764.

The diagnosis of normal cognition or dementia in the Brazilian Brain Bank of the Aging Brain Study Group (BBBABSG) has relied on postmortem interview with an informant.


To ascertain the sensitivity and specificity of postmortem diagnosis based on informant interview compared against the diagnosis established at a memory clinic.


A prospective study was conducted at the BBBABSG and at the Reference Center for Cognitive Disorders (RCCD), a specialized memory clinic of the Hospital das Clínicas, University of São Paulo Medical School. Control subjects and cognitively impaired subjects were referred from the Hospital das Clínicas to the RCCD where subjects and their informants were assessed. The same informant was then interviewed at the BBBABSG. Specialists' panel consensus, in each group, determined the final diagnosis of the case, blind to other center's diagnosis. Data was compared for frequency of diagnostic equivalence. For this study, the diagnosis established at the RCCD was accepted as the gold standard. Sensitivity and specificity were computed.


Ninety individuals were included, 45 with dementia and 45 without dementia (26 cognitively normal and 19 cognitively impaired but non-demented). The informant interview at the BBBABSG had a sensitivity of 86.6% and specificity of 84.4% for the diagnosis of dementia, and a sensitivity of 65.3% and specificity of 93.7% for the diagnosis of normal cognition.


The informant interview used at the BBBABSG has a high specificity and sensitivity for the diagnosis of dementia as well as a high specificity for the diagnosis of normal cognition.

Keywords : brain bank; postmortem diagnosis; dementia; aging; informant-interview..

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