From Subjective Cognitive Decline to Alzheimer's Disease: The Predictive Role of Neuropsychological Assessment, Personality Traits, and Cognitive Reserve. A 7-Year Follow-Up Study

Valentina Bessi, Salvatore Mazzeo, Sonia Padiglioni, Carolina Piccini, Benedetta Nacmias, Sandro Sorbi, Laura Bracco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of neuropsychological assessment in predicting conversion from subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and the effect of personality traits and cognitive reserve in progression from SCD to MCI. As part of a longitudinal, clinical-neuropsychological-genetic survey on SCD and MCI, 284 patients referred to our hospital between 1990 and 2017 were included. All patients underwent clinical-extensive neuropsychological evaluation and Apolipoprotein E genotyping; personality traits were assessed in a subgroup. Each patient underwent clinical-neuropsychological follow-up. Subjects with a follow-up shorter than two years were excluded. A total of 212 subjects were, after exclusions, considered: 26 out of 109 SCD subjects progressed to MCI (SCD-p), 15 converted to AD (SCD-c), and 68 remained stable (SCD-s). Of 103 MCI subjects, 39 converted to AD (MCI-c) and 64 remained stable (MCI-s). At baseline, SCD-c performed significantly worse than SCD-s in tests assessing long-term verbal memory. MCI-c showed worse performance on neuropsychological tests for short- and long-term verbal memory and for ecological evaluation of memory (RBMT). These tests provided good accuracy in distinguishing MCI-c and MCI-s. Emotional stability was significantly lower in SCD-s than in SCD-p while higher intellectual activities were associated with a lower risk of conversion to MCI. Our results suggest that memory neuropsychological tests may represent a reliable tool to estimate the risk of progression to AD. Personality and lifestyle factors could provide useful information to identify SCD subjects who may develop an objective cognitive impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1523-1535
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume63
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2018

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • APOE
  • cognitive reserve
  • dementia
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • neuropsychology
  • personality traits
  • prediction
  • subjective cognitive decline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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