Predicting financial deficits from a standard neuropsychological assessment: preliminary evidence in mild cognitive impairment

Francesca Burgio, Silvia Benavides-Varela, Roberta Toffano, Katie Palmer, Francesca Meneghello, Giorgio Arcara, Carlo Semenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) might experience difficulties in numerical and financial abilities of daily living that compromise their autonomy. The aim of the present work was to examine whether specific tests of the standard neuropsychological assessment could be used to predict these deficits in the clinical practice. Thirty-four MCI patients underwent a comprehensive clinical and neuropsychological examination including (1) a complete assessment of financial abilities and (2) a traditional neuropsychological assessment including measures of language, memory, executive functioning, reasoning, attention, and visuospatial abilities. The neuropsychological tests were used as predictors of the performance in everyday financial tasks using logistic regression analysis. Deficits in financial tasks including calculating percentages, using financial concepts and applying financial judgments were significantly predicted by tests of executive functions, language and short-term memory, while deficits in frequently encountered financial tasks activities such as item purchase and reading numbers could not be predicted by standard neuropsychological evaluations. Contingency tables on performance above/below clinical cut-offs evidenced some cases of financial deficits in the absence of cognitive deficits and, vice versa, some patients with cognitive decline did not show financial impairments. These results suggest that while some cognitive functions might be crucial for taking financial decisions, an ad hoc test of financial capacity is essential to make overall inferences about the everyday financial autonomy of MCI patients. This has potential implications for clinical and legal decisions that directly impact the individuals and their families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299–303
Number of pages5
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Financial abilities
  • IADL
  • Legal practice
  • MCI
  • Neuropsychological assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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