Optimizing Cognitive Assessment Outcome Measures for Alzheimer’s Disease by Matching Wordlist Memory Test Features to Scoring Methodology
Bock JR; Russell J; Hara J; Fortier D
Embic Corporation, Newport Beach, CA, USA
Front. Digit. Health, 03 November 2021. Read full article here.
Cognitive assessment with wordlist memory tests is a cost-effective and non-invasive method of identifying cognitive changes due to Alzheimer’s disease and measuring clinical outcomes. However, with a rising need for more precise and granular measures of cognitive changes, especially in earlier or preclinical stages of Alzheimer’s disease, traditional scoring methods have failed to provide adequate accuracy and information. Well-validated and widely adopted wordlist memory tests vary in many ways, including list length, number of learning trials, order of word presentation across trials, and inclusion of semantic categories, and these differences meaningfully impact cognition. While many simple scoring methods fail to account for the information that these features provide, extensive effort has been made to develop scoring methodologies, including the use of latent models that enable capture of this information for preclinical differentiation and prediction of cognitive changes. In this perspective article, we discuss prominent wordlist memory tests in use, their features, how different scoring methods fail or successfully capture the information these features provide, and recommendations for emerging cognitive models that optimally account for wordlist memory test features. Matching the use of such scoring methods to wordlist memory tests with appropriate features is key to obtaining precise measurement of subtle cognitive changes.