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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Memory and Executive Screening (MES): a brief cognitive test for detecting mild cognitive impairment

Qi-hao Guo1, Bin Zhou2, Qian-hua Zhao1, Bei Wang1 and Zhen Hong1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Neurology and Institute of Neurology, Huashan Hospital, State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, China

2 Translational Research Informatics Center, Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation, Kobe, Japan

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Citation and License

BMC Neurology 2012, 12:119  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-119

Published: 11 October 2012

Abstract

Background

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), defined as a transitional zone between normal cognition and dementia, requires a battery of formal neuropsychological tests administered by a trained rater for its diagnosis. The objective of this study was to develop a screening tool for MCI.

Methods

One hundred ninety seven cognitively normal controls (NC), one hundred sixteen patients with amnestic MCI –single domain (aMCI-sd), one hundred ninety five patients with amnestic MCI-multiple domain (aMCI-md), and two hundred twenty eight patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) were evaluated by comprehensive neuropsychological tests and by the Memory and Executive Screening (MES).

Results

Correlation analysis showed that the three indicators of the MES were significantly negatively related with age (P<0.05), yet not related with education (P>0.05). There was no ceiling or floor effect. Test completion averaged seven minutes (421.14±168.31 seconds). The receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analyses performed on the aMCI-sd group yielded 0.89 for the area under the curve (AUC) (95% CI, 0.85–0.92) for the MES-total score, with sensitivity of 0.795 and specificity of 0.828. There was 81% correct classification rate when the cut-off was set at less than 75. Meanwhile, the aMCI-md group yielded 0.95 for the AUC (95% CI, 0.93–0.97) for the MES-total score, with sensitivity of 0.87 and specificity of 0.91, and 90% correct classification rate when the cut-off was set at less than 72.

Conclusion

The MES, minimally time-consuming, may be a valid and easily administered cognitive screening tool with high sensitivity and specificity for aMCI, with single or multiple domain impairment.

Keywords:
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI); Amnestic MCI-single domain (aMCI-sd); Amnestic MCI-multiple domain (aMCI-md); Alzheimer’s disease (AD); Memory and Executive Screening (MES); Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)