Episodic Memory in Dementia: Characteristics of New Learning that Differentiate Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's Diseases

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287-7218, USA.
Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology (Impact Factor: 1.99). 08/2010; 25(5):396-409. DOI: 10.1093/arclin/acq038
Source: PubMed


Differences in the memory characteristics of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), Huntington's disease (HD), and Parkinson's disease (PD) were investigated with tests that assess learning and retention of words, line-drawn objects, and locations. Large groups of AD, HD, and PD patients were administered the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (HVLT-R) and the Hopkins Board (HB). Eight learning and memory measures were subjected to discriminant function analysis. A 91% classification accuracy was achieved for the separation of cortical and subcortical dementias and 79% accuracy for the discrimination of the three groups. The delayed recall of items was the best discriminator. Receiver-operating curve analysis indicated up to 90% sensitivity and 90% specificity in differentiating the three diseases using the discriminant scores. Individual learning and memory measures of the HVLT-R and the HB provided very high sensitivity and specificity in distinguishing cortical versus subcortical dementias and modest accuracy in separating the two subcortical diseases.

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