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Predicting rate of cognitive decline in probable Alzheimer's disease.


Recent attempts to identify predictors of rate of decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been extremely variable in choice of outcome variables, predictor variables tested, timing of assessments, and statistical approaches. In this study, a random effects regression model was applied to seek predictors of decline on the Mini-Mental State Exam in 132 patients with probable AD reassessed every 6 months for up to 7.5 years. Potential predictor variables at baseline were of three types: patients characteristics, clinical variables, and cognitive performances. The final multivariate analysis indicated that the following characteristics predicted more rapid cognitive decline: more education, history of dementia in a first degree relative, non-right handedness, better performances of Boston Naming Test, Gollin Incomplete Figures Test, and Benton Visual Retention Test-Delay, and worse performances on Responsive Naming Test, WAIS-R Block Design, and Benton Visual Retention Test-Copy.

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