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The Utility of the Dementia Severity Rating Scale in Differentiating Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer Disease From Controls

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The current study investigated the utility of the Dementia Severity Rating Scale (DSRS) total score to identify individuals at the earliest stage of impairment (ie, mild cognitive impairment/MCI). In addition, the authors sought to investigate how well the measure correlates with an expanded battery of cognitive tests and other measures of functional abilities. Of the 320 participants included in this study, 85 were normal controls, 96 had single-domain or multiple-domain amnestic MCI, and 139 had possible or probable Alzheimer disease (AD). Each participant underwent a thorough cognitive, neurological, and physical examination. Results from this study indicated that the DSRS total scores differed significantly between the 3 groups (P<0.001) and accurately identified 81% of the control group, 60% of the MCI group, and 78% of the AD group in a post hoc discriminant analysis. When combined with a brief cognitive measure (ie, Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease Word List 5 min recall test), the DSRS accurately identified 98% of the control group, 76% of the MCI group, and 82% of the AD group. Implications for clinical practice and proposed areas of future research are discussed.
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Keywords: Alzheimer disease; Dementia Severity Rating Scale; dementia assessment; mild cognitive impairment; screening

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 2: Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA

Publication date: July 1, 2015

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