Developing strategies to improve the prediction and diagnosis of dementia can help to improve the treatment of the condition. There are a number of neuropsychological tests used for diagnostic purposes which measure an individual's level of performance against healthy individuals to determine cognitive impairment. However people's performance can vary from tesst to test, something not taken into account in this approach. Researchers in the U.S. studied 897 people aged 70 and over who had follow up visits every 12-18 months during which they underwent detailed neurological and neuropsychological evaluations. The researchers tested for verbal IQ, attention/executive function and memory. The study found that the degree of variability in performance between the tests improved the prediction of dementia above and beyond people's level of performance on each test alone.
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