Application of new WAIS-III/WMS-III discrepancy scores for evaluating memory functioning: relationship between intellectual and memory ability

Rael T Lange, Gordon J Chelune
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 2006, 28 (4): 592-604
Analysis of the discrepancy between memory and intellectual ability has received some support as a means for evaluating memory impairment. Recently, comprehensive base rate tables for General Ability Index (GAI) minus memory discrepancy scores (i.e., GAI-memory) were developed using the WAIS-III/WMS-III standardization sample (Lange, Chelune, & Tulsky, in press). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical utility of GAI-memory discrepancy scores to identify memory impairment in 34 patients with Alzheimer's type dementia (DAT) versus a sample of 34 demographically matched healthy participants. On average, patients with DAT obtained significantly lower scores on all WAIS-III and WMS-III indexes and had larger GAI-memory discrepancy scores. Clinical outcome analyses revealed that GAI-memory scores were useful at identifying memory impairment in patients with DAT versus matched healthy participants. However, GAI-memory discrepancy scores failed to provide unique interpretive information beyond that which is gained from the memory indexes alone. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

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