Reorientation deficits are associated with amnestic mild cognitive impairment

Alessandro O Caffò, Maria F De Caro, Luciana Picucci, Alessandra Notarnicola, Annalisa Settanni, Paolo Livrea, Giulio E Lancioni, Andrea Bosco
American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias 2012, 27 (5): 321-30

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Spatial memory can be impaired in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). The present study investigates categorical spatial memory deficits using a virtual navigation-based reorientation task.

METHODS: Twenty-eight amnestic single domain and 23 amnestic multiple domain patients were compared with 53 healthy elderly controls on the performance of the virtual reorientation test (VReoT).

RESULTS: The reorientation performance of participants in both aMCI groups was significantly worse than that of controls suggesting that VReoT detects spatial memory deficits. No significant difference emerged between the 2 groups of patients. A subsequent receiver-operating characteristic analysis showed that a score of 8 had a sensitivity of 80.4% and a specificity of 94.3% (area under the curve = 0.90).

CONCLUSION: The VReoT seemed to be accurate in differentiating patients with aMCI from controls and may represent an evaluation supplement for spatial memory deficits in prodromal stages of Alzheimer's dementia.

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