Is the WMS-IV verbal paired associates as effective as other memory tasks in discriminating amnestic mild cognitive impairment from normal aging?

Kerryn E Pike, Glynda J Kinsella, Ben Ong, Elizabeth Mullaly, Elizabeth Rand, Elsdon Storey, David Ames, Michael Saling, Linda Clare, Samuel Parsons
Clinical Neuropsychologist 2013, 27 (6): 908-23
Paired associate learning tasks are reportedly particularly sensitive to preclinical Alzheimer's disease. We aimed to determine the effectiveness of the recently updated Wechsler Memory Scale verbal paired associates (VPA) in distinguishing the earliest stages of memory impairment (amnestic mild cognitive impairment, aMCI), and the clinical application at the case level, compared with other episodic memory tasks. Participants were 77 people with aMCI and 77 matched healthy older adults (HOA). VPA performance distinguished aMCI from HOA at the group level with large effect sizes, of similar size to the other tasks at immediate recall, but smaller than the CVLT-II list-learning task at delayed recall. Similarly, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis demonstrated good discrimination, similar to other tasks, but again with CVLT-II more accurate at delayed recall. Although group differences remained for normative data, on a case basis using existing normative data the VPA failed to identify 70% of aMCI as impaired. The findings suggest further examination of the normative data is required before the VPA is useful in clinical practice, and highlight the importance of comprehensive neuropsychological assessment in detecting mild memory changes in older adults.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"