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Investigation of screening tools to identify people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI)

Objectives and brief methodology

  1. The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical utility and sensitivity/specificity of two brief cognitive instruments (the Memory Alteration Test (M@T) and the Test Your Memory (TYM) test) for identifying people with probable amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI) in a primary care setting.This aim is to be met by addressing the following research questions:
    • Is the M@T and/or TYM sensitive and specific in detecting a-MCI in community based populations (in comparison with the operationalised Petersen criteria for a-MCI)?
    • Is the M@T and/or TYM (a) repeatable measure(s)?
    • Is the M@T and/or TYM feasible for use in community-based populations?

    Community-dwelling older people (≥70 years) with (and a sample without) subjective memory impairment were invited to participate in the study. A spouse/relative/friend of the participant was also invited to participate, to assist with informant questionnaires. Participants were first visited at home to complete either the TYM or M@T. They were then invited to attend our research offices at Bradford Royal Infirmary and asked to complete either the M@T or TYM (the alternative to that completed during the home visit).

    Following this, the cognitive assessments for the operationalised Petersen criteria were conducted. Scores from this were used to classify participants as cognitively normal, a-MCI, cognitive difficulties beyond a-MCI or other (including people with non-amnestic MCI). A sample of participants were then visited at home again to complete the M@T or TYM to enable the test-retest reliability of the instruments to be investigated.


December 2012 to December 2015

Participant Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Aged 70 years and older
  • With or without subjective memory impairment
  • Living in the community
  • Medically stable
  • English speaking (primary or secondary language)
  • At least 8 years of education
  • Has a spouse/relative/friend who could assist with informant questionnaires

Exclusion Criteria

  • Resident in a care home
  • Known dementia
  • Current diagnosis of depression
  • History of stroke within the previous three months
  • Receiving palliative care

Patient recruitment and on-going engagement for the current projects

Recruitment was completed in April 2015 with a total of 507 participants recruited from 9 local GP practices. The findings are currently being written up for publication.

Funding agency

This summary presents independent research commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (Research for Patient Benefit Programme, Investigation of screening tools for amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI) PB-PG-0211-24044). The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.