New Picture-Based Screening Tool for Dementia

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


News of the first picture-based screening tool for cognitive impairment was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018:published online May 30). The new tool, the Picture-Based Memory Impairment Screening (PMIS) was developed by researchers Rubina Malik, Erica F. Weiss, Reena Gottesman, Jessica Zwerling, and Joe Verghese.

The PMIS negatively correlated with the Blessed Information, Memory, and Concentration (BIMC) test (P = .001), a measure of memory and concentration, and predicted the presence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as diagnosed by a neuropsychologist. PMIS has a positive predictive value of 77%, a negative predictive value of 73%, sensitivity of 68%, and specificity of 81% to detect dementia from all causes. Importantly, the PMIS scores had similar significant linear trends when analyzed by ethnicity, education, sex, and language, suggesting that this test is not biased in any of those regards.

The screening asks people to look at pictures of common items and recall them later in the appointment. It can be administered by nurses or patient technicians, making the screening especially suitable for busy practices.

"The screening takes about 4 minutes but can give us so much information," said Rubina Malik, MD, MS, first author, co-director at Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain and assistant professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "What's critically important is that this new screening tool can be used by primary care practices nationwide to help people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds receive the care they need faster."

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