It is estimated that people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) at a rate of 10 percent - 15 percent a year. Currently there are no valid and reliable automated MCI screening tools. The Computer-Assisted Neuropsychological Screen for Cognitive Impairments (CANS-Cl) is designed to measure cognitive impairments present in individuals suffering from MCI or AD. The proposed research will assess the ability of the CANS-Cl to detect (1) the symptoms of MCI, and (2) changes in cognitive functioning over time. Approximately 300 healthy elderly subjects will participate in the study by completing the CANS-Cl test battery and standardized tests of cognitive abilities at baseline and 12 months. Those scoring in the impaired range on the standardized tests will receive full neuropsychological evaluations to assess for MCI. Mean scores on the CANS-Cl for subjects receiving a diagnosis of MCI and those who do not will be compared using Students T test. Cognitive change scores will also be assessed using Students T for subjects whose CANS-Cl scores indicate impairment at Time 2 to the unimpaired. Scoring tools that incorporate factors associated with AD and longitudinal data will also be created as will a central database on a web server.
There is a need for a tool that is predictive of the earliest signs of MCI and AD and that can be administered routinely, at regular intervals, and in the context of an individual's background and mood state. The tool should comprise several dimensions of cognitive ability and have a mechanism for adjusting scores in response to longitudinal data collection. The CANS-CI will provide inexpensive, internet-administered packages to doctors' offices and retirement homes.