With a growing focus on the preclinical and mild stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), researchers urgently need validated cognitive assessment tools with heightened sensitivity to early cognitive decline.
The Expanded Brief Assessment of Cognition (BAC) appears to be one such tool, according to research presented at the 2023 Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference in Boston.
About the BAC
The BAC is a battery of cognitive tasks that can be administered on a tablet, allowing for standardized administration and automated scoring. The Expanded BAC includes tests specifically evaluating cognitive functions related to the hippocampus, a brain region significantly affected in early AD.
Researchers presented a poster, “The Expanded Brief Assessment of Cognition (BAC) for the Assessment of Cognitive Impairment in Mild Alzheimer’s Disease” highlighting the results of a recent study assessing the sensitivity of the Expanded BAC to cognitive impairment in subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and mild AD.
About the Research
The authors investigated the effectiveness of the Expanded BAC in identifying cognitive impairment in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and mild AD. The participants included 78 adults with MCI or mild AD, 178 healthy adults under 65, and 133 healthy older adults (65+) without cognitive decline, and 32 older adults with subjective cognitive decline.
The results showed that the Expanded BAC was effective in distinguishing between those with MCI or mild AD and healthy individuals, including older adults. It was also sensitive to changes in those with subjective cognitive decline.
Significantly, the Expanded BAC’s overall score correlated significantly with established clinical measures used in AD research, such as the MMSE and CDR Sum-of-Boxes.
This sensitivity to subtle cognitive changes and its correlation with well-known clinical outcomes “suggest that the Expanded BAC could be a valuable tool to assess and track cognitive impairment associated with the early stages of AD,” researchers conclude.
Schoemaker D., et al. The Expanded Brief Assessment of Cognition (BAC) for the Assessment of Cognitive Impairment in Mild Alzheimer’s Disease, CTAD23 Poster. The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease, Volume 10, Supplement 1, 2023 https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.14283/jpad.2022.130.pdf
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