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Neuropsychological Impairments and Their Cognitive Architecture in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) with Lewy Bodies and MCI-Alzheimer’s Disease

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Joanna Ciafone, Professor Alan ThomasORCiD, Dr Rory Durcan, Dr Paul Donaghy, Dr Calum Hamilton, Dr Sarah Lawley, Dr Gemma RobertsORCiD, Dr Sean Colloby, Dr Michael FirbankORCiD, Dr Louise Allan, Dr George Petrides, Professor John-Paul TaylorORCiD, Professor John O'Brien, Dr Peter GallagherORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Objective: The present study aimed to clarify the neuropsychological profile of the emergent diagnostic category ofMild Cognitive Impairment with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB) and determine whether domain-specific impairments such as inmemory were related to deficits in domain-general cognitive processes (executive function or processing speed).Method: Patients (n = 83) and healthy age- and sex-matched controls (n = 34) underwent clinical and imagingassessments. Probable MCI-LB (n = 44) and MCI-Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (n = 39) were diagnosed followingNational Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association (NIA-AA) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) consortiumcriteria. Neuropsychological measures included cognitive and psychomotor speed, executive function, working memory,and verbal and visuospatial recall. Results: MCI-LB scored significantly lower than MCI-AD on processing speed[Trail Making Test B: p = .03, g = .45; Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST): p = .04, g = .47; DSST Error Check:p < .001, g = .68] and executive function [Trail Making Test Ratio (A/B): p = .04, g = .52] tasks. MCI-AD performedworse than MCI-LB on memory tasks, specifically visuospatial (Modified Taylor Complex Figure: p = .01, g = .46) andverbal (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test: p = .04, g = .42) delayed recall measures. Stepwise discriminant analysiscorrectly classified the subtype in 65.1% of MCI patients (72.7% specificity, 56.4% sensitivity). Processing speedaccounted for more group-associated variance in visuospatial and verbal memory in both MCI subtypes than executivefunction, while no significant relationships between measures were observed in controls (all ps > .05) Conclusions:MCI-LB was characterized by executive dysfunction and slowed processing speed but did not show the visuospatialdysfunction expected, while MCI-AD displayed an amnestic profile. However, there was considerableneuropsychological profile overlap and processing speed mediated performance in both MCI subtypes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ciafone J, Thomas A, Durcan R, Donaghy P, Hamilton CA, Lawley S, Roberts G, Colloby S, Firbank MJ, Allan L, Petrides G, Taylor JP, O'Brien JT, Gallagher P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society

Year: 2021

Volume: 28

Issue: 9

Pages: 963-973

Online publication date: 20/10/2021

Acceptance date: 13/08/2021

Date deposited: 20/09/2021

ISSN (print): 1355-6177

ISSN (electronic): 1469-7661

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S1355617721001181


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Funder referenceFunder name
ARUK-PG2015-13Alzheimer`s Research UK