Underdiagnosis of mild cognitive impairment: A consequence of ignoring practice effects Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractIntroductionLongitudinal testing is necessary to accurately measure cognitive change. However, repeated testing is susceptible to practice effects, which may obscure true cognitive decline and delay detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI).MethodsWe retested 995 late‐middle‐aged men in a ∼6‐year follow‐up of the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging. In addition, 170 age‐matched replacements were tested for the first time at study wave 2. Group differences were used to calculate practice effects after controlling for attrition effects. MCI diagnoses were generated from practice‐adjusted scores.ResultsThere were significant practice effects on most cognitive domains. Conversion to MCI doubled after correcting for practice effects, from 4.5% to 9%. Importantly, practice effects were present although there were declines in uncorrected scores.DiscussionAccounting for practice effects is critical to early detection of MCI. Declines, when lower than expected, can still indicate practice effects. Replacement participants are needed for accurately assessing disease progression.

publication date

  • January 1, 2018

has restriction

  • gold

Date in CU Experts

  • April 13, 2023 8:47 AM

Full Author List

  • Elman JA; Jak AJ; Panizzon MS; Tu XM; Chen T; Reynolds CA; Gustavson DE; Franz CE; Hatton SN; Jacobson KC

author count

  • 15

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2352-8729

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2352-8729

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 372

end page

  • 381


  • 10


  • 1