Choice Reaction Time and Accuracy are able to Detect Subtle Cognitive Decline in Elderly People

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Objectives: In 2011, an estimated 298,000 people (0.7% of the population) had some form of dementia in Australia. A delay of the onset of dementia even by 5 years could half the number of people with dementia over time. Early detection of subtle cognitive changes, which might herald the onset of disease is the first step towards early treatment aiming to delay onset of dementia. The combination of Choice Reaction time (CRT) and Accuracy (A) was tested for its ability to detect subtle cognitive differences.
Methods: CRT and A scores of 182 elderly (mean age 72.45± 6.13) Australian residence were standardised (z-scored) and three performance clusters were created based on the performance patterns of the combined z-scores. Cluster performance was compared to cognitive performance on eight commonly used cognitive tests to validate the ability of the combination of CRT and A to detect subtle cognitive differences.
Results: Three different performance patterns were found based on the combined scores of CRT and A, and designated ‘good’, ‘cautious’ and ‘impulsive’ performers. Their performance on other cognitive tests differed significantly in 9 of 12 tests (and subtests), spanning the cognitive domains of executive function, memory and processing speed.
Conclusion: This combination of CRT and Accuracy has shown a very promising ability to detect subtle cognitive differences across several cognitive domains where other commonly used cognitive tests cannot. This ability will have a significant impact on the trajectory of dementia related morbidity as it allows earlier detection of potentially pathological cognitive decline.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2015
EventThird International Conference on Aging & Cognition - Westfahlen Halle, Dortmund, Germany
Duration: 23 Apr 201525 Apr 2015


ConferenceThird International Conference on Aging & Cognition

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