Differences in Available Cognitive Screening Tools: Dustin Hammers, PhD


The associate professor of neurology at the Indiana University School of Medicine provided insight on the distinguishable characteristics of certain cognitive screening tools and the advantages to each. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"The Linus Health digital cognitive assessment, the DCR, is somewhat different. It’s tapping into memory capacity and executive capacity with the drawing of the clock in both the copy and on command, as well as visual spatial capacity."

With the recent traditional approval of lecanemab (Leqembi; Eisai) and potentially several other agents behind it, the need to have assessments that can accurately assess patients and their risk for Alzheimer disease (AD) becomes critical. Over the years, there have been several paper-based methods used, with digital technologies such as the Digital Clock and Recall (DCR; Linus Health) being introduced. While a diagnosis of AD typically entails several tests, including a PET scan and neuropsychological evaluation, there is no gold standard for cognitive screening in primary care centers, a place that most patients presenting with issues will turn to first.

At the 2023 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), held June 16-20, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, a group of investigators compared the performance of traditional screening methods such as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and St. Louis University Mental Status (SLUMS) to the DCR, a newer, digital approach. In a cohort of 114 patients, a comparison between those with impaired DCR scores (0-3) and impaired MoCA total scores (<26) produced 76% (87 of 114) concordance. Subsequent analysis using MoCA total score paired with low DCR Delayed Recall performance revealed increased concordance (81%; 76 of 94).

Overall, DCR was deemed feasible and faster to administer than MoCA or SLUMS. Prior to the meeting, lead investigator Dustin B. Hammers, PhD, sat down with NeurologyLive® to discuss the data presented, including the notable take-home points clinicians should understand. Hammers, an associate professor of neurology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, broke down the differences in these cognitive assessments, and the advantages to each.

Click here for more coverage of AAIC 2023.

1. Hammers DB, Fowler N, Brosch J, et al. Comparative performance of the Digital Clock and Recall (DCR) test, Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and Saint Louis University Mental Status (SLUMS) among patients in primary care. Presented at: 2023 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference; June 16-20; Amsterdam, Netherlands. Abstract

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