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Vol. 33, No. 4, 2012
Issue release date: July 2012
Section title: Original Research Article
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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2012;33:245–249

Within-Session Practice Effects in Patients Referred for Suspected Dementia

Duff K. · Chelune G. · Dennett K.
Department of Neurology, Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging and Research, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

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Background: Practice effects are improvements in cognitive test performance associated with repeated administrations of same or similar measures and are traditionally seen as error variance. However, there is growing evidence that practice effects provide clinically useful information. Methods: Within-session practice effects (WISPE) across 2 h were collected from 61 non-consecutive patients referred for suspected dementia and compared to the Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE), a screening measure of dementia severity. Results: In all patients, WISPE on two cognitive measures were significantly correlated with MMSE, even after controlling for baseline cognitive scores (partial r = 0.47, p < 0.001; partial r = 0.26, p = 0.046). In patients diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s disease, the trend was even stronger (partial r = 0.72, p < 0.01; partial r = 0.58, p = 0.046). In both groups, lower WISPE were associated with lower MMSE scores (i.e. greater dementia severity), even after controlling for initial cognitive scores. Conclusion: If future research validates these findings with longitudinal studies, then WISPE may have important clinical applications in dementia evaluations.

© 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel


Author Contacts

Kevin Duff, PhD
Center for Alzheimer's Care, Imaging and Research
University of Utah, Department of Neurology
650 Komas Drive No. 106-A, Salt Lake City, UT 84108 (USA)
Tel. +1 801 585 9983, E-Mail


Article Information

Accepted: May 4, 2012
Published online: June 11, 2012
Number of Print Pages : 5


Publication Details

Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders

Vol. 33, No. 4, Year 2012 (Cover Date: July 2012)

Journal Editor: Chan-Palay V. (Boston, Mass.)
ISSN: 1420-8008 (Print), eISSN: 1421-9824 (Online)

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Research Article

Accepted: 5/4/2012
Published online: 6/8/2012
Issue release date: July 2012

Number of Print Pages: 5
Number of Figures: 1
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 1420-8008 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9824 (Online)

For additional information:

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