In patients with mild dementia, it has been shown that the Independent Living Scale (ILS), which objectively assesses an individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living, positively correlates with multiple measures of cognition, including attention, visuospatial skills, memory, and executive functioning. However, how performance on the ILS relates to experimental measures of semantic memory functions is less clear. This study aimed to clarify how specific activities of daily living, as tested by the ILS, related to semantic memory functioning in people with early Alzheimer’s disease. Nine individuals with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment and four individuals with early Alzheimer’s disease (MCI; a condition linked to an increase for Alzheimer’s), and 29 controls completed the [Managing Money] and [Health and Safety] of the ILS, in addition to the Word Pair Judgment (WPJ) test as a measure of semantic memory functioning. A one-way ANOVA was used to examine the effect of participant groups on WPJ performance. I also ran a Pearson Correlation between WPJ accuracy and ILS performances in the whole sample. The result indicated that the patients with Alzheimer’s disease scored less accuracy on the Word Pair Judgment test than the intact group and those with MCI (P<.001). Additionally, the AD group took more reaction time than the intact group and those with MCI (P=.002). Also, patients who performed worse on the Word Pair Judgement test got lower ILS scores. Correlation test results showed a positive correlation between semantic memory tested on WPJ accuracy and both the ability [Managing Money] and [Health and Safety] (P<.001, P<.001). There was also a negative correlation between reaction time on WPJ and both abilities (P<.001, P=.002). This result provides new insights that cognitively impaired patients with worse verbal skills are more likely to have difficulties managing finances and health and safety.
University / Institution: University of Utah
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Matthew Euler