P300 and neuropsychological assessment in mild cognitive impairment and alzheimer dementia

Mario A. Parra, Lindsay Lorena Ascencio, Hugo Fenando Urquina, Facundo Manes, Agustín M. Ibáñez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Only a small proportion of individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) will convert to dementia. Methods currently available to identify risk for conversion do not combine enough sensitivity and specificity, which is even more problematic in low-educated popu-lations. Current guidelines suggest the use of combined markers for dementia to enhance the prediction accuracy of assessment methods. The present study adhered to this pro-posal and investigated the sensitivity and specificity of the electrophysiological component P300 and standard neuropsychological tests to assess patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and MCI recruited from a low-income country. The neuropsychological battery com-prised tests of memory, attention, language, praxis, and executive functions.The P300 was recorded using a classical visual odd-ball paradigm. Three variables were found to achieve sensitivity and specificity values above 80% (Immediate and Delayed recall of word list -CERAD -and the latency of P300) for both MCI and AD. When they entered the model together (i.e., combined approach) the sensitivity for MCI increased to 96% and the speci-ficity remained high (80%). Our preliminary findings suggest that the combined use of sensitive neuropsychological tasks and the analysis of the P300 may offer a very useful method for the preclinical assessment of AD, particularly in populations with low socioe-conomic and educational levels. Our results provide a platform and justification to employ more resources to convert P300 and related parameters into a biological marker for AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number172
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Early detection
  • Event related potentials
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Neuropsychology
  • P300
  • Preclinical markers


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