Objective: The recognition of the limits between normal and pathological aging is essential to start preventive actions. The aim of this paper is to compare the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) and language tests to distinguish subtle differences in cognitive performances in two different age groups, namely young adults and elderly cognitively normal subjects. Method: We selected 29 young adults (29.9±1.06 years) and 31 older adults (74.1±1.15 years) matched by educational level (years of schooling). All subjects underwent a general assessment and a battery of neuropsychological tests, including the Mini Mental State Examination, visuospatial learning, and memory tasks from CANTAB and language tests. Cluster and discriminant analysis were applied to all neuropsychological test results to distinguish possible subgroups inside each age group. Results: Significant differences in the performance of aged and young adults were detected in both language and visuospatial memory tests. Intragroup cluster and discriminant analysis revealed that CANTAB, as compared to language tests, was able to detect subtle but significant differences between the subjects. Conclusion: Based on these findings, we concluded that, as compared to language tests, large-scale application of automated visuospatial tests to assess learning and memory might increase our ability to discern the limits between normal and pathological aging.
Soares, F. C., de Oliveira, T. C. G., de Macedo, L. D. e.Dias, Tomás, A. M., Picanço-Diniz, D. L. W., Bento-Torres, J., … Picanço-Diniz, C. W. (2014). CANTAB object recognition and language tests to detect aging cognitive decline: An exploratory comparative study. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 10, 37–48. https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S68186