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Margaret Mead
Research Article

Norms for a neuropsychological test battery to diagnose dementia in the elderly: A study from Sri Lanka


Aims:To pilot a neuropsychological battery for diagnosing dementia and provide normative scores in an elderly Sri Lankan sample.Materials and Methods:Consecutive subjects over the age of 60 yrs were administered tests assessing the individual domains of language, verbal episodic memory, visual perceptuospatial skills and executive functions in the Sinhala language.Results:There were a total of 230 subjects in the final sample. The mean age of the entire sample was 69 years, mean education level was 12 years and the sample comprised 53% female. One-month test-retest reliability ranged from 0.71 to 0.85 for the various tests. Most tests were significantly influenced by age and education level but not gender. The exceptions to this were some language subtests (repetition, grammar comprehension and word picture matching) and two tests of executive functioning (maze completion and alternate target cancellation), which were uninfluenced by age. The subtests where ceiling performance was attained by almost all subjects were repetition, grammar comprehension and word picture matching from the language domain, dot position discrimination from the visuospatial domain and maze completion test from the executive function domain. Scores for various tests after stratifying subjects by age and educational level are given.Conclusions:The tests were well received and could provide a basis for cognitive profiling in similar settings elsewhere.