Author(s): Bertolucci PH, Brucki SM, Campacci SR, Juliano Y
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Abstract To assess the influence of age and education on cognitive performance in our population, 530 adults were interviewed using the MMSE (Mini-Mental Status Examination). Education level, classified as illiterate, elementary and middle (< 8 years) and high (> 8 years), was a significant predictor of performance (p < 0.0001). Nevertheless, the total scores were not significantly different among the age-groups, young (< or = 50 years), middle age 51 to 64 years) and elderly (> or = 65 years). The reference cut-off values were taken from the fifth percent lowest score for each group: illiterate, 13; elementary and middle, 18; and high, 26. When compared to 94 patients with cognitive impairment, our cut-off values achieved high sensitivity (82.4\% for illiterates; 75.6\% for elementary and middle; 80\% for high) and specificity (97.5\% for illiterate; 96.6\% for elementary and middle; 95.6\% for high educational level). Education-specific reference values for the MMSE are necessary in interpreting individual test results in populations of low educational level, in order to reduce the false positive results.
This article was published in Arq Neuropsiquiatr
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research