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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2009, Article ID 638145, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2009/638145
Clinical Study

Applying New Research Criteria for Diagnosis of Early Alzheimer's Disease: Sex and Intelligence Matter

1Department of Psychiatry, Mental Health and Old Age Psychiatry, Charité Medical University, 14050 Berlin, Germany
2Department of Neurology, University of Ulm, 89081 Ulm, Germany
3Division of Mental Health & Old Age Psychiatry, University of Ulm, Ludwig-Heilmeyer Strasse 2, Ulm, 89312 Günzburg, Germany

Received 30 March 2009; Accepted 9 July 2009

Academic Editor: Ricardo Nitrini

Copyright © 2009 U. Beinhoff et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD) can be diagnosed according to new research criteria proposed recently (Dubois et al., 2007). Diagnosis is made on grounds of episodic memory deficits and one pathological biomarker: cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or structural/functional imaging. Goal was to investigate the dependence of episodic memory function on material (verbal, visuospatial), gender and premorbid intellectual ability (IQ). The new research criteria of AD were applied retrospectively using data of 68 patients (Mini-Mental-Status Examination, MMSE 22) from a university memory clinic. Women with lower IQ performed worse on visuospatial episodic memory than women with higher IQ and men with the same IQ. Thus, women with lower IQ appear to be particularly vulnerable to visuospatial episodic memory deficits despite similar CSF tau values indicating a similar activity of the neurodegenerative process. Gender, premorbid IQ, and visuospatial material need to be considered in the assessment of episodic memory breakdown applying the newly proposed research criteria for the diagnosis of AD.