Dr. S.A.M. Sikkes
VU University Medical Center
Capturing changes in cognition: developing a measure for progression in dementia
Neuropsychological testing is burdensome to patients with dementia. However, it is necessary for establishing diagnoses and essential for the monitoring of disease progression. In clinical practice as well as in research, cognition is considered the key change to be observed in people with dementia.
The latter is of particular relevance in the evaluation of treatment effects. However, deciding whether a treatment is effective or not, is currently hampered by the fact that commonly used neuropsychological tests have quality limitations, were not designed to monitor disease progression and do not translate to everyday functioning. As a result, patients undergo extensive and inadequate neuropsychological testing.
To solve this problem, we hypothesize (I) that we can combine neuropsychological tests with an everyday functioning questionnaire into one composite measure. We aim to identify relevant and sensitive measures and create this novel composite measure. Next, we hypothesize that we can capture clinically relevant changes with this composite measure. We therefore aim to perform a longitudinal validation study.