The diagnostic accuracy of the German version of the revised Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE-R) in identifying mild cognitive impairment (MCI), mild dementia in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild dementia in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) in comparison with the conventional Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) was assessed.
The study encompasses 76 cognitively healthy elderly individuals, 75 patients with MCI, 56 with AD and 22 with FTLD. ACE-R and MMSE were validated against an expert diagnosis based on a comprehensive diagnostic procedure. Statistical analysis was performed using the receiver operating characteristic method and regression analyses.
The optimal cut-off score for the ACE-R for detecting MCI, AD, and FTLD was 86/87, 82/83 and 83/84, respectively. ACE-R was superior to MMSE only in the detection of patients with FTLD [area under the curve (AUC): 0.97 vs. 0.92], whilst the accuracy of the two instruments did not differ in identifying MCI and AD. The ratio of the scores of the memory ACE-R subtest to verbal fluency subtest contributed significantly to the discrimination between AD and FTLD (optimal cut-off score: 2.30/2.31, AUC: 0.77), whereas the MMSE and ACE-R total scores did not.
The German ACE-R is superior to the most commonly employed MMSE in detecting mild dementia in FTLD and in the differential diagnosis between AD and FTLD. Thus it might serve as a valuable instrument as part of a comprehensive diagnostic workup in specialist centres/clinics contributing to the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of the cause of dementia.