Dementia: A correlational study on the severity of dementia and visuospatial examinations in the WAIS-R
Fuqua, Mackenzie G.
Dementia affects over 54 million Americans each year. and those affected can only obtain a confirmed diagnosis post-mortem (Alzheimer's Association, 2012). It is important to be able to use psychometric tests to attempt an accurate diagnosis during life for those affected, thus tests such as the WAIS-R (Weschler, 1987) are necessary in assessing the life needs of dementia afflicted subjects. An aspect of the neuropegeneration that defines dementia is the decline in spatial awareness, or visuospatial intelligence (i.e. driving to the store and back, doing a puzzle, deductive visual reasoning). The WAIS-R was administered to 60 subjects, 9 being controls, 21 obtaining a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 30 obtaining a diagnosis of dementia (undifferentiated) and data pertaining to visuospatial memory from each of the subjects was obtained and analyzed using a correlational statistic. The data indicated there was a relationship between the severity of dementia and the farther the decline of visuospatial memory. It was especially significant between subjects in the MCI group and the demented group suggesting that visuospatial memory is affected later in the course of dementia.
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