Retention weighted recall improves discrimination of Alzheimer's disease

Herman Buschke, Martin J. Sliwinski, Gail Kuslansky, Mindy Katz, Joe Verghese, Richard B. Lipton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Impaired recall for early items (primacy) and late items (recency) on word list recall tests are seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We compared conventional scoring on the Telephone Instrument for Cognitive Status (TICS) recall list with scorings based on retention-weighted recall (RWR: each item weighted by its serial position) in older adults participating in a community-based aging study. Subjects with mild AD (N = 18) did not differ from those without dementia (N= 231) with respect to recency (46% vs. 59%, p= 0.2), but had impaired primacy (2% vs. 39%, p < .001) on word recall on the TICS. RWR scoring improved the effect size (1.52 SD) compared to conventional scoring (1.08 SD). With a fixed sensitivity of 85%, specificity was lower using conventional scoring (56%) than RWR (76%) scoring. Our findings suggest that optimized RWR scoring of word list free recall can improve detection of mild AD compared to conventional scoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-440
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Aging
  • Dementia
  • Memory
  • Primacy
  • Recency
  • Serial Position

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Retention weighted recall improves discrimination of Alzheimer's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this