The structure of a neuropsychological battery across healthy elders and those with questionable dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

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Alzheimer’s disease, questionable dementia, cognition, structural equation modeling, invariance


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and a series of confirmatory factor analyses were conducted on 17 variables designed to assess different cognitive abilities in a sample of healthy older adults. In the EFA, 4 factors emerged corresponding to language, memory, processing speed, and fluid ability constructs. The results of the confirmatory factor analyses suggested that a 5-factor model with an additional Attention factor improved the fit. The invariance of the 5-factor model was examined across 3 groups: a group of cognitively healthy older adults, a group of patients diagnosed with questionable dementia (QD), and a group of patients diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Results of the invariance analysis suggest that the model may have configural invariance across the 3 groups but not metric invariance. Specifically, preliminary analyses suggest that the memory construct may represent something different in the QD and AD groups as compared to the healthy older adult group, consistent with the underlying pathology in early AD.

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