Development and validation of language and visuospatial composite scores in ADNI

Introduction: Composite scores may be useful to summarize overall language or visuospatial functioning in studies of older adults.
Methods: We used item response theory to derive composite measures for language (ADNI-Lan) and visuospatial functioning (ADNI-VS) from the cognitive battery administered in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). We evaluated the scores among groups of people with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in terms of responsiveness to change, association with imaging findings, and ability to differentiate between MCI participants who progressed to AD dementia and those who did not progress.
Results: ADNI-Lan and ADNI-VS were able to detect change over time and predict conversion from MCI to AD. They were associated with most of the pre-specified magnetic resonance imaging measures. ADNI-Lan had strong associations with a cerebrospinal fluid biomarker pattern.
Discussion: ADNI-Lan and ADNI-VS may be useful composites for language and visuospatial functioning in ADNI.