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Keywords:

  • cognition;
  • affect;
  • MCI (mild cognitive impairment)

Objective

Disturbances of affect expression and perception, as well as accuracy of predicting memory difficulties, have been reported in various brain dysfunctional groups. Screening tests of higher cerebral functions seldom sample these dimensions. The goal of this study was to determine if patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) of the amnestic type would demonstrate impairments in these domains, as well as show expected memory deficits.

Methods

Thirty-nine French-speaking patients with a clinical diagnosis of MCI were compared with 39 age- and education-matched normal functioning individuals on the French translation of the Barrow Neurological Institute Screen for Higher Cerebral Functions (BNIS). Patients and controls also made subjective ratings regarding their cognitive and affective functioning in everyday life.

Results

Patients with MCI performed significantly worse than controls on the BNIS subtests sampling memory, orientation, affect expression and perception, and accurate prediction of memory performance. They did not differ on other subtests of the BNIS, as predicted. Poor self-awareness (i.e., inaccurate prediction of the number of words one could recall after distraction) correlated with self-reported deficits in several areas of cognitive and affective functioning.

Conclusion

This sample of MCI patients demonstrated disturbances not only in memory but also in self-awareness and affect expression and perception on the BNIS. These dimensions should be included in the neuropsychological assessment of patients suspected of MCI. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.