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Validation of Indian Council of Medical Research Neurocognitive Tool Box in Diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment in India: Lessons from a Harmonization Process in a Linguistically Diverse Society

  • Menon, Ramshekhar N.
  • Varghese, Feba
  • Paplikar, Avanthi
  • Mekala, Shailaja
  • Alladi, Suvarna
  • Sharma, Meenakshi
  • Aralikatte Onkarappa, Saroja
  • Gollahalli, Divyaraj
  • Dutt, Aparna
  • Ghosh, Amitabha
  • Dhaliwal, Rupinder Singh
  • Hooda, Roopa
  • Iyer, Gowri K.
  • Justus, Sunitha
  • Kandukuri, Rajmohan
  • Kaul, Subhash
  • Banu Khan, Arfa
  • Nandi, Ranita
  • Narayanan, Jwala
  • Nehra, Ashima
  • And 11 more
Published Article
Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
S. Karger AG
Publication Date
Jan 07, 2021
DOI: 10.1159/000512393
PMID: 33412549
External links


Background/Aims: In a linguistically diverse country such as India, challenges remain with regard to diagnosis of early cognitive decline among the elderly, with no prior attempts made to simultaneously validate a comprehensive battery of tests across domains in multiple languages. This study aimed to determine the utility of the Indian Council of Medical Research-Neurocognitive Tool Box (ICMR-NCTB) in the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and its vascular subtype (VaMCI) in 5 Indian languages. Methods: Literate subjects from 5 centers across the country were recruited using a uniform process, and all subjects were classified based on clinical evaluations and a gold standard test protocol into normal cognition, MCI, and VaMCI. Following adaptation and harmonization of the ICMR-NCTB across 5 different Indian languages into a composite Z score, its test performance against standards, including sensitivity and specificity of the instrument as well as of its subcomponents in diagnosis of MCI, was evaluated in age and education unmatched and matched groups. Results: Variability in sensitivity-specificity estimates was noted between languages when a total of 991 controls and 205 patients with MCI (157 MCI and 48 VaMCI) were compared due to a significant impact of age, education, and language. Data from a total of 506 controls, 144 patients with MCI, and 46 patients with VaMCI who were age- and education-matched were compared. Post hoc analysis after correction for multiple comparisons revealed better performance in controls relative to all-cause MCI. An optimum composite Z-score of −0.541 achieved a sensitivity of 81.1% and a specificity of 88.8% for diagnosis of all-cause MCI, with a high specificity for diagnosis of VaMCI. Using combinations of multiple-domain 2 test subcomponents retained a sensitivity and specificity of >80% for diagnosis of MCI. Conclusions: The ICMR-NCTB is a “first of its kind” approach at harmonizing neuropsychological tests across 5 Indian languages for the diagnosis of MCI due to vascular and other etiologies. Utilizing multiple-domain subcomponents also retains the validity of this instrument, making it a valuable tool in MCI research in multilingual settings.

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