The Utility of Cognitive Screeners in the Detection of Dementia Spectrum Disorders in Spanish-Speaking Populations

Shanna L. Burke, Adrienne Grudzien, Aaron Burgess, Miriam J. Rodriguez, Yesenia Rivera, David Loewenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Increasing rates of dementia spectrum disorders among Spanish-speaking geriatric populations necessitate the development of culturally appropriate cognitive screening tests that can identify neurodegenerative disorders in their earliest stages when emerging disease-modifying treatments are most likely to be effective. This scoping review identified 26 brief Spanish language cognitive screening tools (<20 minutes) by searching academic databases using a combination of search terms. Results suggest that the Mini-Mental Status Examination and Montreal Cognitive Assessment appear to be less valid than other screeners. Instruments such as the 7-Minute Screen and Mini-Cog evidence higher classification rates of dementia, while Phototest detected mild cognitive impairment at higher rates more consistently than other screeners. Different sensitivity and specificity outcomes and cutoffs were observed when the same cognitive screener was evaluated in different countries. Results indicate that it is imperative to increase nation-specific validation and normative data for these instruments to best serve diverse populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer disease
  • cognitive screening
  • cognitive testing
  • elderly individuals
  • Mini-Mental State Examination
  • neuropsychological testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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