Memory Binding Test Predicts Incident Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment

Wenzhu B. Mowrey, Richard B. Lipton, Mindy J. Katz, Wendy S. Ramratan, David A. Loewenstein, Molly E. Zimmerman, Herman Buschke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: The Memory Binding Test (MBT), previously known as Memory Capacity Test, has demonstrated discriminative validity for distinguishing persons with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and dementia from cognitively normal elderly. Objective: We aimed to assess the predictive validity of the MBT for incident aMCI. Methods: In a longitudinal, community-based study of adults aged 70, we administered the MBT to 246 cognitively normal elderly adults at baseline and followed them annually. Based on previous work, a subtle reduction in memory binding at baseline was defined by a Total Items in the Paired (TIP) condition score of ≤22 on the MBT. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the predictive validity of the MBT for incident aMCI accounting for the effects of covariates. The hazard ratio of incident aMCI was also assessed for different prediction time windows ranging from 4 to 7 years of follow-up, separately. Results: Among 246 controls who were cognitively normal at baseline, 48 developed incident aMCI during follow-up. A baseline MBT reduction was associated with an increased risk for developing incident aMCI (hazard ratio (HR)=2.44, 95 confidence interval: 1.304.56, p=0.005). When varying the prediction window from 47 years, the MBT reduction remained significant for predicting incident aMCI (HR range: 2.333.12, p: 0.00070.04). Conclusion: Persons with poor performance on the MBT are at significantly greater risk for developing incident aMCI. High hazard ratios up to seven years of follow-up suggest that the MBT is sensitive to early disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1585-1595
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Memory
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Preclinical
  • Survival analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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