Active and passive P3 latency in dementia: Relationship to psychometric, electroencephalographic, and computed tomographic measures

Brian F. O'Donnell, Susan Friedman, Nancy K. Squires, Alan Maloon, David A. Drachman, Joan M. Swearer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

The clinical and psychometric correlates of P3 latency were investigated in demented (n = 30) and nondemented subjects (n = 20). The P3 response was evoked in auditory oddball paradigms with and without task demands. In one paradigm, the subject was required to actively count the rare target tones; in the other, a P3 response was passively evoked by rare, disparate tones unassociated with task demands. Only 17 of 30 demented patients could perform the counting task in the active P3 condition. The active and passive P3 responses were both prolonged in dementia. In the demented group, passive P3 response latency correlated with subtest results from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised and Wechsler Memory Scale, clinical disease severity, and electroencephalographic abnormalities, but not with the degree of atrophy seen on computed tomography scan. In the control group, active but not passive P3 latency was consistently correlated with psychometric performance. When the demented and control subjects were combined into a single group, passive and active P3 latency correlated with all psychometric measures. Despite the absence of task demands, passive P3 latency was related to the presence and severity of dementia. The active P3 response may be more closely associated with intellectual performance than the passive P3 response in nondemented older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-179
Number of pages16
JournalNeuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neurology
Volume3
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Dementia
  • P3 response
  • Psychometric tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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