Variable Details

Available Studies

ROS, MAP, MARS, Clinical Core, LATC


Not Scaled

Variable Type 


Variable Name 



Clinical Diagnosis

Clinical cognitive diagnosis summary
Clinical diagnosis of cognitive status (Alzheimer's dementia, other dementia, MCI, or no impairment)

A clinical diagnosis of cognitive status is rendered at every assessment based on a three-stage process including computer scoring of cognitive tests, clinical judgment by a neuropsychologist, and diagnostic classification by a clinician.

All participants undergo a uniform, structured, clinical evaluation including a battery of 19 cognitive tests. These tests were scored by computer using a decision tree designed to mimic clinical judgment and a rating of severity of impairment was given for 5 cognitive domains. A neuropsychologist, blinded to participant demographics, reviews the impairment ratings and other clinical information and renders a clinical judgment regarding the presence of impairment and dementia. A clinician (neurologist, geriatrician, or geriatric nurse practitioner) then reviews all available data and examines the participant and renders a final diagnostic classification.

Clinical diagnosis of dementia and clinical Alzheimer’s dementia are based on criteria of the joint working group of the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association (NINCDS/ADRDA). The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s dementia requires evidence of a meaningful decline in cognitive function relative to a previous level of performance with impairment in memory and at least one other area of cognition.

Diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is rendered for persons who are judged to have cognitive impairment by the neuropsychologist but are judged to not meet criteria for dementia by the clinician.

Persons diagnosed with MCI or Alzheimer’s dementia may also be diagnosed with another condition that contributes to their cognitive impairment (CI).

Persons without dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are categorized as having no cognitive impairment (NCI).

Value Coding
1 NCI: No cognitive impairment
2 MCI: Mild cognitive impairment, no other condition contributing to CI
3 MCI+: Mild cognitive impairment AND another condition contributing to CI
4 AD: Alzheimer’s dementia, no other condition contributing to CI (NINCDS/ADRDA Probable AD)
5 AD+: Alzheimer’s dementia AND other condition contributing to CI (NINCDS/ADRDA Possible AD)
6 Other dementia: Other primary cause of dementia, no clinical evidence of Alzheimer’s dementia