Preliminary Evidence Demonstrating the Utility of the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence-Second Edition (WASI-II) in the Neurocognitive Assessment of Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Samuel Thomas Gontkovsky Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare
  • Joseph J. Ryan
  • David S. Kreiner
  • Gordon Teichner


Although memory deterioration is the primary symptom of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), this may not be the first/only deficit of the disorder, necessitating more comprehensive assessment of neuropsychological functioning. This study examined the usefulness of the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence-Second Edition (WASI-II) in the neurocognitive assessment of AD. Participants were 68 individuals classified into AD, depression, and healthy comparison groups administered the WASI-II as part of an outpatient clinical neuropsychological evaluation. Patients with AD obtained significantly lower scores on the WASI-II relative to the standardization sample as well as healthy comparison and depressed participants. Classification accuracy statistics and receiver operating characteristics curve analyses revealed the WASI-II generally showed a moderate degree of diagnostic efficacy at best, with scores on the Full Scale IQ and Block Design subtest being the most effective discriminative measures. Results support the utility of the WASI-II in the neurocognitive evaluation of AD. Findings provide preliminary evidence to suggest the scale is sensitive to the neurocognitive sequelae of the disease and that scores may clarify whether significant intellectual deterioration is part of the presenting clinical picture.

Neuropsychological Assessment