Background: Episodic memory testing is fundamental for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although the Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test (FCSRT) is widely used for this purpose, it may not be sensitive enough for early detection of subtle decline in preclinical AD. The Memory Binding Test (MBT) intends to overcome this limitation.
Objectives: To analyze the test-retest reliability of the MBT and its convergent validity with the FCRST.
Methods: 36 cognitively healthy participants of the ALFA Study, aged 45 to 65, were included for the test-retest study and 69 for the convergent analysis. They were visited twice in a period of 6 ± 2 weeks. Test-retest reliability was determined by the calculation of the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC). Score differences were studied by computing the mean percentage of score variation between visits and visualized by Bland-Altman plots. Convergent validity was determined by Pearson's correlations.
Results: ICC values in the test-retest reliability analysis of the MBT direct scores ranged from 0.64 to 0.76. Subjects showed consistent practice effects, with mean amounts of score increasing between 10% and 26%. Pearson correlation between MBT and FCSRT direct scores showed r values between 0.40 and 0.53. The FCSRT displayed ceiling effects not observed in the MBT.
Conclusions: The MBT shows adequate test-retest reliability and overall moderate convergent validity with the FCSRT. Unlike the FCSRT, the MBT does not have ceiling effects and it may therefore be especially useful in longitudinal studies, facilitating the measurement of subtle memory performance decline and the detection of very early AD.