BACKGROUND: Neurological abnormalities have been reported in people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). The current study aimed to examine the prevalence of neurological soft signs (NSS) in this clinical group and to examine the relationship of NSS to other neuropsychological performances.

METHODS: Twenty-nine people with aMCI and 28 cognitively healthy elderly people were recruited for the present study. The NSS subscales (motor coordination, sensory integration, and disinhibition) of the Cambridge Neurological Inventory and a set of neuropsychological tests were administered to all the participants.

RESULTS: People with aMCI exhibited significantly more motor coordination signs, disinhibition signs, and total NSS than normal controls. Correlation analysis showed that the motor coordination subscale score and total score of NSS were significantly inversely correlated with the combined Z-score of neuropsychological tests in aMCI group.

CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary findings suggested that people with aMCI demonstrated a higher prevalence of NSS compared to healthy elderly people. Moreover, NSS was found to be inversely correlated with the neuropsychological performances in persons with aMCI. When taken together, these findings suggested that NSS may play a potential important role and serve as a tool to assist in the early detection of aMCI.

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Published in Behavioral and Brain Functions, v. 8, 29.

© 2012 Li et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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