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Canadian Study of Health and Aging
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Clinical Examination

The clinical examination in CSHA-1 and 2 included the following components:

1. A nurse administered the 3MS, tested hearing and vision, recorded vital signs, height and weight, collected information on medications and then obtained the subject's medical and family history from a relative;

2. A physician took a medical history and performed a neurological examination;

3. A psychometrist administered neuropsychological tests to all subjects deemed testable (3MS score over 50). The results were later interpreted by a neuropsychologist;

4. The physician and neuropsychologist independently made preliminary diagnoses and then met with the nurse to reach a consensus diagnosis according to the following criteria:

Diagnostic classification:

The DSM-III-R criteria were used to classify people as demented or not. Differential diagnoses used the NINCDS-ADRDA and DSM-IV criteria for Alzheimer's disease; the ICD-10 and the NINDS-AIREN criteria were used to define vascular dementia; operational criteria for Lewy body dementia were taken from McKeith et al. Those without dementia were classified as cognitively impaired but not demented (“CIND”), or as cognitively normal. Reisberg's Global Deterioration Scale was used for rating cognitive and functional capacity in all diagnoses.

These diagnoses formed the basis for estimating the prevalence and incidence of dementia, and served as the case definition for the risk factor studies.

The Impact of Demographic Changes on the Annual Incidence of Dementia, by 10 year age groups

Content of the CSHA clinical assessment:

Data Collected
Evaluation by Nurse
Cognitive screen
3MS (1)
Vital signs
Hearing, Vision
Blood pressure
Medication use
Inspect medications
Functioning and frailty
ADL questions (2)
Mobility (3)
Balance (4)
Geriatric Depression Scale (5)
Alcohol use (6)
Service use
Informant Interview
Cognitive history
CAMDEX history questions (7)
Physician Assessment
ICD coding of coexisting disease
Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (9)
Release signs
Cranial nerves
Motor system
Sensory system
Global Deterioration Scale
Likert Scale for Frailty
Differential Dx
B12, folate, CBC, glucose, VDRL
Genetic screen
CT Scan


(1) Teng EL, Chui HC. (1987). The Modified Mini-Mental State (3MS) Examination. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 48, 314-318.

(2) Fillenbaum, GG, Smyer, MA. (1981). The development, validity, and reliability of the OARS Multidimensional Functional Assessment Questionnaire. Journal of Gerontology, 36, 428-434.

(3) Podsiadlo D, Richardson S. (1991). The Timed "Up & Go": a test of basic functional mobility for frail elderly persons. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 39, 142-148.

(4) Weiner DK, et al. (1992). Functional reach: a marker of physical frailty. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 40, 203-207.

(5) Yesavage JA. (1988). Geriatric Depression Scale. Psychopharmacology Bulletin, 24, 709-710.

(6) Ewing JA. (1984). Detecting alcoholism: the CAGE questionnaire. Journal of the American Medical Association, 252, 1905-1907.

(7) Roth M., et al. (1988). CAMDEX: the Cambridge examination for mental disorders of the elderly. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

(8) Crockett D, et al. (1989). The assessment of everyday functioning using the Present Functioning Questionnaire and the Functional Rating Scale in elderly samples. Clinical Gerontologist, 8, 3-25.

(9) World Health Organization. (1976). Manual of the international statistical classification of diseases, injuries and causes of death, ninth revision. Geneva: World Health Organization.

(10) Conwell Y, et al. (1993). Validation of a measure of physical illness burden at autopsy: the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 41, 38-41.


Download the Clinical Examination Form (PDF format 179KB)Download the Clinical Examination Form (PDF format 179KB)

Download the Consensus Diagnosis Form (PDF format 174 KB)Download the Consensus Diagnosis Form (PDF format 174 KB)

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