This study's aims were (a) to examine kinematically the handwriting process of persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), compared with those with mild Alzheimer's disease and healthy controls; (b) to assess the importance of these measures for the differentiation of the groups; and (c) to assess characteristics of the handwriting process across different functional tasks. Thirty-one persons with MCI, 22 with mild Alzheimer's disease, and 41 healthy controls performed functional tasks while using a computerized system. We found significant differences between the groups in almost all measures, with the MCI group assuming a position between the other groups. Temporal measures were higher and pressure was lower in more cognitively deteriorated groups. Information gathered about kinematic measures, together with cognitive functioning, allowed us to classify 69% to 72% of the participants correctly, although the classification for the MCI group was relatively poor.

Published in: Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 2006, 61(B), 228-236.