Luria's three-step test: What is it and what does it tell us?

Myron F. Weiner, Linda S. Hynan, Heidi Rossetti, Jed Falkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study is to determine if the three-step Luria test is useful for differentiating between cognitive disorders. Methods: A retrospective record review of performance on the three-step Luria test was conducted on 383 participants from a university-based dementia clinic. The participants ranged in their diagnosis from frontotemporal dementia (FTD; n = 43), Alzheimer disease (AD; n = 153), mild cognitive impairment (MCI; n = 56), and normal controls (NC; n = 131). Performance of the Luria test was graded as normal or abnormal. Results: An abnormal test occurred in 2.3% of NC, 21.4% of MCI, 69.8% of FTD, and 54.9% of AD subjects. The frequency of abnormal tests in all diagnostic groups increased with functional impairment as assessed by the Clinical Dementia Rating scale (CDR). When CDR = 3 (severe), 100% of the FTD and 72.2% of the AD subjects had abnormal Luria tests. Conclusions: The three-step Luria test distinguished NC and persons with MCI from FTD and AD, but did not distinguish FTD from AD subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1602-1606
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Luria test
  • frontotemporal dementia
  • mild cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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