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Wechsler Memory Scale IV (WMS-IV)
Please visit this website for more information about the instrument: Wechsler Memory Scale IV
Author: David Wechsler
Supplemental: Cerebral Palsy (CP), Mitochondrial Disease (Mito) and Myalgic encephalomyelitis/Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)
Short Description of Instrument
The Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS-IV) is a neuropsychological test designed to measure different memory functions in a person. The WMS-IV also incorporates an optional cognitive exam (Brief Cognitive Status Exam) to assess global cognitive functioning in people with suspected memory deficits or those who have been diagnosed with various neural, psychiatric, and/or developmental disorders. This may include forms of dementia and some forms of learning disabilities.
The test is normed for use in individuals aged 16 to 90.11 years. The test provides standard score index scores for auditory memory, visual memory, and visual working memory, and provides assessment of both immediate recall and delayed recall. Additional optional subtests also provide assessment of process items like performance on recognition trials, allowing assessment of the contribution of encoding vs. retrieval problems, with scaled scores and cumulative percentage scores provided.
It is a very useful instrument when the goal of a research study is to look at overall indices of general cognitive function. including attention, working memory, processing speed, and learning. There is a short form of the scale that can be used to minimize the fatiguing efforts for ME/CFS patients.
Administration time is 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the number of subtests administered.
Scoring and Psychometric Properties
Scoring: The scale is scored either manually or using computer software program. The WMS-IV includes several subscales that are very useful in providing additional and supporting information to that gathered using the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS IV) and the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT II).
Mitochondrial Disease-Specific:
Strengths: While this test has not been specifically researched in populations with mitochondrial disease, the components of the test are comprehensive and provide assessment of a variety of memory-related functions that may potentially be affected in mitochondrial disease. The measure includes a brief cognitive status (orientation) examination in addition to measures of attention/ working memory and verbal and nonverbal memory. Subtests like the Logical Memory (narrative memory) and Designs (visual/spatial memory) are very similar in format to subtests on the NEPSY-II, allowing these subtests to be used in longitudinal studies. This version of the battery has been modified to minimize fine motor demands, to reduce administration time and associated potentially limiting fatigue effects, and to modify test materials to limit impact of visual impairment. The test is co-normed with the WAIS-IV and the CVLT-II, allowing ease of comparison across longer clinical test batteries. The factor structure has been demonstrated to be robust in both control and clinically depressed populations (Pauls et al., 2013).
Weaknesses: Working memory and narrative memory subtest performance differentiates individuals with early onset vs. late onset Friedreich Ataxia from one another (Nieto et al., 2013). Specific studies are otherwise not available.
Key Reference:
Additional References:
Baker GA, Austin NA, Downes JJ. Validation of the Wechsler Memory Scale-III in a population of people with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsy Res. 2003 Mar;53(3):201-6.
Cockshell SJ, Mathias JL. Cognitive functioning in chronic fatigue syndrome: a meta-analysis. Psychol Med. 2010 Aug;40(8):1253-67.
Nieto A, Correia R, de Nobrega E, Monton F, Barroso J. Cognition in late-onset Friedreich ataxia. Cerebellum. 2013 Aug;12(4):504-12.
Pauls F, Petermann F, Lepach AC. Memory assessment and depression: testing for factor structure and measurement invariance of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Fourth Edition across a clinical and matched control sample. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2013;35(7):702-17.
Document last updated March 2024
Recommended Instrument for
CP, ME/CFS, Mito