Memory and language cognitive data harmonization across the United States and Mexico

Miguel Arce Rentería, Emily M. Briceño, Diefei Chen, Joseph Saenz, Lindsay C. Kobayashi, Christopher Gonzalez, Jet M.J. Vonk, Richard N. Jones, Jennifer J. Manly, Rebeca Wong, David Weir, Kenneth M. Langa, Alden L. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: We used cultural neuropsychology-informed procedures to derive and validate harmonized scores representing memory and language across population-based studies in the United States and Mexico. METHODS: Data were from the Health and Retirement Study Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol (HRS-HCAP) and the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) Ancillary Study on Cognitive Aging (Mex-Cog). We statistically co-calibrated memory and language domains and performed differential item functioning (DIF) analysis using a cultural neuropsychological approach. We examined relationships among harmonized scores, age, and education. RESULTS: We included 3170 participants from the HRS-HCAP (Mage = 76.6 [standard deviation (SD): 7.5], 60% female) and 2042 participants from the Mex-Cog (Mage = 68.1 [SD: 9.0], 59% female). Five of seven memory items and one of twelve language items demonstrated DIF by study. Harmonized memory and language scores showed expected associations with age and education. DISCUSSION: A cultural neuropsychological approach to harmonization facilitates the generation of harmonized measures of memory and language function in cross-national studies. HIGHLIGHTS: We harmonized memory and language scores across studies in the United States and Mexico. A cultural neuropsychological approach to data harmonization was used. Harmonized scores showed minimal measurement differences between cohorts. Future work can use these harmonized scores for cross-national studies of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12478
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • cognitive aging
  • cross-cultural
  • cultural neuropsychology
  • harmonization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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