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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2013;35(5-6):291-9. doi: 10.1159/000347203. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Impaired visual recognition memory predicts Alzheimer's disease in amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

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  • 1Service de Neurologie et Neuropsychologie, APHM, CHU Timone, Marseille, France. mira.didic@ap-hm.fr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In the common form of Alzheimer's disease (AD), neurofibrillary tangles, which are associated with cognitive dysfunction, initially develop in the anterior subhippocampal (perirhinal/entorhinal) cortex before reaching the hippocampus. This area plays a key role in visual recognition memory (VRM). Impaired VRM could therefore be an early marker of AD.

METHODS:

An extensive neuropsychological assessment including VRM tasks was performed in 26 patients with single-domain amnestic mild cognitive impairment at baseline. We evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of neuropsychological tests using ROC curve analyses in a prospective longitudinal study until conversion to probable AD or with a follow-up of at least 6 years.

RESULTS:

VRM performance predicted conversion to AD with a sensitivity of 80% and a specificity of 90.9%. Combining the assessment of VRM with a verbal memory task increased diagnostic accuracy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cognitive 'biomarkers' evaluating the function of brain areas that are the target of degenerative change should be considered for the early diagnosis of AD.

Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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