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Alzheimers Dement. 2014 Jan;10(1):84-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2013.01.004. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

The neuropsychology of normal aging and preclinical Alzheimer's disease.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Scottsdale, AZ, USA. Electronic address: caselli.richard@mayo.edu.
2
Division of Psychology, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Scottsdale, AZ, USA.
3
Department of Biostatistics, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Scottsdale, AZ, USA.
4
Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN, USA.
5
Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Scottsdale, AZ, USA.
6
Department of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville, FL, USA.
7
Banner Alzheimer's Institute, Phoenix, AZ, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

A National Institute on Aging-sponsored work group on preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD) articulated the need to characterize cognitive differences between normal aging and preclinical AD.

METHODS:

Seventy-one apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 homozygotes, 194 ε3/ε4 heterozygotes, and 356 ε4 noncarriers age 21 to 87 years who were cognitively healthy underwent neuropsychological testing every 2 years. Longitudinal trajectories of test scores were compared between APOE subgroups.

RESULTS:

There was a significant effect of age on all cognitive domains in both APOE ε4 carriers and noncarriers. A significant effect of APOE ε4 gene dose was confined to the memory domain and the Dementia Rating Scale. Cross-sectional comparisons did not discriminate the groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although cognitive aging patterns are similar in APOE ε4 carriers and noncarriers, preclinical AD is characterized by a significant ε4 gene dose effect that impacts memory and is detectable longitudinally. Preclinical neuropsychological testing strategies should emphasize memory-sensitive measures and longitudinal design.

KEYWORDS:

Age-related memory loss; Apolipoprotein E; Cognitive aging; Longitudinal testing; Mild cognitive impairment; Preclinical Alzheimer's disease

PMID:
23541188
PMCID:
PMC3700591
DOI:
10.1016/j.jalz.2013.01.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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