Typical daily tasks may not seem like the type that require high brain function. However, activities within our daily routine, which include paying the bills, going to appointments, and even driving -- all of which are known as "instrumental activities" -- are directly linked to optimal performance in specific portions of the brain that are typically diminished in Alzheimer's patients, according to a new study.
The study, which appeared in this month's issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, entitled, "Decline in Daily Functioning Related to Decreased Brain Activity in Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease," was conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), who sought to find a link between these instrumental activities and how they directly relate to brain activity (which is measured in terms of FDG metabolism). In order to accomplish this, they accessed data from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database, which BWH has been compiling over the past ten years through an ongoing multi-center study.
Brain activity changes have already been measured metabolically using a unique nuclear medicine scan known as 18F-Flourodeoxy glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET). In order to further associate these measured brain activity changes with the o