Difficulty in Identifying Subtle Image Differences May Hint at Future Likelihood of Alzheimer’s, Researchers Suggest

Difficulty in Identifying Subtle Image Differences May Hint at Future Likelihood of Alzheimer’s, Researchers Suggest
People who have trouble detecting details in a test with figures may be at increased risk of Alzheimer's disease later in life, according to a new study. This finding suggests that subtle changes in cognition may be identified long before more common symptoms of Alzheimer’s appear. The study, “Family History of Alzheimer's Disease is Associated with Impaired Perceptual Discrimination of Novel Objects," appeared in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Clinical manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease can take years to become fully visible, noted Emily Mason, a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Neurological Surgery at Kentucky's University of Louisville. "Right now, by the time we can detect the disease, it would be very difficult to restore function because so much damage has been done to the brain," Mason, PhD, the study’s first author, said in a news release. "We want to be able to look at really early, really subtle changes that are going on in the brain. One way we can do that is with cognitive testing that is directed at a very specific area of the brain." In their study, researchers tested how adults 40 to 60 years old with normal cognition, but at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease due to family history, performed in a cognitive task known to activate a brain area called the perirhinal cortex. Res
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