Having Parent or Sibling with Alzheimer’s Linked to Poorer Verbal, Memory Skills in People Taking ‘MindCrowd’ Test

Having Parent or Sibling with Alzheimer’s Linked to Poorer Verbal, Memory Skills in People Taking ‘MindCrowd’ Test
Regardless of sex, people younger than age 65 who have a first-degree relative with Alzheimer’s disease generally showed poorer verbal and memory skills on a web-based test than their peers without this family history, a study's results show. The study, “Family history of Alzheimer’s disease alters cognition and is modified by medical and genetic factors” was published in the journal eLife. Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (Tgen), the Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative, and the University of Arizona created MindCrowd, a web-based tool that can assess cognitive skills using a word-pair memory test (known as a paired-associated learning task or PAL). Paired-associated learning is dependent on a region of the brain (known as the medial temporal lobe) that is affected early in the course of Alzheimer’s disease, and also altered in the normal aging process. The MindCrowd study began in 2013, and to date more than 115,000 people worldwide have completed the study's assessment. Here, researchers analyzed of 59,571 of those participants (62.46% female and 37.54% male), between 18 to 85 years old, accounting for one of the largest studies evaluating healthy brain function so far. As family history is a key risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers tested the effects of family history on participants' memory. Family history was determined by a participant acknowledging to have a parent or sibling
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