Cognitive Difficulties Can Predict Neurodegeneration, Study Finds

Cognitive Difficulties Can Predict Neurodegeneration, Study Finds
Researchers have found that amyloid, the protein that forms toxic aggregates, or clumps in the brain and is thought to be involved in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), accumulates faster in people with subtle cognitive difficulties compared with cognitively normal people. These findings suggest that measurements of mild cognitive impairment may be a sensitive and noninvasive predictor of neurodegeneration. The study, “Objective subtle cognitive difficulties predict amyloid accumulation and neurodegeneration,” was published in Neurology. Amyloid accumulation is a key characteristic of Alzheimer's and is associated with the cognitive decline and neurodegeneration observed in this patient population. However, it is not well understood how early in the disease amyloid starts to build up and how much it accounts for Alzheimer's symptoms. Generally, Alzheimer's disease gradually progresses in stages characterized by the increase of amyloid plaques in the brain and eventually nerve cell death. It is possible to identify early stages of Alzheimer's before severe symptoms of the disease and amyloid p
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