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Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Among Those at High Risk

Researchers report children of Alzheimer’s patients who are carriers of a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease have neurological changes that are detectable long before clinical symptoms may appear.

Functional MRI brain imaging revealed that these symptomless carriers of the APOE-4 gene demonstrated significantly reduced functional brain connectivity between the hippocampus and the posterior cingulated cortex, two important brain structures for memory processing.

These structures are relevant for information acquisition, filtering and sorting.

The study, conducted by Medical College of Wisconsin researchers in Milwaukee was led by Shi Jiang Li, Ph.D., and presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease in Chicago, July 29th.

“Just as if cancer could be detected when there were only a few cells, decades before it was evident, the advantage of identifying those at great risk for having Alzheimer’s would be of tremendous value in development of interventional therapies,” says Dr. Li.

The researchers studied 28 neurologically-normal subjects, between ages 45 and 65. Twelve carried the APOE-4 gene and 16 did not. The two groups showed no significant difference in age, educational level, or neuropsychological performances. All subjects received fMRI scans.

For each subject, functional connectivity between the two brain structures was measured in a resting state.

Results showed that functional connectivity in the non APOE-4 carriers was approximately 65 percent better than that of the carriers.

Source: Medical College of Wisconsin

Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Among Those at High Risk

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Among Those at High Risk. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 17, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/07/31/early-detection-of-alzheimers-among-those-at-high-risk/2675.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.