Scores Obtained from a Simple Cognitive Test of Visuospatial Episodic Memory Performed Decades before Death Are Associated with the Ultimate Presence of Alzheimer Disease Pathology

Andrew C. Robinson, Roseanne McNamee, Yvonne S. Davidson, Michael Horan, Julie S. Snowden, Lynn McInnes, Neil Pendleton, David M. A. Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: Community- or population-based longitudinal studies of cognitive ability with a brain donation end point offer an opportunity to examine relationships between pathology and cognitive state prior to death. Discriminating the earliest signs of dementing disorders, such as Alzheimer disease (AD), is necessary to undertake early interventions and treatments.

Methods: The neuropathological profile of brains donated from The University of Manchester Longitudinal Study of Cognition in Normal Healthy Old Age, including CERAD (Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease) and Braak stage, was assessed by immunohistochemistry. Cognitive test scores collected 20 years prior to death were correlated with the extent of AD pathology present at death.

Results: Baseline scores from the Memory Circle test had the ability to distinguish between individuals who developed substantial AD pathology and those with no, or low, AD pathology. Predicted test scores at the age of 65 years also discriminated between these pathology groups. The addition of APOE genotype further improved the discriminatory ability of the model.

Conclusions: The results raise the possibility of identifying individuals at future risk of the neuropathological changes associated with AD over 20 years before death using a simple cognitive test. This work may facilitate early interventions, therapeutics and treatments for AD by identifying at-risk and minimally affected (in pathological terms) individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-90
Number of pages12
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Volume2018
Issue number45
Early online date25 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

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