Cognitive tests can detect early Alzheimer’s disease in older adults without symptoms according to a new study. | Neuropsychology Review | via ScienceDaily
A new study led by Duke Han, suggests that cognitive tests are able to detect early Alzheimer’s in people without symptoms. Han and his colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 61 studies to explore whether neuropsychological tests can identify early Alzheimer’s disease in adults over 50 with normal cognition.
The study, which was published in Neuropsychology Review, found that people who had amyloid plaques performed worse on neuropsychological tests of global cognitive function, memory, language, visuospatial ability, processing speed and attention/working memory/executive function than people who did not have amyloid plaques.
The study also found that people with tau pathology or neurodegeneration performed worse on memory tests than people with amyloid plaques. Amyloid plaques and tau pathology were confirmed by PET scan or cerebrospinal fluid analysis.
Han believes that the study results provide a solid argument for incorporating cognitive testing into routine, annual checkups for older people.
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Article reference: S. Duke Han et al. Detectable Neuropsychological Differences in Early Preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease: A Meta-Analysis. Neuropsychology Review, 2017