Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel strategy shows promise for earlier detection of Alzheimer's disease

05.09.2018

Finding an effective way to identify people with mild cognitive impairment who are most likely to go on to develop Alzheimer's disease has eluded researchers for years. But now, a team of researchers led by David Loewenstein, Ph.D., director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Aging (CNSA) and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has devised a novel strategy that could do just that.

The study, "Utilizing Semantic Intrusions to Identify Amyloid Positivity in Mild Cognitive Impairment," funded by the National Institute on Aging, was published in the September issue of Neurology and earlier online.


Brain scans are one method used to measure the amount of amyloid in the brain, which may be a sign of mild cognitive impairment.

Credit: The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Along with study co-author Rosie E. Curiel, Psy.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and clinical neuropsychology, and their colleagues, Loewenstein studied 88 patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). They identified 34 people in this cohort with underlying, prodromal Alzheimer's disease (AD) by history and amyloid positive scans. Amyloid-beta is an abnormal protein in the brain long associated with the development of AD.

Among the 54 aMCI participants negative for amyloid-beta, 29 were classified as having a clinical course suggestive of AD but suspected non-AD pathology or "SNAP." The remaining 25 amyloid negative patients had major depression, anxiety or other psychiatric disorders; cerebral infarctions; diffuse Lewy Body disease, or other non-AD neurologic conditions.

The investigators predicted those at greatest risk for AD using the Loewenstein-Acevedo Scales for Semantic Interference and Learning (LASSI-L), a tool developed at the University of Miami. The LASSI-L allowed researchers to uncover specific memory deficits that aligned with imaging findings for abnormal brain amyloid accumulation.

"Developing more sensitive and effective measures to tap the earliest Alzheimer's changes in the brain is essential for providing earlier and more effective treatment, to better understand the neuropathology of the disease, and to monitor emerging interventions," said Loewenstein.

The LASSI-L measure is a novel "cognitive stress test" validated in both English and Spanish. Researchers ask patients to read 15 words. The words come from three categories -- fruits, musical instruments and articles of clothing -- of five words each. They ask participant to repeat the list of words, and then cue their recall by category. A second trial repeats this learning task and the cued recall to strengthen their recall.

Next researchers present a list of 15 different words from the same three categories. The patients are asked to recall these new words as a measure of "proactive semantic interference" (PSI). PSI occurs where there is interference in new learning based on previous learning and correlates with risk of developing AD.

Researchers also present the second word list a second time, and repeat the cued recall. This component of the LASSI-L measures how well people can recover from the proactive semantic interference. It's called failure to recover from PSI (frPSI) -- and a second indicator of AD risk.

A major finding outlined in the Neurology paper was that the amyloid-beta imaging-positive patients committed a significantly higher number of semantic intrusion errors -- specifically on the PSI and frPSI measures - compared to the SNAP and other non-AD patients.

Traditional cognitive measures to identify AD risk do not include PSI or frPSI, so the LASSI-L may represent a specific, non-invasive test that could successfully differentiate true AD from SNAP, the researchers noted.

"The association of the LASSI-L with amyloid positivity makes it useful in the clinical evaluation of preclinical Alzheimer's disease and for appropriate recruitment for clinical and prevention trials," Loewenstein said. "This also provides an effective and inexpensive way of screening at-risk populations."

The research is ongoing. Curiel received a new federal grant to computerize the LASSI-L and other novel cognitive measures. In addition, current studies are underway to compare progression on the LASSI-L to brain biomarkers such as MRI, fMRI and PET scans, as well as new agents that assess pathology in the brain.

"We are assisting our national and international institutional partners in developing this cognitive stress test for their investigations and clinical practice," Loewenstein said. "It is a goal of our Center for Cognitive Neurosciences and Aging and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to be at the forefront of these efforts."

Media Contact

Joanna Palmer
joanna.palmer@med.miami.edu
305-243-3018

http://www.med.miami.edu/ 

Joanna Palmer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://physician-news.umiamihealth.org/novel-strategy-shows-promise-for-earlier-detection-of-alzheimers-disease/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht When added to gene therapy, plant-based compound may enable faster, more effective treatments
18.10.2019 | Scripps Research Institute

nachricht Diabetes: A next-generation therapy soon available?
17.10.2019 | Université de Genève

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Solving the mystery of quantum light in thin layers

A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)

It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...

Im Focus: An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.

The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...

Im Focus: Shaping nanoparticles for improved quantum information technology

Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.

Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...

Im Focus: Novel Material for Shipbuilding

A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.

The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...

Im Focus: Controlling superconducting regions within an exotic metal

Superconductivity has fascinated scientists for many years since it offers the potential to revolutionize current technologies. Materials only become superconductors - meaning that electrons can travel in them with no resistance - at very low temperatures. These days, this unique zero resistance superconductivity is commonly found in a number of technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Future technologies, however, will harness the total synchrony of electronic behavior in superconductors - a property called the phase. There is currently a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

NEXUS 2020: Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics

02.10.2019 | Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Energy Flow in the Nano Range

18.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

MR-compatible Ultrasound System for the Therapeutic Application of Ultrasound

18.10.2019 | Medical Engineering

Double layer of graphene helps to control spin currents

18.10.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>