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Age-Associated Memory Loss: Initial Neuropsychological and Cerebral Metabolic Findings of a Longitudinal Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 January 2005

Gary W. Small
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, U.S.A. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, West Los Angeles, U.S.A.
Anna Okonek
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, U.S.A.
Mark A. Mandelkern
Affiliation:
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, West Los Angeles, U.S.A. Department of Physics, University of California, Irvine, California, U.S.A.
Asenath La Rue
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, U.S.A.
Linda Chang
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, U.S.A. Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
Ali Khonsary
Affiliation:
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, West Los Angeles, U.S.A.
James R. Ropchan
Affiliation:
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, West Los Angeles, U.S.A.
William H. Blahd
Affiliation:
Department of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, U.S.A. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, West Los Angeles, U.S.A.

Abstract

To determine the relationships between clinical and brain function in persons with a familial risk for Alzheimer's disease, the authors assessed subjective and objective cognitive abilities, mood state, and cerebral glucose metabolism (using positron emission tomography) in 43 persons with age-associated memory impairment, with and without first-degree relatives with a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Subjective complaints of memory loss, mood state ratings, and objective memory measures were similar in persons with a family history of Alzheimer's disease (n = 29) compared to those without such a history (n = 14). Metabolic ratios in the frontal regions correlated with a decrease in a specific type of subjective memory complaint (mnemonics usage; p < .001) and some mood state ratings. These results indicate that parietal and temporal hypometabolism is not evident in persons with mild age-related memory complaints, even when such subjects have a familial risk for Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, self-reports of mnemonics usage may be sensitive indicators of decreased frontal lobe function. Longitudinal study will determine whether such clinical and metabolic measures will predict eventual disease progression.

Type
Second Place 1993 IPA Research Awards in Psychogeriatrics
Copyright
© 1994 Springer Publishing Company

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