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Objectives: Subjective memory complaints (SMC) in older adults are associated with a decline in everyday functioning and an increased risk for future cognitive decline. This study examines the effect of a memory strategy training compared to a control memory training on memory functioning in daily life. Methods: This was a randomized controlled trial with baseline, post-treatment, and 6-month follow-up assessments conducted in 60 older adults (50–87 years) with SMC. Participants were randomly assigned to either seven sessions of memory strategy training or seven sessions of control memory training. Both interventions were given in small groups and included psycho-education. Primary outcome measure was memory functioning in daily life. Objective measures of memory performance and self-reported measures of strategy use were included as secondary outcome measures. Results: Participants in each intervention group reported an improvement in personal memory goals (p<.0005), up to 6 months after training. An interaction effect showed that participants following memory strategy training reported a larger improvement in personal memory goals (p=.002). Both intervention groups improved on two memory tests (p<.001 and p<.01). In the memory strategy training group, an increase in strategy use in daily life was the strongest predictor (p<.05) of improvement in subjective memory functioning. Conclusions: Older adults with subjective memory complaints benefit from memory strategy training, especially in their memory functioning in daily life. (JINS, 2018, 24, 1110–1120)
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), amyloid β42(Aβ42), phosphorylated tau181 (p-tau), and total tau (t-tau) on cognitive functioning.
Methods: We analyzed the ability of the CSF biomarkers Aβ42, p-tau, and t-tau to predict the results on the Cambridge Cognitive Examination–Revised (CAMCOG-R), a cognitive screening test that assesses multiple cognitive domains, in 65 memory clinic patients (73.1±8.2 years) (n=30 probable Alzheimer's disease [AD], n=7 possible AD, n=12 non-AD dementia, n=16 mild cognitive impairment).
Results: We found no correlations between CSF biomarkers and CAMCOG-R performance in the whole group, nor in subgroups based on aberrant biomarker concentrations.
Discussion: Changed concentrations of CSF amyloid β42, p-tau, and t-tau cannot be directly linked to cognitive function in our sample of patients with cognitive impairment. Possibly, compensatory mechanisms such as cognitive reserve determine cognitive performance, rather than the absolute amount of damage caused by Aβ deposition and tangle formation. In addition, abnormal CSF biomarker concentrations may not be a direct reflection of the amount of neuronal damage, but merely serve as an indicator of AD pathology.
Conclusion: While CSF biomarkers are valuable in establishing AD pathology, they cannot be used to predict severity of cognitive impairment.
Background: White matter hyperintensities (WMH) have frequently been associated with lower executive function performance. Little is known, however, about the effects of hippocampal atrophy on executive control in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The present study focused on the association of hippocampal atrophy with executive function in AD patients and examined whether a threshold effect is present, indicating that a certain amount of brain damage must be present before cognitive function becomes impaired. Finally, we examined the combined effect of hippocampal atrophy and WMH on cognitive task performance.
Methods: We retrospectively collected neuropsychological and neuroimaging data of 94 AD patients. These patients completed tasks of general cognitive function, executive function, memory, and processing speed. With magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), hippocampal atrophy was rated as medial temporal lobe atrophy (MTA) and cerebrovascular disease was rated as WMH using validated visual rating scales.
Results: Medial temporal lobe atrophy (MTA) was associated with lower executive function, general cognitive function, and episodic memory performance. A threshold effect was present, indicating that severe to very severe, but not moderate, MTA was associated with lower executive function. WMH were significantly associated with a single executive test only, whereas the interaction between WMH and MTA was not significantly related to any of the cognitive tasks.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that AD neuropathology in itself may be responsible for executive dysfunction. Potential explanations for these findings are discussed, focusing on the role of the hippocampus in executive function tests and reduced frontal-posterior connectivity in this patient sample.
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