Is it time to change the way we detect Alzheimer’s disease and monitor its progression? Towards affordable and theory-driven approaches from cognitive neurosciences

Serge Hoefeijzers, Clara Calia, Mario Parra Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

A large proportion of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) worldwide are not receiving a timely diagnosis. The tools currently used to detect AD and monitor its progression are not sensitive to the preclinical stages and lack specificity for correct
diagnosis. Available biomarkers show acceptable levels of sensitivity but remain littlespecific and not accessible to everyone. We embrace the view that enhancing cognitive assessment of AD should be a research priority. This Perspective paper focuses on issues which, to our view, have been preventing cognitive tests from meeting outstanding needs in the early of detection, monitoring, and treatment development of AD dementia.
We first outline the limitations of current diagnostic procedures both theoretically and practically. We then provide a rationale for theory-driven cognitive approaches which would allow mapping assessment tools to specific neuropathological stages of the neurodegenerative course of AD. Finally, we propose research strategies that would help test a hypothesis which, though launched five years ago, remains untested.
That is: “Which memory system is impaired first in Alzheimer’s disease?”
Original languageEnglish
Article number1028
Number of pages6
JournalJSM Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia
Volume3
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2016

Keywords

  • Alzheimer disease
  • Mild cognitive impairments
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Biomarkers
  • Cognitive markers

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