Neuropsychology, Vol 37(6), Sep 2023, 636-649; doi:10.1037/neu0000846Objective: Subjective cognitive decline (SCD) was recently proposed as an early risk factor for future mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this study, we investigated the sensitivity of novel neuropsychological testing paradigms (which have been proposed as potentially challenging tools for the identification of preclinical AD) in capturing the subtle cognitive changes leading to SCD but not objectively detected by traditional tests. Method: The performances of 18 patients with SCD and 15 healthy individuals with no worries of cognitive decline (healthy controls [HC]) was compared on demanding tasks that investigated, respectively, associative memory, memory binding, spatial pattern separation processes and semantic memory. The diagnostic utility of these tests in capturing the subtle cognitive changes associated with SCD and possible relationships with SCD-related worries were investigated. Results: No significance between-group difference was found on the standard neuropsychological tests. Conversely, the performance of patients with SCD and HC differed significantly on specific indexes derived from experimental tasks assessing face–name associative memory and spatial pattern separation. Moreover, these measures correctly classified group membership with good overall accuracy (between 79% and 82%) and were significantly associated with self-perceived memory functioning. Conclusions: Our preliminary findings suggest that specific measures derived from demanding cognitive paradigms could be sensitive neuropsychological indexes for detecting the subtle cognitive impairment associated with SCD. These observations could be useful for further refining cognitive assessment aimed at early detection of AD. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

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This post is Copyright: | August 18, 2022
Neuropsychology – Vol 37, Iss 6