Alzheimer Signs Seen in Healthy Adults
University of Kansas School of Medicine researchers led by Assistant Professor Robyn Honea said they studied 53 non-demented people who were more than 60 years old. Some had the apolipoprotein E gene that has been associated with brain atrophy in Alzheimer's disease. Others did not carry this gene.
The researchers said they collected a series of sophisticated brain images from the study's participants, all of whom completed cognitive tests assessing their memory and thinking processes.
The scientists said they discovered those with the ApoE4 gene displayed reduced cognitive performance, as well as atrophy of their brain's hippocampus and amygdala regions -- areas important for memory processing.
Honea said the findings suggest some brain changes and performance deficits of the type usually found in Alzheimer's patients are also evident in non-demented people who have a genetic risk of later developing Alzheimer's.
The study appears in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.