Sigan Hartley, PhD – Slide of the Week

Sigan Hartley, PhD – Slide of the Week

Title: Cognitive indicators of transition to preclinical and prodromal stages of Alzheimer’s disease in Down syndrome

Legend: Episodic memory was an indicator of the transition from preclinical to early prodromal Alzheimer’s disease in Down syndrome. In a longitudinal PET imaging study of 118 initially non-demented adults with Down syndrome, those who started with amyloid-β (Aβ) accumulation in the neocortex and striatum evidenced decline in episodic memory, whereas those without Aβ had stable performance, with those who developed Aβ burden had a pattern in between.

Citation: Hartley, S.L., Handen, B.L, Tudorasu, D., Piro-Gambetti, B., Zammit, M.D., Laymon, C.M., Klunk, W., Zaman, S., Cohen, A., & Christian, B.T.  (2020). Cognitive indicators of transition to preclinical and prodromal stages of Alzheimer’s disease in Down syndrome. Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring. doi: 10.1002/ dad2.12096

Abstract: Introduction – There is a critical need to identify measures of cognitive functioning sensitive to early Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathophysiology in Down syndrome to advance clinical trial research in this at-risk population. The objective of the study was to longitudinally track performance on cognitive measures in relation to neocortical and striatal amyloid beta (Aβ) in non-demented Down syndrome. Methods – The study included 118 non-demented adults with Down syndrome who participated in two to five points of data collection, spanning 1.5 to 8 years. Episodic memory, visual attention and executive functioning, and motor planning and coordination were assessed. Aβ was measured via [C-11] Pittsburgh Compound-B (PiB) PET. Results – PiB was associated with level and rate of decline in cognitive performance in episodic memory, visual attention, executive functioning, and visuospatial ability in models controlling for chronological age. Discussion – The Cued Recall Test emerged as a promising indicator of transition from preclinical to prodromal AD.

About the Lab: Sigan Hartley, PhD is an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Her research examines the individual resources and family contexts underlying positive well-being in individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

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