Subtle decline in cognition predicts progression to Alzheimer’s pathology

Subtle decline in cognition predicts progression to Alzheimer's pathology
Artist’s rendering of neurons affected by Alzheimer’s disease, with accumulating plaques of beta-amyloid protein (orange-brown spheres) on the outside and harmful tau protein (blue) buildup within the cells. Credit: NIH/NIA

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is progressive, but slow to develop—or at least to reveal itself. In a new study, published online February 14, 2020 in the journal Biological Psychiatry, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues elsewhere, report that early, subtle differences in cognitive performance, such as fewer words recalled on a memory test, are a sign that harmful proteins are accumulating in the brain, even if levels of those proteins do not yet qualify as dangerous.

Read more…