Belleville S, Chertkow H, & Gauthier S. Working memory and control of attention in persons with Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment. Neuropsychology. 2007 Jul; 21(4): 458-469.
Research CenterInstitut Universitaire de Geriatrie de Montreal, Montreal, PQ, Canada
The goal of the present study was to assess 3 attentional control processes--divided attention, manipulation capacities, and inhibition--in persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD). Manipulation capacities were tested by comparing immediate serial recall with alphabetical-order recall of words. Divided attention was tested with the Brown-Peterson procedure, in which participants divide their attention between simple addition tasks and consonant trigrams over delays. Inhibition was tested with the Hayling procedure, in which participants complete sentences with words irrelevant to their context. Persons with AD showed severe impairment on the 3 attentional control components. Persons with MCI exhibited impaired performance on the Brown-Peterson procedure but normal performance on the other 2 tasks. With AD and MCI participants, there was a negative correlation between general cognitive deficits and impairment on attentional control tasks, indicating that attentional control deficits increase in the MCI/AD continuum. When separating MCI with and without significant subsequent decline, those with subsequent decline showed impaired performance on both the Brown-Peterson procedure and manipulation task. These data suggest that control of attention tasks can track AD at a preclinical stage and that impairment increases gradually during the preclinical phase of AD.
PMID: 17605579 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]