Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Subjective memory impairment as a sign of Alzheimer's disease

Date:
August 3, 2011
Source:
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Summary:
Scientists have demonstrated that even in merely subjective cases of memory deterioration changes may be visible in certain brain structures. The study supports the model whereby subjective memory impairment can be the first manifestation of Alzheimer's disease. Although not every individual with subjective memory impairment develops Alzheimer's disease, almost every patient with Alzheimer's disease initially develops subjective memory impairment that has not been possible to objectify until now.

Typical brain changes offer an approach toward early diagnosis.
Credit: Image courtesy of Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Scientists at Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, and Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen in Bonn succeeded for the first time in demonstrating that even in merely subjective cases of memory deterioration changes may be visible in certain brain structures.

Related Articles


The study, published in the current issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry on August 1, supports the model whereby subjective memory impairment can be the first manifestation of Alzheimer's disease. Although not every individual with subjective memory impairment develops Alzheimer's disease, almost every patient with Alzheimer's disease initially develops subjective memory impairment that has not been possible to objectify until now.

Alzheimer's disease is the most frequent cause of dementia. The key to dementia prevention is diagnosis as early as possible. For some years now it has been a confirmed fact that in individuals who already have a slight objective memory impairment it is possible to diagnose the onset of Alzheimer's disease by means of imaging procedures and cerebrospinal fluid tests. However, it would be even better to reveal signs of such a disease at an even earlier stage. Researchers from Bonn and Berlin have now taken an important step in this direction: They found signs of brain function disorders in individuals who merely experience a subjective deterioration in memory without any reduced performance been detectable in objective behavioral tests.

The team led by Professor Frank Jessen (Bonn), Privatdozentin Susanne Erk, and Professor Henrik Walter (both at Charité) were able to demonstrate by functional magnetic resonance imaging that elderly people with subjective memory impairment already show functional alterations in the region of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a brain structure that is responsible, inter alia, for memory formation and is affected first in Alzheimer's disease. In an experiment, individuals with subjective memory impairment manifested reduced activation of the hippocampus during a memory task. At the same time there was increased activation of the right frontal brain.

"This increased frontal activation is probably of a compensatory nature," says Prof. Walter, head of the Mind and Brain Research Division at the Charité Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. "It compensates for the hippocampal deficit, which may explain why in the memory tests of this group the performance was no worse than in a same-age control group without subjective memory impairment." Prof. Frank Jessen, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Universitätsklinik Bonn, believes there may be clinical relevance for the future as well: "At least we have thus come closer to our goal of in future backing up the hitherto purely clinical early diagnosis of subjective memory impairment in suspected cases of Alzheimer's disease by conducting noninvasive objective brain examinations."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Erk, A. Spottke, A. Meisen, M. Wagner, H. Walter, F. Jessen. Evidence of Neuronal Compensation During Episodic Memory in Subjective Memory Impairment. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2011; 68 (8): 845 DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.80

Cite This Page:

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. "Subjective memory impairment as a sign of Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803083500.htm>.
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. (2011, August 3). Subjective memory impairment as a sign of Alzheimer's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803083500.htm
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. "Subjective memory impairment as a sign of Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803083500.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Alzheimer’s Hope

Alzheimer’s Hope

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — A new drug, BCI-838 offers new hope to halt and possibly reverse the damage of Alzheimer’s disease. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) — Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) — Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins