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Subjective cognitive impairment: Towards early identification of Alzheimer disease
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Number of Authors: 6
2016 (English)In: Neurología, ISSN 0213-4853, E-ISSN 1578-1968, Vol. 31, no 8, 562-571 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Neurodegeneration in Alzheimer disease (AD) begins decades before dementia and patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) already demonstrate significant lesion loads. Lack of information about the early pathophysiology in AD complicates the search for therapeutic strategies. Subjective cognitive impairment is the description given to subjects who have memory-related complaints without pathological results on neuropsychological tests. There is no consensus regarding this heterogeneous syndrome, but at least some of these patients may represent the earliest stage in AD. Method: We reviewed available literature in order to summarise current knowledge on subjective cognitive impairment. Results: Although they may not present detectable signs of disease, SCI patients as a group score tower on neuropsychological tests than the general population does, and they also have a higher incidence of future cognitive decline. Depression and psychiatric co-morbidity play a role but cannot account for all cognitive complaints. Magnetic resonance imaging studies in these patients reveal a pattern of hippocampal atrophy similar to that of amnestic mild cognitive impairment and functional MRI shows increased activation during cognitive tasks which might indicate compensation for loss of function. Prevalence of an AD-like pattern of beta-amyloid (A beta 42) and tau proteins in cerebrospinal fluid is higher in SCI patients than in the general population. Conclusions: Memory complaints are relevant symptoms and may predict AD. Interpatient variability and methodological differences between clinical studies make it difficult to assign a definition to this syndrome. In the future, having a standard definition and longitudinal studies with sufficient follow-up times and an emphasis on quantifiable variables may clarify aspects of early AD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 31, no 8, 562-571 p.
Keyword [en]
Subjective cognitive impairment, Amyloid, Biomarkers, Subjective cognitive complaints, Alzheimer disease, Preclinical stage of Alzheimer disease
National Category
Neurology Neurosciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-135231DOI: 10.1016/j.nrl.2013.02.007ISI: 000384516100008PubMedID: 23601758OAI: diva2:1045999
Available from: 2016-11-11 Created: 2016-11-01 Last updated: 2016-11-11Bibliographically approved

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