Background: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a form of dementia characterized by failure of
memory that becomes more severe with the progression of the disease. The Free and Cued Selective
Reminding Test (FCSRT) is a clinical test used to evaluate such a deficit. However, since the cognitive
performances could depend also on the psychophysiological state of the individual, it is important to
monitor that state through the peripheral autonomic activity during the execution of the test. Thermal
infrared imaging has been used for this kind of assessment in order to preserve the free and unbiased
interaction between doctor and patient, thanks to the contactless features of the technique.
Objective: To investigate whether the variation of facial temperature parameters during the FCSRT is
indicative of different autonomic states in the early AD with respect to healthy controls (HC).
Results: At a group level, a greater sympathetic activity for the HC with respect to AD during the execution
of the test was found, indicative of a suppression of anxiety associated with the performances of the
FCSRT in AD patients.
Conclusion: These results indicate that AD and HC may present different autonomic activity associated
with the execution of a cognitive task, thus suggesting a different modulation of high-cognition and