Tactile Angle Discrimination Decreases due to Subjective Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease

Author(s): Zhilin Zhang, Guanqun Chen, Jian Zhang, Tianyi Yan, Ritsu Go, Hidenao Fukuyama, Jinglong Wu, Ying Han*, Chunlin Li*

Journal Name: Current Alzheimer Research

Volume 17 , Issue 2 , 2020

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Abstract:

Background: Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) is the early preclinical stage of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Previous study provided an invaluable contribution by showing that a tactile angle discrimination system can be used to distinguish between healthy older individuals and patients with mild cognitive impairment and AD. However, that study paid little attention to the relationship between tactile angle discrimination and SCD. Therefore, a means of differentiating Normal Controls (NCs), elderly subjects with SCD, patients with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI), and AD is urgently needed.

Methods: In the present study, we developed a novel tactile discrimination device that uses angle stimulation applied to the index finger pad to identify very small differences in angle discrimination between the NC (n = 30), SCD (n = 30), aMCI (n = 30), and AD (n = 30) groups. Using a three-alternative forced-choice and staircase method, we analyzed the average accuracy and threshold of angle discrimination.

Results: We found that accuracy significantly decreased while thresholds of angle discrimination increased in the groups in the following order: NC, SCD, aMCI, and AD. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve also indicated that the tactile angle discrimination threshold was better than Mini-Mental State Examination scores in distinguishing NC individuals and SCD patients.

Conclusion: These findings emphasize the importance of tactile working memory dysfunction in explaining the cognitive decline in angle discrimination that occurs in SCD to AD patients and offer further insight into the very early detection of subjects with AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer`s disease, subjective cognitive decline, cognitive function, tactile, angle discrimination, working memory.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 17
ISSUE: 2
Year: 2020
Page: [168 - 176]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1567205017666200309104033
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