Predicting hippocampal atrophy in a sample of non-demented older adults at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease with two novel memory transfer tests

Geoffrey Miles Schnirman, Fordham University

Abstract

Hippocampal atrophy (HA) in non-demented older adults presents as an increased risk for the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD), thus early detection of HA will facilitate clinical and research endeavors. This study examined whether HA in non-demented older adults would affect performance on two experimental memory transfer tests. Forty non-demented, healthy, older adults (mean age 69.58 years, SD = 8.28) were administered a transitive inference test, an acquired equivalence test, and a paragraph recall test. Qualitative ratings of hippocampal atrophy were based on magnetic resonance images, and participants were grouped as HA− or HA+. As hypothesized, the HA− and HA+ groups performed equally well on the initial learning phases of the two experimental memory tests. However, on the transfer phases of the experimental tests, the hypothesized between-group effects were not seen. There were also no significant effects of HA group on the paragraph recall test. Unplanned analyses of females' performance on the transitive inference tests revealed a significant effect of HA on transitive probe errors but not on non-transitive probe errors. A differential vulnerability to hippocampal atrophy in females is hypothesized, though the current study lacks statistical power to fully understand this issue. ^

Subject Area

Biology, Neuroscience|Psychology, Psychobiology|Gerontology|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Geoffrey Miles Schnirman, "Predicting hippocampal atrophy in a sample of non-demented older adults at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease with two novel memory transfer tests" (January 1, 2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3037229.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3037229

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