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Keywords:

  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • dementia;
  • executive control;
  • saccades

Abstract

The antisaccade task, a hands- and language-free metric, may provide a functional index of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a region damaged in the later stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our objective was to determine if patients with mild AD made more errors relative to age-matched controls. Thirty patients with mild AD (Mini Mental Status Exam [MMSE] ≥ 17) and 31 age-matched controls completed a laptop version of the prosaccades and antisaccades tasks. Patients with AD made more antisaccade errors, and corrected fewer errors, than age-matched controls. Error rates, corrected or uncorrected, were not correlated with AD MMSE or Dementia Rating Scale scores. Our findings indicate that antisaccade impairments exist in mild AD, suggesting clinically detectable DLPFC pathology may be present earlier than suggested by previous studies.