Executive deficits detected in mild Alzheimer's disease using the antisaccade task

Authors

  • Liam D. Kaufman,

    1. Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, LC Campbell Cognitive Research Unit, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Canada
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  • Jay Pratt,

    1. Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Brian Levine,

    1. Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
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  • Sandra E. Black

    1. Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, LC Campbell Cognitive Research Unit, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Canada
    3. Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
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Sandra E. Black, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, LC Campbell Cognitive Research Unit, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Room A421- 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4N 3M5, Canada. Tel: +1 416 480 4551; Fax: +1 416 480 4552; E-mail: liam.kaufman@gmail.com Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (MT-13129), and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship and Scace Graduate Fellowship in Alzheimer's Research to LDK.

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.

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