Increased functional brain response during word retrieval in cognitively intact older adults at genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease

Christina E. Wierenga, Nikki H. Stricker, Ashley McCauley, Alan Simmons, Amy J. Jak, Yu Ling Chang, Lisa Delano-Wood, Katherine J. Bangen, David P. Salmon, Mark W. Bondi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent language studies in aging and dementia provide two complementary lines of evidence that: (1) measures of semantic knowledge and word-finding ability show declines comparable to those of episodic memory, and greater impairment than executive function measures, during the prodromal period of Alzheimer's disease and (2) cognitively intact older adult carriers of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) Ξ4 allele also demonstrate poorer object naming than their low-risk peers. Given that possible changes in the neural substrates of word retrieval (e.g., Broca's area and fusiform gyrus) in at-risk adults may signal impending cognitive decline and serve as a prodromal marker of AD, we examined whether APOE Ξ4 carriers exhibit changes in brain response in regions subserving word retrieval and semantic knowledge. Eleven cognitively intact APOE Ξ4 older adults and 11 age, education, and family history of AD-matched APOE Ξ3 adults named aloud photographs of animals, tools, and vehicles during event-related fMRI. Results showed that, in the face of equivalent naming accuracy, APOE Ξ4 adults demonstrated more widespread brain response with greater signal change in the left fusiform gyrus, bilateral medial prefrontal cortex, and right perisylvian cortex. Findings are discussed in the context of possible compensatory mechanisms invoked to maintain performance in those at genetic risk for AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1222-1233
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroImage
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

Keywords

  • Apolipoprotein E
  • Confrontation naming
  • FMRI
  • Language
  • Word retrieval

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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    Wierenga, C. E., Stricker, N. H., McCauley, A., Simmons, A., Jak, A. J., Chang, Y. L., Delano-Wood, L., Bangen, K. J., Salmon, D. P., & Bondi, M. W. (2010). Increased functional brain response during word retrieval in cognitively intact older adults at genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease. NeuroImage, 51(3), 1222-1233. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.03.021