Cognitive Functioning in Alzheimer's Disease: Evidence for Preclinical Abnormalities? This work was supported by grant #34776 from the Alzheimer’s Association. The “Decade of the Brain” has witnessed a number of investigations into the genotypic and phenotypic expression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), leading to greater understanding regarding some of the risk factors, underlying neuropathology, and effects of the illness ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 1997
Cognitive Functioning in Alzheimer's Disease: Evidence for Preclinical Abnormalities?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • C. Munro Cullum
    Department of Neuropsychology University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • Laura Lacritz
    Department of Neuropsychology University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   December 01, 1997
Cognitive Functioning in Alzheimer's Disease: Evidence for Preclinical Abnormalities?
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, December 1997, Vol. 7, 15-20. doi:10.1044/nnsld7.4.15
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, December 1997, Vol. 7, 15-20. doi:10.1044/nnsld7.4.15
This work was supported by grant #34776 from the Alzheimer’s Association.
The “Decade of the Brain” has witnessed a number of investigations into the genotypic and phenotypic expression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), leading to greater understanding regarding some of the risk factors, underlying neuropathology, and effects of the illness on various aspects of cognition. Although the etiology of AD remains elusive at the time of this writing, studies of families with multiple generations affected by AD have begun to contribute significantly to our existing knowledge base.
If we could identify individuals who would later develop AD, whether by genotypic and/or phenotypic procedures, we could begin to better understand the pathophysiology and natural course of the illness. Furthermore, more intensive and productive efforts could then be devoted to the development of effective treatment strategies, as such interventions may be most beneficial in preclinical individuals. Whereas future curative or palliative findings will no doubt arise from biochemical and biogenetic studies, an enhanced understanding and early detection of the phenotypic expressions of AD represents an essential component in the battle against this costly and devastating illness. The purpose of this article is to review aspects of the genetics and clinical presentation of AD, and particularly to examine the current evidence that supports a search for preclinical or early phenotypic identification of AD.
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