Early problems with semantic knowledge linked to Alzheimer’s disease

Early problems with semantic knowledge linked to Alzheimer's disease

Not only can the results of an IQ test help individuals understand how their brains compare to those of the brilliant Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, but they may also let them know if they are at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. In a recent study, researchers found that individuals who have problems processing semantic knowledge earlier in life may one day suffer from Alzheimer's disease.

According to the researchers behind the study, which was published in the "American Journal of Psychiatry," people who have trouble with semantic knowledge early on are often the same individuals who develop Alzheimer's disease.

To arrive at these results, the researchers had 25 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 27 patients with Alzheimer's and 70 individuals without cognitive problems complete a series of tests. The study's investigators found that the MCI and Alzheimer's patients had the most trouble answering questions that involved small differences, such as figuring out whether a key or an ant is bigger than the other.

Based on these findings, it may be possible to help individuals who have trouble with their semantic memory strengthen their processing of information through training.


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