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Executive functioning as an indicator of conversion to Alzheimer's Disease: contribution of the eye movement analysis

Grant number: 15/19632-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2016
Effective date (End): February 02, 2019
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine
Principal Investigator:Orestes Vicente Forlenza
Grantee:Marta Luísa Gonçalves de Freitas Pereira
Home Institution: Instituto de Psiquiatria Doutor Antonio Carlos Pacheco e Silva (IPq). Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da USP (HCFMUSP). Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):17/12339-3 - Executive function impairments and the progression to Alzheimer's Disease: using computational methods for eye movement data analysis, BE.EP.DR


Background: The study of subtle cognitive alterations previous to the onset of dementia in Alzheimer's disease (AD), a field of intensive research, and the "classic" episodic and semantic memory impairments are being questioned as the only early signals of the disease to be considered. Recent data shows that changes in executive functioning may be present at predementia stages of AD, namely in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). However, the impairment of several executive sub-domains is still unknown. The use of eye-tracking technology has proven to be a non-invasive and cost-effective method in the research of AD markers, including behavioral patterns such as executive changes at pre-dementia stages. Objectives: to investigate executive functioning changes that are predictive of AD in subjects with CCL, through its oculomotor profile. Methods: A sample of control subjects, MCI (amnestic and non-amnestic) and AD patients will be recruited. Subjects will be tested with a research protocol provided by LIM-27, comprising a clinical, neuropsychological and functional assessment, with lumbar puncture (to determine biomarkers in CSF) and MRI scans. Eye movement behavior will be assessed with a set of oculomotor tasks, specifically built for this project, and intended to identify oculomotor paradigms that are expected to be AD markers. Eye movement data will be analyzed and cross-correlated with clinical, neuropsychological and biological variables. (AU)