Presented at CTAD 2018

Poster 74 “Assessing decline in visuospatial working memory associated with subjective cognitive impairment using a tablet-based measure of hippocampal-dependent learning”

Authors: Alexandra S. Atkins, Anzalee Khan, Daniel Ulshen, John Harrison, Brenda L. Plassman,Kathleen A. Welsh-Bohmer & Richard S.E. Keefe

VeraSci presented results of a recent study utilizing a novel tablet-based visuospatial working memory (VSWM) task to examine differences between healthy older adults with and without subjective cognitive decline (SCD). Our VSWM task, developed in collaboration with AD opinion leader John Harrison, assesses the ability to encode and maintain the identity and location of increasingly complex sequences of visual stimuli.

Statistically significant differences in VSWM performance were demonstrated between young adults (YAs), older adults (OAs) and older adults with SCD. Bonferroni post hoc tests showed a significant difference between the YA group, the OA group and the SCD group, with the OA group performing significantly worse than the YA group and the SCD group performing significantly worse than the OA group on three measures (p≤0.001 for all comparisons). Findings suggest that this brief assessment of visuospatial working memory may be sensitive to the earliest stages of cognitive impairment. The specificity of observed declines in hippocampal-dependent tasks such as this offer a link to underlying AD pathology not provided by more global cognitive screening instruments