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Difficulty orienting as an early symptom of Alzheimer's disease?

Difficulty orienting as an early symptom of Alzheimer's disease?

Until now, Alzheimer's disease remains untreated, and one of the reasons that explains this “therapeutic failure” is also the difficulty of detecting the first signs of the disease's appearance, which leads to delayed treatment of this dementia. A virtual reality-based method tested orientation in middle-aged participants without symptoms, and results indicated that disabilities would begin to develop very early, before symptoms first appeared.

According to British researchers, people at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease have difficulty orienting themselves in space, long before their cognitive functions decline. Memory loss, difficulty completing familiar tasks, language problems, confusion… These manifestations are often considered the first signs of Alzheimer's disease.

But researchers from University College London (UCL) suggest a new approach. In a study published in Alzheimer's disease and dementia: Journal of the Alzheimer's Associationthey used Virtual RealityVirtual Reality To test the spatial navigation of 100 adults without symptoms but at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (genetic risk, physiological risk due to the presence of a gene – the APOE-ε4 allele – or lifestyle-related risk, such as low level of physical activity).

More noticeable in men

Thus, they observed that people at highest risk of developing the disease had deficits during a virtual reality navigation task. By Dr. Coco NewtonNewtonfrom the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) These results suggest that these types of behavioral changes could represent the first signal DiagnosisDiagnosis From Alzheimer's disease, when people go from being unaffected to having the disease The researchers also found that there is a strong difference between the sexes. This association is observed in men but not in women.

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Therefore, these findings could improve early detection of Alzheimer's diseaseenthused the authors. This is especially important withAppearance ofAppearance of Anti-amyloid treatments are most effective from the early stages of the disease “.