A paper published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring has unveiled the establishment of a behavioral test able to measure an individual’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) symptoms before its onset.
The study was conducted at the California Institute of Technology.
“We measured implicit interference elicited by an imperceptible distractor in cognitively healthy elderly participants with normal (low risk) and pathological (high risk) Aβ42/total tau ratio,” the study reads.
“Participants were required to perform a Stroop task (word-naming or color-naming on an ink-semantics inconsistent word) with a visually masked distractor presented prior to the target task.”
The findings showed that high-effort tasks, such as the color-naming in the Stroop task, tend to yield difficulties among high-risk participants.
“These findings indicate that weakened inhibition of distracting implicit information can be a potential behavioral biomarker of early identification of AD pathology,” Caltech researchers concluded.
“Our study thus offers a new experimental paradigm to reveal early pathological aging by assessing how individuals respond to subperceptual threshold visual stimuli.”