Studies conducted thus far have shown the difficulty of identifying patients at higher risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Early diagnosis of the disease and specific care to slow its evolution are major global public health objectives. Today we know that treatment efforts can prove more effective when started in the preclinical stage, both to counterbalance the deleterious effects of the amyloid deposits and neurodegeneration that precede noticeable cognitive decline, and to encourage functional compensation.
Nevertheless, identifying the progressor patients among preclinical Alzheimer’s cases involves tests that are invasive and difficult to conduct under routine clinical conditions (positron emission tomography or lumbar puncture, for example).
The project’s objective is to identify biomarkers for AD vulnerability in the elderly within the framework of monitoring a heterogeneous cohort in Geneva that includes cognitively intact subjects, subjects with very early stage cognitive decline, and subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Electroencephalography, unlike the methods mentioned above, is a non-invasive and inexpensive approach that is being used increasingly often to characterize cognitive deficits and Alzheimer’s Disease. This is because it allows multicellular cerebral functions that neurodegenerative processes commonly affect to be examined with maximal temporal resolution.
Ms. Cristelle Rodriguez and Professor Panteleimon Giannakopoulos, Institutional Measures Division, Medical and Quality Directorate, Geneva University Hospitals