Visual perceptual organization deficits in Alzheimer’s Dementia

Uhlhaas, P.J. , Pantel, J., Lanfermann, H., Prvulovic, D., Haenschel, C., Maurer, K. and Linden, D.E.J. (2008) Visual perceptual organization deficits in Alzheimer’s Dementia. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 25(5), pp. 465-475. (doi: 10.1159/000125671)

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<b>Background:</b> Deficits in visual processing are a prominent feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), yet the cognitive and neuropathological mechanisms underlying these deficits are poorly understood. In the current study, we examined the hypothesis that perceptual organization is specifically impaired in AD compared to other dementias. <b>Methods:</b> We examined perceptual organization with a psychophysically well-controlled measure of contour integration in patients with AD (n = 17), vascular dementia (n = 5), frontotemporal dementia (n = 5) and mild cognitive impairment (n = 10) and 11 age-matched healthy controls. <b>Results:</b> Patients with AD differed significantly in their ability to detect contours comprised of Gabor elements as detection relied increasingly on long-range spatial interactions. Impairments in contour integration were particularly pronounced in AD patients with atrophy and gliosis of white matter in the occipital lobe. Deficits in perceptual organization were not found in patients with other dementias and participants with mild cognitive impairment. <b>Conclusions:</b> These results suggest that a subgroup of AD patients is characterized by a specific deficit in visual perceptual organization, which might reflect the impaired functional integrity of occipital cortico-cortical pathways.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Uhlhaas, Professor Peter
Authors: Uhlhaas, P.J., Pantel, J., Lanfermann, H., Prvulovic, D., Haenschel, C., Maurer, K., and Linden, D.E.J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
ISSN (Online):1421-9824
Published Online:10 April 2008

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