Knight's move thinking? Mild cognitive impairment in a chess player

Neurocase. 2005 Feb;11(1):26-31. doi: 10.1080/13554790490896875.


We report the case of a chess player with superior premorbid cognitive function who presented to the Cognitive Disorders clinic at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery with a 2-year history of symptoms of possible memory loss. Initially the MRI scan appearance was within normal limits and his cognitive scores inside the normal range; subsequently his cognitive function deteriorated and he fulfilled criteria for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) two years later. Unexpectedly he died of an unrelated illness seven months later and post mortem examination of the brain was carried out, revealing advanced Alzheimer's disease (CERAD definite and NIA-Regan Institute high likelihood). This case highlights the difficulties encountered in assessing patients with superior premorbid function in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, and reveals the value of serial MRI and neuropsychological assessment in detecting and monitoring early neurodegenerative disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Behavioral Symptoms / physiopathology
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cognition Disorders / pathology
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Game Theory*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Mental Status Schedule
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Postmortem Changes
  • Thinking / physiology*
  • Time Factors