Recovery from Proactive Semantic Interference and MRI Volume: A Replication and Extension Study

J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;59(1):131-139. doi: 10.3233/JAD-170276.


Background: The rise in incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has led to efforts to advance early detection of the disease during its preclinical stages. To achieve this, the field needs to develop more sensitive cognitive tests that relate to biological markers of disease pathology. Failure to recover from proactive interference (frPSI) is one such cognitive marker that is associated with volumetric reductions in the hippocampus, precuneus, and other AD-prone regions, and to amyloid load in the brain.

Objective: The current study attempted to replicate and extend our previous findings that frPSI is a sensitive marker of early AD, and related to a unique pattern of volumetric loss in AD prone areas.

Methods: Three different memory measures were examined relative to volumetric loss and cortical thickness among 45 participants with amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

Results: frPSI was uniquely associated with reduced volumes in the hippocampus (r = 0.50) precuneus (r = 0.41), and other AD prone regions, replicating previous findings. Strong associations between frPSI and lower entorhinal cortex volumes and cortical thickness (r≥0.60) and precuneus (r = 0.50) were also observed.

Conclusion: Unique and strong associations between volumetric reductions and frPSI as observed by Loewenstein and colleagues were replicated. Together with cortical thickness findings, these results indicate that frPSI is worthy of further study as a sensitive and early cognitive marker of AD.

Keywords: Cortical thickness; LASSI-L; MRI volume; mild cognitive impairment; proactive semantic interference.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnostic imaging
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / etiology*
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Verbal Learning / physiology