Path integration in normal aging and Alzheimer's disease

Trends Cogn Sci. 2022 Feb;26(2):142-158. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2021.11.001. Epub 2021 Dec 3.


In this review we discuss converging evidence from human and rodent research demonstrating how path integration (PI) is impaired in healthy aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD), and point to the neural mechanisms that underlie these deficits. Importantly, we highlight that (i) the grid cell network in the entorhinal cortex is crucial for PI in both humans and rodents, (ii) PI deficits are present in healthy aging and are significantly more pronounced in patients with early-stage AD, (iii) compromised entorhinal grid cell computations in healthy older adults and in young adults at risk of AD are linked to PI deficits, and (iv) PI and grid cell deficits may serve as sensitive markers for pathological decline in early AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; aging; entorhinal cortex; grid cells; navigation; path integration.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Alzheimer Disease*
  • Entorhinal Cortex / pathology
  • Humans