. Effect of Alzheimer disease risk on brain function during self-appraisal in healthy middle-aged adults. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007 Oct;64(10):1163-71. PubMed.


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  1. It is again interesting to see that individuals at presumably increased genetic risk (related to family history, but apparently not ApoE4) showed an altered fMRI-based activation pattern on a self-assessment task. This adds to a growing literature that presymptomatic "patients" have subtle but detectable alterations. I would have felt better, though, if the investigators had found this with ApoE4, because that is a known powerful genetic risk factor, and there is no evidence currently of a stronger one waiting to be discovered based on genome-wide SNP analyses.

  2. Interesting study linking non memory dysfunction to early synaptic markers of pre-AD. But if self appraisal (self esteem ) is to be used as a valid trigger condition to evaluate functional blood flow in hippocampal, parietal associative-, and posterior cinguli cortex, then perhaps a third patient control group (non-familial AD, depressed) should be included. Depression has deleterious effects on self esteem. Also, depression is a documented risk factor in Alzheimer disease and is often found clinically together with symptoms of cognitive involution. It opens an interesting gateway between neurology and psychiatry.

    View all comments by georges Otte

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