Article

Spatial navigation—a unique window into physiological and pathological aging

Department of Neurology, Memory Disorders Clinic, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and University Hospital Motol Prague 5, Czech Republic.
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 2.84). 06/2012; 4:16. DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2012.00016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Spatial navigation is a skill of determining and maintaining a trajectory from one place to another. Mild progressive decline of spatial navigation develops gradually during the course of physiological ageing. Nevertheless, severe spatial navigation deficit can be the first sign of incipient Alzheimer's disease (AD), occurring in the stage of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), preceding the development of a full blown dementia. Patients with amnestic MCI, especially those with the hippocampal type of amnestic syndrome, are at very high risk of AD. These patients present with the same pattern of spatial navigation impairment as do the patients with mild AD. Spatial navigation testing of elderly as well as computer tests developed for routine clinical use thus represents a possibility for further investigation of this cognitive domain, but most of all, an opportunity for making early diagnosis of AD.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Kamil Vlček, Jun 28, 2015
2 Followers
 · 
220 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Perspective taking is the ability to imagine what a scene looks like from a different viewpoint, which has been reported to be impaired in Alzheimer's disease (AD). This study compared overhead and first-person view perspective taking abilities in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD. A newly developed Arena Perspective Taking Task (APTT), using an environment of a circular arena, was used to compare 23 AD patients and 38 amnestic MCI patients with 18 healthy controls. The results were contrasted with a published perspective taking test (Standardized Road-Map Test of Direction Sense, RMTDS). The AD group was impaired in both overhead and first-person view APTT versions, but the impairment in the overhead view version applied specifically to women. Patients with aMCI were impaired in the first-person view but not in the overhead view version. Substantial sexual differences were found in the overhead but not in the first-person view APTT version. The RMTDS resembled both APTT versions: patients with aMCI were impaired in this test and also women in both patient groups were less accurate than men. Using the receiver operating characteristic analysis, the highest predictive power for MCI and AD patients diagnosis versus controls was observed for their success rate in the first-person view version. The results suggest distinction between overhead and first-person view perspective taking in the impairment of aMCI patients and the sex differences. The first-person view perspective taking is a potentially important candidate psychological marker for AD. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Behavioural Brain Research 12/2014; 281. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2014.12.033 · 3.39 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Impaired spatial memory characterizes many mouse models for Alzheimer's disease, but we understand little about how this trait arises. Here we use a transgenic model of amyloidosis to examine the relationship between behavioral performance in tests of spatial navigation and the function of hippocampal place cells. We find that APP mice require considerably more training than controls to reach the same level of performance in a water maze task, and recall the trained location less well 24 hours later. At a single cell level, place fields from control mice become more stable and spatially restricted with repeated exposure to a new environment, while those in APP mice improve less over time, ultimately producing a spatial code of lower resolution, accuracy, and reliability than controls. The limited refinement of place fields in APP mice likely contributes to their delayed water maze acquisition, and provides evidence for circuit dysfunction underlying cognitive impairment. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Hippocampus 08/2014; 24(8). DOI:10.1002/hipo.22283 · 4.30 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although the memory impairment is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD), AD has also been characterized by spatial disorientation, which is present from its early stages. Spatial disorientation in AD manifests itself in getting lost in familiar and unfamiliar places and have been characterized more specifically using spatial navigation tests in both real space and virtual environments as an impairment in multiple spatial abilities, including allocentric and egocentric navigation strategies, visuo-spatial perception, or selection of relevant information for successful navigation. Patients suffering mild cognitive impairment (MCI), who are at a high risk of development of dementia, show impairment in a subset of these abilities, mainly connected with allocentric and egocentric processing. While spatial disorientation in typical AD patients probably reflects neurodegenerative changes in medial and posterior temporal, parietal, and frontal lobes, and retrosplenial cortex, the impairment of spatial navigation in MCI seem to be connected mainly with the medial temporal and also parietal brain changes. In this review, we will summarize the signs of brain disease in most MCI and AD patients showing in various tasks of spatial memory and navigation.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 03/2014; 8:89. DOI:10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00089 · 4.16 Impact Factor