October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
The assessment of visually guided reaching in prodromal Alzheimer’s disease
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alexandra G Mitchell
    School of Psychology, Philosophy & Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh
  • Stephanie Rossit
    School of Psychology, University of East Anglia
  • Michael Hornberger
    Department of Medicine, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia
    Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich
  • Suvankar Pal
    Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh
  • Robert D McIntosh
    School of Psychology, Philosophy & Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  This work is funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 1059. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.1059
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      Alexandra G Mitchell, Stephanie Rossit, Michael Hornberger, Suvankar Pal, Robert D McIntosh; The assessment of visually guided reaching in prodromal Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):1059. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.1059.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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One of the first brain regions to show metabolic changes typical in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the precuneus (Dubois et al., 2014; Gordon et al., 2018). Focal damage to this brain area is known to cause deficits in reaching to objects in peripheral vision (Cavanna & Trimble, 2006; Karnath & Perenin, 2005). This impairment may therefore be present in individuals with AD, and even those with signs of pre-clinical AD, but no prior study has addressed this question. The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency and severity of peripheral misreaching in patients with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and typical AD, by comparison with age-matched controls (HC). We assessed both visually-guided reaching to peripheral and central targets, using two different tasks: lateral reaching in the fronto-parallel plane and reaching in radial depth. Both tasks were conducted on first their dominant and non-dominant side. Preliminary analysis shows no clear group-level difference in reaching accuracy. However, even the HC group showed a relatively high level of peripheral misreaching, compared to what is more typically seen in younger individuals (McIntosh, Mulroue, Blangero, Pisella, & Rossetti, 2011; Rossetti, Pisella, & Vighetto, 2003). Moreover, a small proportion of AD patients do show clear deficits, suggesting that there may be a subgroup of MCI and AD patients that develop peripheral misreaching.


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