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Moving beyond memory metrics for early identification of Alzheimer’s risk

Say the words “Alzheimer’s disease,” and the next word that most readily comes to mind is likely “memory.” Indeed, one of the most devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease is the toll that it takes on a person’s memory. Long before declines in memory capabilities, however, brain changes happen as early as midlife, in some cases decades earlier than a diagnosis of dementia due to Alzheimer’s. The work of cognitive neuroscientists to identify these midlife changes points the way to new diagnostics and interventions, as presented today at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) in San Francisco.