The study group comprised of 30 female participants of whom 10 were in their mid-20s, while the rest were in their 50s or older, with half of them at high risk for Alzheimer's disease. Kara Hawkins, lead researcher of the study, said, "We scanned the brains of the participants, aiming to see if the impaired cognitive-motor performance in the high risk group was related to brain alterations over and above standard aging changes."
Professor Lauren Sergio said, "We observed a relationship between the levels of deterioration in the brain wiring and their performance on our task that required simultaneous thinking and moving; what we see here is a result of communication failure. The findings also suggest that our computerized, easily-administered task that the study participants performed, can be used to test those at risk for Alzheimer's disease to flag early warning signs. The test is a clinically feasible substitute to the more involved braining imaging tasks that people don't or can't have done routinely."
The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.