The Contribution of Allocentric Impairments to the Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease
An early decline in navigation abilities is one of the first sign of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). More specifically, it has been suggested that allocentric impairments contribute significantly to this pathological decline. In this vein, the objective of the current work was to investigate the contribution of different spatial abilities involved in navigation (including allocentric ones) to the cognitive decline. Thirty elderly participated in the study, divided into two groups: Fifteen cognitively healthy aged individuals and fifteen individuals with AD. Our results showed that patients with AD performed significantly poorer in almost all tests evaluating spatial abilities in comparison to cognitively healthy aged individuals. Interestingly, we found that the allocentric abilities were the only significant predictor of the cognitive decline. Overall, these results suggested the primary role of allocentric impairments in contributing to the cognitive pathological decline.
KeywordsAllocentric abilities Spatial navigation Virtual Reality Alzheimer’s Disease
This work was partially supported by the Italian funded project “High-end and Low-End Virtual Reality Systems for the Rehabilitation of Frailty in the Elderly” (PE-2013-02355948), by the research project Tecnologia Positiva e Healthy Aging (Positive Technology and Healthy Aging) (Grant D.3.2., 2014) and by the research project “Ageing and Healthy Living: A Human Centered Approach in Research and innovation as Source of Quality Life”, funded by Fondazione Cariplo within the 2014.
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