Inexpensive, non-invasive tools for assessing Alzheimer-type pathophysiologies are needed. Computerized cognitive assessments are prime candidates.
Cognitively normal participants, aged 51-71, with magnetic resonance imaging, fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), amyloid PET, CogState computerized cognitive assessment, and standard neuropsychological tests were included. We first examined the association between the CogState battery and neuroimaging measures. We then compared that association to the one between standard neuropsychological z-scores and neuroimaging.
Slower reaction times for CogState Identification and One Back, and lower memory and attention z-scores, were associated (P < .05) with FDG-PET hypometabolism. Slower time on the Groton Maze Learning Task and worse One Card Learning accuracy were associated (P < .05) with smaller hippocampal volumes. There were no associations with amyloid PET. Associations of CogState and neuropsychological Z-scores with neuroimaging were small and of a similar magnitude.
CogState subtests were cross-sectionally comparable to standard neuropsychological tests in their relatively weak associations with neurodegeneration imaging markers.