Alexa Pichet Binette
PhD student in Neuroscience
Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University
Published in: Biological Psychiatry
The study led by Alexa Pichet Binette focuses on the links between behavioural factors, including cognitive activities, neuropsychiatric factors and personality traits, and the presence of proteins that cause Alzheimer disease (AD) in the brains of individuals in the preclinical phase of the illness. AD involves a very long preclinical phase during which pathological proteins accumulate in the brain even when no cognitive decline is noted. In this particular phase, intervention is critical to delay the appearance of symptoms since the impacts on the brain are still limited. Relying on multivariate analysis techniques, the study determines several factors that are directly linked to the presence of pathological proteins in the brain before symptoms materialize. The findings suggest that intervening on these factors as early as possible could slow the disease’s progression, prevent eventual cognitive decline and perhaps even impede the most aggressive form of AD.