FRIDAY, July 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Changes in daytime movement may be present in women before cognitive changes associated with Alzheimer disease, according to a study published online June 23 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring.

Lei Gao, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues assessed fractal motor activity regulation (FMAR) in 178 cognitively normal participants who underwent seven to 14 days of home actigraphy, while preclinical Alzheimer disease pathology was measured by amyloid imaging-Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) phosphorylated-tau181 (p-tau) to amyloid beta 42 (Aβ42) ratio.

The researchers found that degradation in daytime FMAR was overall significantly associated with preclinical amyloid plaque pathology via PiB+ imaging and increasing CSF tau181-Aβ42 ratio. The effect sizes were significant in women for PiB+ and CSF but not in men. After inclusion of daily activity level, apolipoprotein E ε4 carrier status, and rest/activity patterns, these associations persisted.

“Our day-to-day movements that are subconscious can reveal changes in the brain that may occur many years before symptoms show,” Gao said in a statement. “If validated in future studies, this may provide a window of opportunity for early treatments and motivate the modification of existing risk factors.”

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