Washington: Researchers have said that deterioration of a small, wishbone-shaped structure deep inside the brain could help provide earliest clues to cognitive decline, long before healthy older people exhibit clinical symptoms of memory loss.The longitudinal study found that the only discernible brain differences between normal people who later developed cognitive impairment and those who did not were changes in their fornix, an organ that carries messages to and from the hippocampus, and that has long been known to play a role in memory.Lead author Evan Fletcher, a project scientist with the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center, said that their results suggest that fornix variables are measurable brain factors that precede the earliest clinically relevant deterioration of cognitive function among cognitively normal elderly individuals.
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