Tactile angle discrimination decreases due to subjective cognitive decline in alzheimer’s disease

Zhilin Zhang, Guanqun Chen, Jian Zhang, Tianyi Yan, Ritsu Go, Hidenao Fukuyama, Jinglong Wu, Ying Han, Chunlin Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) is the early preclinical stage of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Previous study provided an invaluable contribution by showing that a tactile angle discrimination system can be used to distinguish between healthy older individuals and patients with mild cognitive impairment and AD. However, that study paid little attention to the relationship between tactile angle discrimination and SCD. Therefore, a means of differentiating Normal Controls (NCs), elderly subjects with SCD, patients with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI), and AD is urgently needed. Methods: In the present study, we developed a novel tactile discrimination device that uses angle stimulation applied to the index finger pad to identify very small differences in angle discrimination between the NC (n = 30), SCD (n = 30), aMCI (n = 30), and AD (n = 30) groups. Using a three-alternative forced-choice and staircase method, we analyzed the average accuracy and threshold of angle discrimination. Results: We found that accuracy significantly decreased while thresholds of angle discrimination increased in the groups in the following order: NC, SCD, aMCI, and AD. The area under the receiver op-erating characteristic curve also indicated that the tactile angle discrimination threshold was better than Mini-Mental State Examination scores in distinguishing NC individuals and SCD patients. Conclusion: These findings emphasize the importance of tactile working memory dysfunction in ex-plaining the cognitive decline in angle discrimination that occurs in SCD to AD patients and offer further insight into the very early detection of subjects with AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-176
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Alzheimer Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Angle discrimination
  • Cognitive function
  • Subjective cognitive decline
  • Tactile
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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