Exploring semantic verbal fluency patterns and their relationship to age and Alzheimer's disease in adults with Down syndrome

Farah Mgaieth, R Asaad Baksh, Carla M Startin, Sarah Hamburg, Rosalyn Hithersay, Sarah Pape, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicholas J Ashton, Miren Tamayo-Elizalde, Fedal Saini, Mina Idris, The LonDownS Consortium, Andre Strydom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Adults with Down syndrome (DS) are at ultra-high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD), characterized by poor episodic memory and semantic fluency in the preclinical phase in the general population. We explored semantic fluency performance in DS and its relationship to age, AD, and blood biomarkers.

METHODS: A total of 302 adults with DS at baseline and 87 at follow-up from the London Down Syndrome Consortium cohort completed neuropsychological assessments. Blood biomarkers were measured with the single molecule array technique in a subset of 94 participants.

RESULTS: Poorer verbal fluency performance was observed as age increases. Number of correct words declined in those with AD compared to those without over 2 years and was negatively correlated with neurofilament light (r = -0.37, P = .001) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (r = -0.31, P = .012).

DISCUSSION: Semantic fluency may be useful as an early indicator of cognitive decline and provide additional information on AD-related change, showing associations with biomarkers in DS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAlzheimers and Dementia
Early online date28 Apr 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Apr 2023

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