Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Visual short-term memory (VSTM) deficits including VSTM binding have been associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) from preclinical to dementia stages, cross-sectionally. Yet, longitudinal investigations are lacking. The objective of this study was to evaluate VSTM function longitudinally and in relation to expected symptom onset in a cohort of familial Alzheimer's disease. Ninety-nine individuals (23 presymptomatic; 9 symptomatic and 67 controls) were included in an extension cross-sectional study and a sub-sample of 48 (23 presymptomatic carriers, 6 symptomatic and 19 controls), attending two to five visits with a median interval of 1.3 years, included in the longitudinal study. Participants completed the "What was where?" relational binding task (which measures memory for object identification, localisation and object-location binding under different conditions of memory load and delay), neuropsychology assessments and genetic testing. Compared to controls, presymptomatic carriers within 8.5 years of estimated symptom onset showed a faster rate of decline in localisation performance in long-delay conditions (4s) and in traditional neuropsychology measures of verbal episodic memory. This study represents the first longitudinal VSTM investigation and shows that changes in memory resolution may be sensitive to tracking cognitive decline in preclinical AD at least as early as changes in the more traditional verbal episodic memory tasks.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





Alzheimer's disease, Estimated symptom onset, Familial Alzheimer's disease, Preclinical Alzheimer's disease, Visual short-term memory