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Greebles test, anyone?

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:01 pm
by Della66
I actually had stepped away from the Forum for a while, but I came back to post this regarding a test comparing those considered at risk based on family history with those with no family history as the control group. It basically consisted of looking at four images which included faces, real world objects, scenes and "Greebles". One image in each group of four was subtly different than the other three and the person had to identify which image differed. They found that the control group and the at risk group performed similarly on all but the Greebles test where there was a significant difference between the groups. There is a picture of the Greebles at the website; click on the image to enlarge it. I apologize if this has already been posted, but I did a search for Greebles and nothing came up. Here's the text with the link at the end:

Difficulty distinguishing novel objects is associated with family history of Alzheimer’s disease

Detecting Alzheimer’s disease earlier using … Greebles?
Which Greeble is different?

Unique graphic characters called Greebles may prove to be valuable tools in detecting signs of Alzheimer’s disease decades before symptoms become apparent.

In an article published online last week in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Emily Mason, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Louisville, reported research showing that cognitively normal people who have a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have more difficulty distinguishing among novel figures called Greebles than individuals without genetic predisposition.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive, irreversible neurodegenerative disease characterized by declining memory, cognition and behavior. AD is the most prevalent form of dementia, affecting an estimated 5.5 million individuals in the United States and accounting for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. The ability to detect the disease earlier may allow researchers to develop treatments to combat the disease.

“Right now, by the time we can detect the disease, it would be very difficult to restore function because so much damage has been done to the brain,” Mason said. “We want to be able to look at really early, really subtle changes that are going on in the brain. One way we can do that is with cognitive testing that is directed at a very specific area of the brain.”

AD is characterized by the presence of beta amyloid plaques and tau neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. Tau tangles predictably develop first in the perirhinal and entorhinal cortices of the brain, areas that play a role in visual recognition and memory. Mason and her colleagues developed cognitive tests designed to detect subtle deficiencies in these cognitive functions. They hoped to determine whether changes in these functions would indicate the presence of tau tangles before they could be detected through imaging or general cognitive testing.

Working in her previous position at Vanderbilt University, Mason identified test subjects age 40-60 who were considered at-risk for AD due to having at least one biological parent diagnosed with the disease. She also tested a control group of individuals in the same age range whose immediate family history did not include AD.

The subjects completed a series of “odd-man-out” tasks in which they were shown sets of four images depicting real-world objects, human faces, scenes and Greebles in which one image was slightly different than the other three. The subjects were asked to identify the image that was different.

The at-risk and control groups performed at similar levels for the objects, faces and scenes. For the Greebles, however, the at-risk group scored lower in their ability to identify differences in the images. Individuals in the at-risk group correctly identified the distinct Greeble 78 percent of the time, whereas the control group correctly identified the odd Greeble 87 percent of the time.

“Most people have never seen a Greeble and Greebles are highly similar, so they are by far the toughest objects to differentiate,” Mason said. “What we found is that using this task, we were able to find a significant difference between the at-risk group and the control group. Both groups did get better with practice, but the at-risk group lagged behind the control group throughout the process.”

Mason would like to see further research to determine whether the individuals who performed poorly on the test actually developed AD in the future.

“The best thing we could do is have people take this test in their 40s and 50s, and track them for the next 10 or 20 years to see who eventually develops the disease and who doesn’t,” Mason said.

In recent years, a great deal of research has focused on identifying early biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. However, not everyone who has an individual biomarker ultimately develops the disease. Brandon Ally, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurological surgery at UofL and senior author of the publication, said the tests with Greebles can provide a cost-effective way to identify individuals who may be in the early stages of AD, as well as a tool for following those individuals over time.

“We are not proposing that the identification of novel objects such as Greebles is a definitive marker of the disease, but when paired with some of the novel biomarkers and a solid clinical history, it may improve our diagnostic acumen in early high-risk individuals,” Ally said. “As prevention methods, vaccines or disease modifying drugs become available, markers like novel object detection may help to identify the high priority candidates.”

Robert P. Friedland, M.D., professor and Mason and Mary Rudd Endowed Chair in Neurology at UofL, has studied clinical and biological issues in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders for 35 years. He believes that early detection will enhance the ability of patients and physicians to employ lifestyle and therapeutic interventions.

“This work shows that the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on cognition can be measured decades before the onset of dementia,” Friedland said. “The fact that the disease takes so long to develop provides us with an opportunity to slow its progression through attention to the many factors that are linked to the disease, such as a sedentary lifestyle, a high fat diet, obesity, head injury, smoking, and a lack of mental and social engagement.”

The article, “Family history of Alzheimer’s disease is associated with impaired perceptual discrimination of novel objects,” will appear in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Volume 57, Issue 2.

LINK: ... g-greebles

Re: Greebles test, anyone?

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:17 pm
by circular
That was interesting. It took me a long time but I finally discerned which was different. However, only then did I click the image to enlarge it. The figures are much clearer when enlarged, especially maybe if on your phone, and I would have spotted it sooner if I had tried it that way.

I found the concept of aiming at the parts of the brain where tau first forms very interesting. I was at a talk about the state of Alzheimer’s research last week and a member of the audience is tracking Parkinson’s research. Apparently tau figures into Parkinson’s too, and some feel that the real help for Alzheimer’s may come out of Parkinson’s research.

Re: Greebles test, anyone?

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:18 am
by Orangeblossom
Don't look if you want to do the test first but I think the answer is:

Number 4 has a bigger 'wing' than the others, is that right? :?

I first looked to see if they were looking different ways but then spotted this, wonder if it is correct.

Re: Greebles test, anyone?

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:50 am
by PBW
I just took the test and identified rather quickly the different greeble. However on posit science I have recently been doing the exercise that is similar to this and at first was really frustrated, but have improved my visual /brain acuity a lot it seems. As a 66 yr old 4/4 who has 2 older siblings that both are showing strong dementia symptoms, I am going to take this as an indication that RECODE is working for me.

Re: Greebles test, anyone?

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:06 pm
by circular
Doubtful, but it would be interesting if doing exercises that focus on the visual discernment of the perirhinal and enterorhinal areas of the brain could help build reserve there to delay the affects of the tau tangles. I thought of it while playing one of the few phone app games I sometimes play: Shanghai. You look for tiles on the board with the same image, but in the process have to avoid ones with similar images. (You tap the matching ones to remove them from the multi-layers board, revealing new times below, and try to clear the board without getting stuck.) You can also change the tile set if you get to good at one. I like the original Chinese ones, but they have some fun options like Crop Circles haha!

Re: Greebles test, anyone?

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:00 pm
by Jan
PBW wrote:I just took the test and identified rather quickly the different greeble. However on posit science I have recently been doing the exercise that is similar to this and at first was really frustrated, but have improved my visual /brain acuity a lot it seems. As a 66 yr old 4/4 who has 2 older siblings that both are showing strong dementia symptoms, I am going to take this as an indication that RECODE is working for me.

I'm with you, PBW. Visible signs of improvement would give me confidence that I had chosen the right path. Have you been able to implement a large part of the protocol?

Re: Greebles test, anyone?

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:24 pm
by PBW
Yes, actually I had already implemented much of RECODE trying to lower my LDL's which were identified as high over 15 years ago. So years of trial and error from reading Dr.Robert Luftig, Dr Chris Kressor, Dr Terry Wahls, Dr Tim Noakes and many others overtime had given me a base of the following: 12 hour daily fast, no sugars and < 30 carbs, no statins, sleep is on target, exercise also( I am a retired Trainer), never had digestion issues other than occasional travel adjustments, not a smoker, stopped alcohol at 50 and now only have wine or cocktail once a week, reduced dairy to only A2 casein , eliminated coconut oil because it shot my LDL's up, nutrition is all organic(I have an organic garden and access to local organic vegetables), organic non CAFO protein and wild caught fish.
The changes I have made since reading The Plant Protocol and RECODE are : Started Posit Science daily, alternate HIIT with Sprints according to how it fits in my day, added almost all of the suggested supplements and herbs in 3 stages, extended daily fasts to 14-16hrs, eliminated lectin foods including grains, only eat SMASH wild caught fish which is tough because I like tuna, swordfish, mahi mahi, flounder, etc., changed to organic sheep yogurt, reduced even more fruits and diary and added whole pastured eggs( I had been eating only organic egg whites for years) So as I list these changes I really have made many changes since August 2017 and I do feel it is already helping me. Now I am working the medical part. My Family practitioner has agreed to do the tests she can validate with my history but wants me to find an MD familiar with RECODE. I have a friend who is a Functional Medicine doc and hopefully she can guide me on this. I want to complete the cognoscopy as best I can so I have more data to compare. I look forward to not having to think about it so much. Oh yes I began woodworking classes, learning another language and hope to start flute lessons soon. Enjoying every moment I can!

Re: Greebles test, anyone?

Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:37 pm
by Jan
And to your changes, PBW, I say ...WOW! Congrats!