Tactile Pattern Delivery Device to Investigate Cognitive Mechanisms for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

Tactile Pattern Delivery Device to Investigate Cognitive Mechanisms for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

Jiajia Yang, Takashi Ogasa, Jinglong Wu, Yasuyuki Ohta, Koji Abe
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-559-9.ch011
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The cognitive symptoms in early Alzheimer’s disease (AD) involve problems with learning, memory or planning. Currently, no medical tests are available to conclusively diagnose dementia pre-mortem. Previous studies have demonstrated that the cognitive deficits of AD can be detected during a preclinical period with neuropsychological tests. This chapter’s hypothesis is that cognitive deficit symptoms of AD are detectable using a combination of tactile, kinetic, cognitive, and functional MRI tasks in the earliest stages of the disease. The authors of this chapter offer a novel approach to investigate the early detection of AD with tactile procedures. This chapter introduces the development of two tactile pattern delivery devices. The first delivery device is MRI-compatible and can serve to investigate the underlying neural mechanisms of active and passive tactile pattern discrimination. The second delivery device is designed to investigate the characteristics of passive shape discrimination for psychological experiments. These devices may contribute to the early detection of AD with neuropsychological approaches. The ultimate goal of this research was to confirm the human ability of tactile shape discrimination and determine the differences between age-matched healthy individuals and AD patients.
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Development Of An Mri-Compatible Delivery Device

Configuration of the Device

To eliminate the influence of the high magnetic field, plastic material was selected to build the device, and ultrasonic motors were used to drive the device. As shown in Figure 1, the system consists of a main device, a reaction key, a personal computer, a motor controller and an electronic amplifier unit connected to the output of the force sensors. To control and operate the system, we developed a program to achieve precise position control of the stimulus delivery, precise control of the subjects’ finger movement orbits, accurate recording of real-time force data, reliable recording of reaction times, and monitoring of the systems operations and integrity.

Figure 1.

MRI-compatible tactile delivery device


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