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30 November 2016 : Clinical Research  

Perception of Fechner Illusory Colors in Alzheimer Disease Patients

Gintaras Kaubrys1ABCDEF*, Vera Bukina2BCDEF, Ieva Bingelytė3BCDEF, Vladas Taluntis4CDEF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.902061

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:4670-4678

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Alzheimer disease (AD) primarily affects cognition. A variety of visual disorders was established in AD. Fechner illusory colors are produced by a rotating disk with a black and white pattern. The purpose of our research was to explore the perception of illusory colors in AD.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: W recruited 40 AD patients (MMSE ≥14) and 40 normal controls (CG group) matched by age, education, gender in this prospective, cross-sectional, case-control study. An achromatic Benham’s disk attached to a device to control the speed and direction of rotation was used to produce illusory colors. Primary, secondary, and tertiary RGB system colors were used for matching of illusory and physical colors.

RESULTS: Subjects in the AD group perceived less illusory colors in 5 arcs (p<0.05) of the 8 arcs assessed. The biggest difference was found between AD and CG groups for pure blue (χ²=26.87, p<0.001 clockwise, χ²=22.75, p<0.001 counter-clockwise). Groups did not differ in perception of pure yellow opponent colors (p>0.05). Mixed colors of the blue-yellow axis were perceived less often in AD, but more frequently than pure blue (#0000FF). The sequence of colors on Benham’s disk followed a complex pattern, different from the order of physical spectral colors and opponent processes-based colors.

CONCLUSIONS: AD patients retained reduced perception of illusory colors. The perception of pure blue illusory color is almost absent in AD. The asymmetrical shift to the yellow opponent is observed in AD with red prevailing over green constituent. This may indicate cortical rather than retinal impairment.

Keywords: Alzheimer Disease, Color Perception Tests, Retinal Ganglion Cells, Sensation Disorders, Vision Disorders, Visual Cortex

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750