Changes in White Matter Integrity before Conversion from Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer’s DiseaseReportar como inadecuado

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Mild cognitive impairment MCI may represent an early stage of dementia conferring a particularly high annual risk of 15–20% of conversion to Alzheimer’s disease AD. Recent findings suggest that not only gray matter GM loss but also a decline in white matter WM integrity may be associated with imminent conversion from MCI to AD.


In this study we used Voxel-based morphometry VBM to examine if gray matter loss and-or an increase of the apparent diffusion coefficient ADC reflecting mean diffusivity MD are an early marker of conversion from MCI to AD in a high risk population.


Retrospective neuropsychological and clinical data were collected for fifty-five subjects MCI converters n = 13, MCI non-converters n = 14, healthy controls n = 28 at baseline and one follow-up visit. All participants underwent diffusion weighted imaging DWI and T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance imaging scans at baseline to analyse changes in GM density and WM integrity using VBM.


At baseline MCI converters showed impaired performance in verbal memory and naming compared to MCI non-converters. Further, MCI converters showed decreased WM integrity in the frontal, parietal, occipital, as well as the temporal lobe prior to conversion to AD. Multiple regression analysis showed a positive correlation of gray matter atrophy with specific neuropsychological test results.


Our results suggest that additionally to morphological changes of GM a reduced integrity of WM indicates an imminent progression from MCI stage to AD. Therefore, we suggest that DWI is useful in the early diagnosis of AD.

Autor: Michaela Defrancesco , Karl Egger, Josef Marksteiner, Regina Esterhammer, Hartmann Hinterhuber, Eberhard A. Deisenhammer, Michael



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