Mapping of the hippocampal anatomical differences among normal individuals, people with mild memory impairment and patients with the Alzheimer's disease

E. M. Kwong, M. S. Mega, P. M. Thompson, A. W. Toga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To characterize maturational and degenerative anatomical changes associated with memory loss and aging, the entire hippocampus 3-D morphology was examined in 27 individuals. The 27 subjects were classified according to their Buschke-Fuld Recall test scores into three categories: normal/control, mildly cognitive impaired (MCI), or Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The 9 subjects in the normal group scored an average of 110.3 and had an average age of 71.7. The 10 AD patients were of an average age of 71.2 and had an average score of 42.5, while the 7 MCI patients scored 75.1 in the Buschke-Fuld Recall test and were of an average age of 73.7. Tl-weighted structural MR images were collected using a 256X256X124 resolution matrix. Images were digitally transformed in the Talairach coordinate system to allow averaging of contours across subjects of each category as well as to correct for possible head size variations. These averaging contours for each of the 3 groups generated three-dimensional average morphological maps, which were compared to assess the effect of hippocampal anatomy on memory loss.. Results showed that progressive decrease in hippocampal volume was correlated with a decrease in Buschke-Fuld Recall test scores. As compared to the normal controls, MCI patients suffered from a mild loss in volume throughout the entire hippocampus, while the AD patients had a more significant volume loss in the same fashion. In both groups, there was more prominent volume decrease in the left hippocampus than the right, especially in the hippocampal head region. Findings of volume loss in the hippocampus reflected regression of cognitive and memory functions in people in similar age group. These results suggest that significant decrease in hippocampal volume is associated with memory loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80A
JournalJournal of Investigative Medicine
Volume47
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes

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