Mapping ventricular expansion onto cortical gray matter in older adults

for the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Dynamic changes in the brain's lateral ventricles on magnetic resonance imaging are powerful biomarkers of disease progression in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Ventricular measures can represent accumulation of diffuse brain atrophy with very high effect sizes. Despite having no direct role in cognition, ventricular expansion co-occurs with volumetric loss in gray and white matter structures. To better understand relationships between ventricular and cortical changes over time, we related ventricular expansion to atrophy in cognitively relevant cortical gray matter surfaces, which are more challenging to segment. In ADNI participants, percent change in ventricular volumes at 1-year (N= 677) and 2-year (N= 536) intervals was significantly associated with baseline cortical thickness and volume in the full sample controlling for age, sex, and diagnosis, and in MCI separately. Ventricular expansion in MCI was associated with thinner gray matter in frontal, temporal, and parietal regions affected by AD. Ventricular expansion reflects cortical atrophy in early AD, offering a useful biomarker for clinical trials of interventions to slow AD progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S32-S41
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Biomarkers
  • Brain imaging
  • Brain structure
  • Cortical
  • Gray matter
  • Longitudinal
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Surface area
  • Thickness
  • Volume


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