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Do cognitive patterns of brain magnetic activity correlate with hippocampal atrophy in Alzheimer’s disease?


Background: Many reports support the clinical validity of volumetric MRI measurements in Alzheimer’s disease.

Objective: To integrate functional brain imaging data derived from magnetoencephalography (MEG) and volumetric data in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and in age matched controls.

Methods: MEG data were obtained in the context of a probe-letter memory task. Volumetric measurements were obtained for lateral and mesial temporal lobe regions.

Results: As expected, Alzheimer’s disease patients showed greater hippocampal atrophy than controls bilaterally. MEG derived indices of the degree of activation in left parietal and temporal lobe areas, occurring after 400 ms from stimulus onset, correlated significantly with the relative volume of lateral and mesial temporal regions. In addition, the size of the right hippocampus accounted for a significant portion of the variance in cognitive scores independently of brain activity measures.

Conclusions: These data support the view that there is a relation between hippocampal atrophy and the degree of neurophysiological activity in the left temporal lobe.

  • magnetoencephalography
  • functional brain imaging
  • dementia
  • MRI volumetry
  • CAMCOG, Cambridge cognitive examination
  • CVr, relative cerebral volume
  • ECD, equivalent current dipole
  • ERF, event related magnetic flux
  • FA, flip angle
  • FAST, functional assessment scale
  • LHV, left hippocampal volume
  • LHVr, proportion of the total cranial volume represented by the left hippocampus
  • LTLS, left lateral surface of the temporal lobe
  • LTLSr, proportion of the total cranial volume represented by the left temporal lobe
  • MEG, magnetoencephalography
  • MMSE, mini-mental state examination
  • NINCDS-ADRDA, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke—Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association
  • RHV, right left hippocampal volume
  • RHVr, proportion of the total cranial volume represented by the right hippocampus
  • RTLS, right lateral surface of the temporal lobe
  • RTLSr, proportion of the total cranial volume represented by the right temporal lobe
  • TCrV, total cranial volume
  • TCV, total cerebral volume
  • TE, time of excitation
  • TR, time of repetition

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