Vol. 2 nº 1 - Jan/Feb/Mar de 2008
Original Article Páginas: 37 a 41

Hippocampal atrophy and verbal episodic memory performance in amnestic mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer's disease: a preliminary study

Authors Nathalia Carollina Peruzza Marchiani1, Marcio Luiz Figueredo Balthazar2, Fernando Cendes3, Benito Pereira Damasceno4

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keywords: hippocampal atrophy, MRI, memory, Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment.

ABSTRACT:
To evaluate hippocampal volume in patients with AD and aMCI, and correlate its atrophy with verbal episodic memory performance. Methods: We studied 42 individuals older than 50 years, including 14 with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), 14 with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) and 14 normal controls. All individuals were submitted to the Rey auditory verbal learning test (RAVLT) to evaluate episodic memory. They were also submitted to the forward (FDS) and backward digit span (BDS) subtest of WAIS-R to evaluate working memory and attention, and to the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). Hippocampal volumetric measurements were performed according to anatomic guidelines from a standard protocol using high-resolution T1-inversion recovery 3-mm coronal MRI slices. Hippocampal volumes (HV) were corrected for the variation in total intracranial volume. There was no significant difference between the three groups concerning age and education. Results: On RAVLT, there was a continuum between the three groups, with AD recalling less words, controls more, and aMCI subjects showing an intermediate performance on all sub-items. We found an asymmetry between HVs, with smaller mean left HV for all groups. ANOVA and post hoc Tukey's test for comparisons of HV showed a significant difference among groups, with difference between controls and both AD and aMCI, although there was no significant difference between AD and aMCI groups. Conclusions: There was a significant correlation between hippocampal volumes and scores on RAVLT, confirming that medial temporal structures are closely associated with memory performance in normal ageing as well as in aMCI and AD.

 

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