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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Computer Science - Geriatrics - Neurological Disorders - Neuroscience - Pathology

A Longitudinal Study of Atrophy in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment and Normal Aging Revealed by Cortical Thickness
Published: Friday, November 02, 2012
Author: Zhijun Yao et al.

by Zhijun Yao, Bin Hu, Chuanjiang Liang, Lina Zhao, Mike Jackson, the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

In recent years, amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) has attracted significant attention as an indicator of high risk for Alzheimer's disease. An understanding of the pathology of aMCI may benefit the development of effective clinical treatments for dementia. In this work, we measured the cortical thickness of 109 aMCI subjects and 99 normal controls (NC) twice over two years. The longitudinal changes and the cross-sectional differences between the two types of participants were explored using the vertex thickness values. The thickness of the cortex in aMCI was found significantly reduced in both longitudinal and between-group comparisons, mainly in the temporal lobe, superolateral parietal lobe and some regions of the frontal cortices. Compared to NC, the aMCI showed a significantly high atrophy rate in the left lateral temporal lobe and left parahippocampal gyrus over two years. Additionally, a significant positive correlation between brain atrophy and the decline of Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores was also found in the left superior and left middle temporal gyrus in aMCI. These findings demonstrated specific longitudinal spatial patterns of cortical atrophy in aMCI and NC. The higher atrophy rate in aMCI might be responsible for the accelerated functional decline in the aMCI progression process.