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Cortical atrophy rates in Alzheimer's patients and subjects with mild cognitive impairment from the AddNeuroMed data collection

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  • Simon Fristed Eskildsen
  • Eric Westman, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Femida Gwadry-Sridhar, I-THINK Research Lab, Lawson Health Research Institute, Canada
  • Per Julin, AstraZeneca R&D, Sweden
  • Niclas Sjögren, AstraZeneca R&D, Sweden
  • Sebastian Muehlboeck, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Lars-Olof Wahlund, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Magda Tsolaki, Department of Neurology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Hilkka Soininen, Department of Neurology, University and University Hospital of Kuopio, Finland
  • Patrizia Mecocci, Institute of Gerontology and Geriatrics, University of Perugia, Italy
  • Iwona Kloszewska, Department of Old Age Psychiatry & Psychotic Disorders, Medical University of Lodz, Poland
  • Bruno Vellas, Department of Internal and Geriatrics Medicine, Hôpitaux de Toulouse, France
  • Simon Lovestone, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, United Kingdom
  • Andrew Simmons, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, United Kingdom
  • Christian Spenger, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Background: The AddNeuroMed project is a multi-centre European project which aims to identify biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study we measured the rate of cortical atrophy in AD patients, subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and healthy controls (HC) using MRI. Methods: High resolution sagittal 3D T1w MP-RAGE scans were acquired from patients diagnosed with AD (n = 58,MMSE:21.6 ± 4.4), MCI subjects (n = 85,MMSE:27.2 ± 1.6), and HC (n = 75,MMSE:29.0 ± 1.3) at baseline, and at three and 12 months follow-up. Only subjects with three completed scans which all passed quality control for both the acquisition and image processing were included in the study. Cortical thickness was measured using FACE (fast accurate cortex extraction) and averaged within main lobes using a stereotaxic atlas. Atrophy rates were calculated as percent decrease in cortical thickness and rate differences between groups were evaluated using one tailed t-tests. Results: Cortical atrophy rates for the main lobes at 12 months follow-up are shown in the tables together with p-values for testing group differences. At three months follow-up significantly higher atrophy rates were found in the right temporal and frontal lobe and both occipital lobes in AD compared to HC (p < 0.05). There were no differences in lobar atrophy rates when comparing AD and MCI at three months follow-up, though the right temporal lobe showed a trend towards a higher rate in AD (p = 0.06). MCI subjects showed significantly higher atrophy rates in the left and right occipital lobes compared to HC at three months follow-up (p < 0.02). Conclusions: Atrophy rates based on cortical thickness can be used to measure the progression of cortical neurodegeneration in AD. Based on 12 months observations widespread accelerated atrophy rates can be found in AD patients compared to HC and MCI. Even three months after baseline accelerated atrophy can be observed in AD compared to HC, however, the results indicate that three months is too short a period to distinguish the atrophy rates in AD and MCI. The results suggest that atrophy rates in the occipital lobes can be used to distinguish MCI from HC and atrophy rates in the temporal lobes, especially the right, can be used to distinguish AD from MCI.
Original languageEnglish
Publication yearJul 2010
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
EventInternational Conference on Alzheimer's Disease - Honolulu, United States
Duration: 10 Jul 201015 Jul 2010


ConferenceInternational Conference on Alzheimer's Disease
CountryUnited States

    Research areas

  • Alzheimer, MRI, atrophy, cortical thickness, AddNeuroMed

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