The fornix and mammillary bodies in older adults with Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment, and cognitive complaints: A volumetric MRI study

Brittany R. Copenhaver, Laura A. Rabin, Andrew J. Saykin, Robert M. Roth, Heather A. Wishart, Laura A. Flashman, Robert B. Santulli, Tara L. McHugh, Alexander C. Mamourian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations

Abstract

The fornix and mammillary bodies are important limbic structures that have not been systematically investigated in the earliest stages of preclinical dementia. The present study examined volumetric changes in the fornix and mammillary bodies and improved previously established tracing guidelines to increase reliability and provide more comprehensive measurements. Volumetric measurements were made in euthymic older adults, including 16 patients with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD), 20 patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 20 individuals with cognitive complaints (CC) but normal neuropsychological test performance, and 20 demographically matched healthy controls (HC). Structural magnetic resonance imaging included a T1-weighted 1.5-mm coronal volume, acquired on a GE 1.5 T LX scanner. After adjustment for total intracranial volume (ICV), significant volume reductions were observed in the fornix and mammillary bodies in patients with AD as compared with HC, CC, and MCI participants. No volume differences were seen between the HC, CC, and MCI groups. Study findings are consistent with previous research showing volume decreases of the fornix and mammillary bodies in AD, and provide new data on the relative preservation of these structures in preclinical disease stages. Results suggest that atrophy of the fornix and mammillary bodies becomes apparent at the point of conversion from MCI to AD. Longitudinal assessments are needed to delineate the time course and extent of the observed volumetric changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-103
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Volume147
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 30 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cognitive complaints
  • Fornix
  • Mammillary bodies
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Volumetric MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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