Skip Navigation LinksHome > January-March 2014 - Volume 28 - Issue 1 > Cortical and Subcortical Atrophy in Alzheimer Disease: Paral...
Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders:
doi: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e318299d3d6
Original Articles

Cortical and Subcortical Atrophy in Alzheimer Disease: Parallel Atrophy of Thalamus and Hippocampus

Štěpán-Buksakowska, Irena MD*,†; Szabó, Nikoletta MD†,‡; Hořínek, Daniel MD, PhD†,§; Tóth, Eszter MD; Hort, Jakub MD, PhD†,∥; Warner, Joshua BS; Charvát, František MD, PhD#; Vécsei, László MD, PhD‡,**; Roček, Miloslav MD, PhD*; Kincses, Zsigmond T. MD, PhD†,‡

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Abstract

Brain atrophy is a key imaging hallmark of Alzheimer disease (AD). In this study, we carried out an integrative evaluation of AD-related atrophy. Twelve patients with AD and 13 healthy controls were enrolled. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of total brain tissue volumes with SIENAX. Localized gray matter atrophy was identified with optimized voxel-wise morphometry (FSL-VBM), and subcortical atrophy was evaluated by active shape model implemented in FMRIB’s Integrated Registration Segmentation Toolkit. SIENAX analysis demonstrated total brain atrophy in AD patients; voxel-based morphometry analysis showed atrophy in the bilateral mediotemporal regions and in the posterior brain regions. In addition, regarding the diminished volumes of thalami and hippocampi in AD patients, subsequent vertex analysis of the segmented structures indicated shrinkage of the bilateral anterior thalami and the left medial hippocampus. Interestingly, the volume of the thalami and hippocampi were highly correlated with the volume of the thalami and amygdalae on both sides in AD patients, but not in healthy controls. This complex structural information proved useful in the detailed interpretation of AD-related neurodegenerative process, as the multilevel approach showed both global and local atrophy on cortical and subcortical levels. Most importantly, our results raise the possibility that subcortical structure atrophy is not independent in AD patients.

Copyright © 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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