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Hippocampal volume and integrity as predictors of cognitive decline in intact elderly

Bruno, Davide; Ciarleglio, Adam; Grothe, Michel J.; Nierenberg, Jay; Bachman, Alvin H.; Teipel, Stefan J.; Petkova, Eva; Ardekani, Babak A.; Pomara, Nunzio

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000629
Clinical Neuroscience

The risk of Alzheimer’s disease can be predicted by volumetric analyses of MRI data in the medial temporal lobe. The present study compared a volumetric measurement of the hippocampus with a novel measure of hippocampal integrity (HI) derived from the ratio of parenchyma volume over total volume. Participants were cognitively intact and aged 60 years or older at baseline, and were tested twice, roughly 3 years apart. Participants had been recruited for a study on late-life major depression (LLMD) and were evenly split between depressed patients and controls. Linear regression models were applied to the data with a cognitive composite score as the outcome, and HI and volume, together or separately, as predictors. Subsequent cognitive performance was predicted well by models that included an interaction between HI and LLMD status, such that lower HI scores predicted more cognitive decline in depressed patients. More research is needed, but tentative results from this study appear to suggest that the newly introduced measure HI is an effective tool for the purpose of predicting future changes in general cognitive ability, and especially so in individuals with LLMD.

aDepartment of Psychology, Liverpool Hope University

bSchool of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK

cDivision of Biostatistics, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, New York

dNathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg

eDepartments of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Population Health, School of Medicine

fDepartment of Psychiatry, New York University, New York City, New York, USA

gGerman Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)

hDepartment of Psychosomatic Medicine, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany

Part of this research was presented as a poster at the 2015 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference Washington, DC, USA and published as an abstract in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Correspondence to Nunzio Pomara, MD, Geriatric Psychiatry Division, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, 140 Old Orangeburg Road, Orangeburg, NY 10962, USA Tel: +1 845 398 5581; fax: +1 845 398 5510; e-mail:

Received May 16, 2016

Accepted May 25, 2016

© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins