Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2010 Sep 23;5(9):e12853. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012853.

Selective disruption of the cerebral neocortex in Alzheimer's disease.

Author information

  • 1Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts, United States of America. rahul@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alzheimer's disease (AD) and its transitional state mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are characterized by amyloid plaque and tau neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) deposition within the cerebral neocortex and neuronal loss within the hippocampal formation. However, the precise relationship between pathologic changes in neocortical regions and hippocampal atrophy is largely unknown.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

In this study, combining structural MRI scans and automated image analysis tools with reduced cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Aβ levels, a surrogate for intra-cranial amyloid plaques and elevated CSF phosphorylated tau (p-tau) levels, a surrogate for neocortical NFTs, we examined the relationship between the presence of Alzheimer's pathology, gray matter thickness of select neocortical regions, and hippocampal volume in cognitively normal older participants and individuals with MCI and AD (n = 724). Amongst all 3 groups, only select heteromodal cortical regions significantly correlated with hippocampal volume. Amongst MCI and AD individuals, gray matter thickness of the entorhinal cortex and inferior temporal gyrus significantly predicted longitudinal hippocampal volume loss in both amyloid positive and p-tau positive individuals. Amongst cognitively normal older adults, thinning only within the medial portion of the orbital frontal cortex significantly differentiated amyloid positive from amyloid negative individuals whereas thinning only within the entorhinal cortex significantly discriminated p-tau positive from p-tau negative individuals.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

Cortical Aβ and tau pathology affects gray matter thinning within select neocortical regions and potentially contributes to downstream hippocampal degeneration. Neocortical Alzheimer's pathology is evident even amongst older asymptomatic individuals suggesting the existence of a preclinical phase of dementia.

PMID:
20886094
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2944799
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (3)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk