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Arch Neurol. 2002 Feb;59(2):243-8.

Progression of corpus callosum atrophy in Alzheimer disease.

Author information

1
and Harald Hampel, MD, Dementia and Neuroimaging Section, Department of Psychiatry, Ludwig-Maximilian University, Nussbaumstr 7, 80336 Munich, Germany. stt@psy.med.uni-muenchen.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Atrophy of the corpus callosum in the absence of primary white matter degeneration reflects loss of intracortical projecting neocortical pyramidal neurons in Alzheimer disease (AD).

OBJECTIVES:

To determine individual rates of atrophy progression of the corpus callosum in patients with AD and to correlate rates of atrophy progression with clinical disease severity and subcortical disease.

METHODS:

Magnetic resonance imaging-derived measurements of corpus callosum size were studied longitudinally in 21 patients clinically diagnosed as having AD (mean observation time, 17.0 +/- 8.5 months) and 10 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (mean observation time, 24.1 +/- 6.8 months).

RESULTS:

Corpus callosum size was significantly reduced in AD patients at baseline. Annual rates of atrophy of total corpus callosum, splenium, and rostrum were significantly larger in AD patients (-7.7%, -12.1%, and -7.3%, respectively) than in controls (-0.9%, -1.5%, and 0.6%, respectively). Rates of atrophy of the corpus callosum splenium were correlated with progression of dementia severity in AD patients (rho = 0.52, P<.02). The load of subcortical lesions at baseline (P<.05) predicted rate of anterior corpus callosum atrophy in healthy controls. Rates of atrophy of corpus callosum areas were independent of white matter hyperintensity load in patients with AD.

CONCLUSIONS:

Measurement of corpus callosum size allows in vivo mapping of neocortical neurodegeneration in AD over a wide range of clinical dementia severities and may be used as a surrogate marker for evaluation of drug efficacy.

PMID:
11843695
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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