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Neurobiol Aging. 2009 Nov;30(11):1711-23. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2008.01.010. Epub 2008 Mar 17.

A meta-analysis of hippocampal atrophy rates in Alzheimer's disease.

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Dementia Research Centre, University College London, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, UK.


Hippocampal atrophy rates are useful in both diagnosing and tracking Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, cohorts and methods used to determine such rates are heterogeneous, leading to differences in reported annualised rates. We performed a meta-analysis of hippocampal atrophy rates in AD patients and matched controls from studies reported in the peer-reviewed literature. Studies reporting longitudinal volume change in hippocampi in AD subjects together with controls were systematically identified and appraised. All authors were contacted either to confirm the results or to provide missing data. Meta-analysis and meta-regression were then performed on this data. Nine studies were included from seven centres, with data from a total of 595 AD and 212 matched controls. Mean (95% CIs) annualised hippocampal atrophy rates were found to be 4.66% (95% CI 3.92, 5.40) for AD subjects and 1.41% (0.52, 2.30) for controls. The difference between AD and control subject in this rate was 3.33% (1.73, 4.94).

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