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Alzheimers Dement. 2006 Oct;2(4):296-302. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2006.06.001.

Structural MRI discriminates individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment from age-matched controls: a combined neuropsychological and voxel based morphometry study.

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Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Wm. S. Middleton VA Hospital, Madison, WI 53705, USA.



Several previous studies have reported that amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), a significant risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), is associated with greater atrophy in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and posterior cingulate gyrus (PCG).


In the present study, we examined the cross-sectional accuracy (i.e., the sensitivity and specificity) of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) in discriminating individuals with MCI (n =15) from healthy age-matched controls (n =15). In addition, we also sought to determine whether baseline GM volume predicted aMCI patients that converted to AD from those that did not approximately 2 years after the baseline visit.


MCI patients were found to display significantly less GM volume in several hypothesized regions including the MTL and PCG relative to the age-matched controls (p < 0.01). Logistic regression analysis and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves for GM volume in the anterior MTL and PCG revealed high discriminative accuracy of 87%. By contrast, baseline GM volume in anterior MTL and PCG did not appear to be sensitive to changes in clinical status at the follow-up visit.


These results suggest that VBM might be useful at characterizing GM volume reductions associated with the diagnosis of aMCI.


Alzheimer’s disease; Hippocampus; Mild cognitive impairment; Posterior cingulate gyrus; Sensitivity and specificity; Voxel-based morphometry

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