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Neurobiol Aging. 2011 Apr;32(4):572-80. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2009.04.011. Epub 2009 May 14.

Brain atrophy associated with baseline and longitudinal measures of cognition.

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San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, USA.


The overall goal was to identify patterns of brain atrophy associated with cognitive impairment and future cognitive decline in non-demented elders. Seventy-one participants were studied with structural MRI and neuropsychological testing at baseline and 1-year follow-up. Deformation-based morphometry was used to examine the relationship between regional baseline brain tissue volume with baseline and longitudinal measures of delayed verbal memory, semantic memory, and executive function. Smaller right hippocampal and entorhinal cortex (ERC) volumes at baseline were associated with worse delayed verbal memory performance at baseline while smaller left ERC volume was associated with greater longitudinal decline. Smaller left superior temporal cortex at baseline was associated with worse semantic memory at baseline, while smaller left temporal white and gray matter volumes were associated with greater semantic memory decline. Increased CSF and smaller frontal lobe volumes were associated with impaired executive function at baseline and greater longitudinal executive decline. These findings suggest that baseline volumes of prefrontal and temporal regions may underlie continuing cognitive decline due to aging, pathology, or both in non-demented elderly individuals.

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