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Psychiatry Res. 2010 Jul 30;183(1):44-51. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2010.04.003. Epub 2010 Jun 11.

The relation of regional cerebral perfusion and atrophy in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer's dementia.

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Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Heinrich-Heine-University, Duesseldorf, Germany.


The spatial and temporal relations between regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and brain volume (rVOL) changes in incipient and early Alzheimer's dementia (AD) are not fully understood. The participants comprised 30 subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 15 with mild AD who were examined using structural and perfusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 1.5 Tesla. Hippocampus and amygdala volumes were measured by manual volumetry. A region-of-interest co-localisation method was used to calculate rCBF values. DNA samples were genotyped for apolipoprotein E (APO E). In comparisons of AD with MCI, rCBF was reduced in the posterior cingulum only, while profound rVOL reductions occurred in both right and left amygdala and in the right hippocampus, and as a trend, in the left hippocampus. Brain volumes of the hippocampus and the amygdala were uncorrelated with the respective rCBF variables in both MCI and AD. Hippocampal but not amygdalar volumes were associated with presence of one or two APOE epsilon4 alleles in MCI and mild AD, while there was no association of APOE epsilon4 allele with rCBF. These data support earlier indications that rCBF and rVOL changes are at least partly dissociated in the early pathogenesis of AD and heterogeneously associated with the APOE risk allele. The data also support the concept of functional compensatory brain activation and the diaschisis hypothesis as relevant in incipient and early AD.

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