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Sci Rep. 2019 Sep 19;9(1):13532. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-49914-3.

Brain atrophy and patch-based grading in individuals from the CIMA-Q study: a progressive continuum from subjective cognitive decline to AD.

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Centre de recherche CERVO Research Centre, Québec, Canada.
Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
True Positive Medical Devices Inc., Montreal, Canada.
Département de neurosciences, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada.
Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, Montréal, Canada.
Centre de recherche CERVO Research Centre, Québec, Canada.
True Positive Medical Devices Inc., Montreal, Canada.
Département de radiologie et médecine nucléaire, Faculté de médecine, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.


It has been proposed that individuals developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) first experience a phase expressing subjective complaints of cognitive decline (SCD) without objective cognitive impairment. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), our objective was to verify whether SNIPE probability grading, a new MRI analysis technique, would distinguish between clinical dementia stage of AD: Cognitively healthy controls without complaint (CH), SCD, mild cognitive impairment, and AD. SNIPE score in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex was applied to anatomical T1-weighted MRI of 143 participants from the Consortium pour l'identification précoce de la maladie Alzheimer - Québec (CIMA-Q) study and compared to standard atrophy measures (volumes and cortical thicknesses). Compared to standard atrophy measures, SNIPE score appeared more sensitive to differentiate clinical AD since differences between groups reached a higher level of significance and larger effect sizes. However, no significant difference was observed between SCD and CH groups. Combining both types of measures did not improve between-group differences. Further studies using a combination of biomarkers beyond anatomical MRI might be needed to identify individuals with SCD who are on the beginning of the clinical continuum of AD.

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