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Neurobiol Aging. 2010 Aug;31(8):1463-80. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2010.04.033.

Sex and age differences in atrophic rates: an ADNI study with n=1368 MRI scans.

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1
Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Department of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1769, USA.

Abstract

We set out to determine factors that influence the rate of brain atrophy in 1-year longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. With tensor-based morphometry (TBM), we mapped the 3-dimensional profile of progressive atrophy in 144 subjects with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD) (age: 76.5 +/- 7.4 years), 338 with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI; 76.0 +/- 7.2), and 202 healthy controls (77.0 +/- 5.1), scanned twice, 1 year apart. Statistical maps revealed significant age and sex differences in atrophic rates. Brain atrophic rates were about 1%-1.5% faster in women than men. Atrophy was faster in younger than older subjects, most prominently in mild cognitive impairment, with a 1% increase in the rates of atrophy and 2% in ventricular expansion, for every 10-year decrease in age. TBM-derived atrophic rates correlated with reduced beta-amyloid and elevated tau levels (n = 363) at baseline, baseline and progressive deterioration in clinical measures, and increasing numbers of risk alleles for the ApoE4 gene. TBM is a sensitive, high-throughput biomarker for tracking disease progression in large imaging studies; sub-analyses focusing on women or younger subjects gave improved sample size requirements for clinical trials.

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