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Author Notes:

*Please address correspondence to Hui Mao, PhD, Department of Radiology, Emory University School of Medicine, 1364 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA. Phone: (404) 712-0357. Fax: (404) 712-5948. hmao@emory.edu


Research Funding:

National Institute on Aging : NIA


  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Cortical Thickness
  • Diffusion Tensor
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • White Matter
  • Gray Matter
  • Alzheimer's Disease

Alterations in Cortical Thickness and White Matter Integrity in Mild Cognitive Impairment Measured by Whole Brain Cortical Thickness Mapping and Diffusion Tensor Imaging


Journal Title:

American Journal of Neuroradiology


Volume 30, Number 5


, Pages 893-899

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Background and Purpose Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and can be difficult to diagnose due to the subtlety of symptoms. This work attempted to examine gray and white matter changes with cortical thickness analysis and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in MCI patients and demographically-matched comparison subjects in order to test these measurements as possible imaging markers for diagnosis. Materials and Methods Subjects with amnestic MCI (n=10; age 72.2±7.1) and normal cognition (n=10; age 70.1±7.7) underwent DTI and T1 weighted MRI at 3T. Fractional anisotropy, apparent diffusion coefficient and cortical thickness were measured and compared between MCI and control groups. The diagnostic accuracy of two methods, either in combination or separately, was evaluated using binary logistic regression and nonparametric statistical analyses for sensitivity, specificity and accuracy. Results Decreased FA and increased ADC in white matter regions of frontal and temporal lobes and corpus callosum were observed in MCI patients. Cortical thickness was decreased in gray matter regions of the frontal, temporal, parietal lobes in MCI patients. Changes in white matter and cortical thickness appeared to be more pronounced in the left hemisphere than in the right hemisphere. Furthermore the combination of cortical thickness and DTI measurements in left temporal areas improved the accuracy of differentiating MCI patients from controls compared to either measure alone. Conclusion DTI and cortical thickness analyses may both serve imaging markers for differentiating MCI from normal aging. Combined use of two methods may improve the accuracy of MCI diagnosis.
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