Changes in hippocampal volume and shape across time distinguish dementia of the Alzheimer type from healthy aging

Lei Wang*, Jeffrey S. Swank, Irena E. Glick, Mokhtar H. Gado, Michael I. Miller, John C. Morris, John G. Csernansky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

225 Scopus citations


Rates of hippocampal volume loss have been shown to distinguish subjects with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) from nondemented controls (Jack et al., 2000). In this study, we obtained magnetic resonance scans in 18 subjects with very mild DAT (CDR 0.5) and 26 age-matched nondemented controls (CDR 0) 2 years apart. Large-deformation high-dimensional brain mapping was used to quantify and compare changes in hippocampal shape as well as volume in the two groups of subjects. Hippocampal volume loss over time was significantly greater in the CDR 0.5 subjects (left = 8.3%, right = 10.2%) than in the CDR 0 subjects (left = 4.0%, right = 5.5%) (ANOVA, F = 7.81, P = 0.0078). We used singular-value decomposition and logistic regression models to quantify hippocampal shape change across time within individuals, and this shape change in the CDR 0.5 and CDR 0 subjects was found to be significantly different (Wilks's λ, P = 0.014). Further, at baseline, CDR 0.5 subjects, in comparison to CDR 0 subjects, showed inward deformation over 38% of the hippocampal surface; after 2 years this difference grew to 47%. Also, within the CDR 0 subjects, shape change between baseline and follow-up was largely confined to the head of the hippocampus and subiculum, while in the CDR 0.5 subjects, shape change involved the lateral body of the hippocampus as well as the head region and subiculum. These results suggest that different patterns of hippocampal shape change in time as well as different rates of hippocampal volume loss distinguish very mild DAT from healthy aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-682
Number of pages16
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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