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Decreased gray matter diffusivity: a potential early Alzheimer's disease biomarker?

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Abstract

Background: Gray matter atrophy, an important biomarker for early Alzheimer's disease, might be due to white matter changes within gray matter. Methods: Twenty older participants with significant memory decline over a 12-year period (T12) were matched to 20 nondeclining participants. All participants were magnetic resonance imaging scanned at T12. Cortical thickness and diffusion tensor imaging analyses were performed. Results: Lower cortical thickness values were associated with lower diffusion values in frontal and parietal gray matter areas. This association was only present in the memory decline group. The cortical thickness diffusion tensor imaging correlations showed significant group differences in the posterior cingulate gyrus, precuneus, and superior frontal gyrus. Conclusions: Decreased gray matter diffusivity in the posterior cingulate/precuneus area might be a disease-specific process and a potential new biomarker for early Alzheimer's disease. Future studies should validate its potential as a biomarker and focus on cellular changes underlying diffusivity changes in gray matter. (C) 2013 The Alzheimer's Association. All rights reserved.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-97
JournalAlzheimer's & Dementia
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013