Autopsy-confirmed Alzheimer's disease versus clinically diagnosed Alzheimer's disease in the Cache County Study on Memory and Aging: a comparison of quantitative MRI and neuropsychological findings.
Atrophy of specific, regional, and generalized brain structures occurs as a result of the Alzheimer's disease (AD) process. Comparing AD patients with histopathological confirmation of the disease at autopsy to those without autopsy but who were clinically diagnosed using the same antemortem criteria will provide further evidence of the utility and accuracy of neuropsychological assessments at the time of diagnosis, as well as the efficacy of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (qMRI) in demonstrating gross neuropathological changes associated with the disease. The Cache County Study of Aging provides a unique opportunity to determine how closely AD subjects with only the clinical diagnosis match similarly diagnosed AD subjects but with postmortem confirmation of the disease. qMRI volumes of various brain structures, as well as neuropsychological outcome measures from an expanded battery, were obtained in 31 autopsy-confirmed AD subjects and 45 clinically diagnosed AD subjects. Of the various qMRI variables examined, only total temporal lobe volume was different, where those with postmortem confirmation had reduced volume. No significant differences between the two groups were found with any of the neuropsychological outcome measures. These findings confirm the similarity in neuroimaging and neuropsychological assessment findings between those with just the clinical diagnosis of AD and those with an autopsy-confirmed diagnosis in the moderate-to-severe stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis.
Fearing, MA; Bigler, ED; Norton, M; Tschanz, JA; Hulette, C; Leslie, C; Welsh-Bohmer, K; Cache County Investigators,
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