Compared with healthy controls, patients with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease had deterioration in regions of the frontal lobe.
VANCOUVER—In patients with Alzheimer’s disease, white matter deteriorated significantly in the frontal lobe over two years, according to a study presented at the 2012 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. Principal white matter fibers deteriorated in areas including the bilateral forceps minor, anterior cingulate gyrus, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, thalamic radiation, and uncinate fasciculus.
Post hoc analysis including age and sex as covariates revealed a trend of white-matter deterioration over two years in the left frontal cortex of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, said Rodrigo Perea, a doctoral candidate in the bioengineering program at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City. The trend was observed in the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, uncinate fasciculus, forceps minor, and cingulate gyrus.
The Brain Aging Study
To examine how white matter neurodegeneration occurs during the course of Alzheimer’s disease, Mr. Perea and colleagues studied 18 participants in the University of Kansas Brain Aging Study. This study was led by Jeffrey Burns, MD, Associate Director of the University of Kansas’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center. The researchers performed diffusion tensor imaging and administered cognitive tests at baseline and after two years. The team characterized diffusivity by mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy.