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Neurology Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 517876, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/517876
Research Article

DTI and MR Volumetry of Hippocampus-PC/PCC Circuit: In Search of Early Micro- and Macrostructural Signs of Alzheimers's Disease

1Neuroradiology Unit, IRCCS Foundation National Neurological Institute C. Mondino, 27100 Pavia, Italy
2Department of Physics “A. Volta”, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
3Department of Computer Engineering and Systems Science, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
4Neurology Unit, IRCCS Foundation National Neurological Institute C. Mondino, 27100 Pavia, Italy
5Department of Radiology, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy

Received 15 March 2011; Accepted 7 April 2011

Academic Editor: Patrice Peran

Copyright © 2012 F. Palesi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Hippocampal damage, by DTI or MR volumetry, and PET hypoperfusion of precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex (PC/PCC) were proposed as biomarkers of conversion from preclinical (MCI) to clinical stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD). This study evaluated structural damage, by DTI and MR volumetry, of hippocampi and tracts connecting hippocampus to PC/PCC (hipp-PC/PCC) in 10 AD, 10 MCI, and 18 healthy controls (CTRL). Normalized volumes, mean diffusivity (MD), and fractional anisotropy (FA) were obtained for grey matter (GM), white matter (WM), hippocampi, PC/PCC, and hipp-PC/PCC tracts. In hippocampi and hipp-PC/PCC tracts, decreased volumes and increased MD were found in AD versus CTRL ( ). The same results with lower significance ( ) were found in MCI versus CTRL. Verbal memory correlated ( ) in AD with left hippocampal and hipp-PC/PCC tract MD, and in MCI with FA of total WM. Both DTI and MR volumetry of hippocampi and hipp-PC/PCC tracts detect early signs of AD in MCI patients.