Hippocampal subfield volumetry in mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease and semantic dementia.
ABSTRACT: Hippocampal atrophy is a well-known feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but sensitivity and specificity of hippocampal volumetry are limited. Neuropathological studies have shown that hippocampal subfields are differentially vulnerable to AD; hippocampal subfield volumetry may thus prove to be more accurate than global hippocampal volumetry to detect AD.CA1, subiculum and other subfields were manually delineated from 40 healthy controls, 18 AD, 17 amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI), and 8 semantic dementia (SD) patients using a previously developed high resolution MRI procedure. Non-parametric group comparisons and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses were conducted. Complementary analyses were conducted to evaluate differences of hemispheric asymmetry and anterior-predominance between AD and SD patients and to distinguish aMCI patients with or without β-amyloid deposition as assessed by Florbetapir-TEP.Global hippocampi were atrophied in all three patient groups and volume decreases were maximal in the CA1 subfield (22% loss in aMCI, 27% in both AD and SD; all p < 0.001). In aMCI, CA1 volumetry was more accurate than global hippocampal measurement to distinguish patients from controls (areas under the ROC curve = 0.88 and 0.76, respectively; p = 0.05) and preliminary analyses suggest that it was independent from the presence of β-amyloid deposition. In patients with SD, whereas the degree of CA1 and subiculum atrophy was similar to that found in AD patients, hemispheric and anterior-posterior asymmetry were significantly more marked than in AD with greater involvement of the left and anterior hippocampal subfields.The findings suggest that CA1 measurement is more sensitive than global hippocampal volumetry to detect structural changes at the pre-dementia stage, although the predominance of CA1 atrophy does not appear to be specific to AD pathophysiological processes.
Project description:Histopathological studies and animal models suggest that hippocampal subfields may be differently affected by aging, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and other diseases. High-resolution images at 4 Tesla depict details of the internal structure of the hippocampus allowing for in vivo volumetry of different subfields. The aims of this study were as follows: (1) to determine patterns of volume loss in hippocampal subfields in normal aging, AD, and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI). (2) To determine if measurements of hippocampal subfields provide advantages over total hippocampal volume for differentiation between groups.Ninety-one subjects (53 controls (mean age: 69.3 ± 7.3), 20 MCI (mean age: 73.6 ± 7.1), and 18 AD (mean age: 69.1 ± 9.5) were studied with a high-resolution T2 weighted imaging sequence aimed at the hippocampus. Entorhinal cortex (ERC), subiculum, CA1, CA1-CA2 transition zone (CA1-2), CA3 & dentate gyrus (CA3&DG) were manually marked in the anterior third of the hippocampal body. Hippocampal volume was obtained from the Freesurfer and manually edited.Compared to controls, AD had smaller volumes of ERC, subiculum, CA1, CA1-2, and total hippocampal volumes. MCI had smaller CA1-2 volumes. Discriminant analysis and power analysis showed that CA1-2 was superior to total hippocampal volume for distinction between controls and MCI.The patterns of subfield atrophy in AD and MCI were consistent with patterns of neuronal cell loss/reduced synaptic density described by histopathology. These preliminary findings suggest that hippocampal subfield volumetry might be a better measure for diagnosis of early AD and for detection of other disease effects than measurement of total hippocampus.
Project description:Memory impairment is a typical characteristic of patients with subcortical vascular mild cognitive impairment (svMCI) or with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). The hippocampus, which plays an important role in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory, is a heterogeneous structure that consists of several anatomically and functionally distinct subfields. However, whether distinct hippocampal subfields are differentially and selectively affected by svMCI pathology and whether these abnormal changes in hippocampal subfields are different between svMCI and aMCI patients are largely unknown. A total of 26 svMCI patients, 26 aMCI patients and 26 healthy controls matched according to age, gender and years of education were enrolled in this study. We utilized an automated hippocampal subfield segmentation method provided by FreeSurfer to estimate the volume of several hippocampal subfields, including the cornu ammonis (CA) areas, the dentate gyrus (DG), the subiculum and the presubiculum. Compared with controls, the left subiculum and presubiculum and the right CA4/DG displayed significant atrophy in patients with svMCI. Interestingly, we also found significant differences in the volume of the right CA1 between the svMCI and aMCI groups. Taken together, our results reveal region-specific vulnerability of hippocampal subfields to svMCI pathology and identify distinct hippocampal subfield atrophy patterns between svMCI and aMCI patients.
Project description:We evaluate a fully automatic technique for labeling hippocampal subfields and cortical subregions in the medial temporal lobe in in vivo 3 Tesla MRI. The method performs segmentation on a T2-weighted MRI scan with 0.4 × 0.4 × 2.0 mm(3) resolution, partial brain coverage, and oblique orientation. Hippocampal subfields, entorhinal cortex, and perirhinal cortex are labeled using a pipeline that combines multi-atlas label fusion and learning-based error correction. In contrast to earlier work on automatic subfield segmentation in T2-weighted MRI [Yushkevich et al., 2010], our approach requires no manual initialization, labels hippocampal subfields over a greater anterior-posterior extent, and labels the perirhinal cortex, which is further subdivided into Brodmann areas 35 and 36. The accuracy of the automatic segmentation relative to manual segmentation is measured using cross-validation in 29 subjects from a study of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and is highest for the dentate gyrus (Dice coefficient is 0.823), CA1 (0.803), perirhinal cortex (0.797), and entorhinal cortex (0.786) labels. A larger cohort of 83 subjects is used to examine the effects of aMCI in the hippocampal region using both subfield volume and regional subfield thickness maps. Most significant differences between aMCI and healthy aging are observed bilaterally in the CA1 subfield and in the left Brodmann area 35. Thickness analysis results are consistent with volumetry, but provide additional regional specificity and suggest nonuniformity in the effects of aMCI on hippocampal subfields and MTL cortical subregions.
Project description:Growing interest has developed in hippocampal subfield volumetry over the past few years and an increasing number of studies use the automatic segmentation algorithm implemented in FreeSurfer. However, this approach has not been validated on standard resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) as used in most studies. We aimed at comparing hippocampal subfield segmentation using FreeSurfer on standard T1-weighted images versus manual delineation on dedicated high-resolution hippocampal scans. Hippocampal subfields were segmented in 133 individuals including 98 cognitively normal controls aged 19-84 years, 17 mild cognitive impairment and 18 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients using both methods. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and Bland-Altman plots were computed to assess the consistency between both methods, and the effects of age and diagnosis were assessed from both measures. Low to moderate ICC (0.31-0.74) were found for the subiculum and other subfields as well as for the whole hippocampus, and the correlations were very low for cornu ammonis (CA)1 (<0.1). FreeSurfer CA1 volume estimates were found to be much lower than those obtained from manual segmentation, and this bias was proportional to the volume of this structure so that no effect of age or AD could be detected on FreeSurfer CA1 volumes. This study points to the differences in the anatomic definition of the subfields between FreeSurfer and manual delineation, especially for CA1, and provides clue for improvement of this automatic technique for potential clinical application on standard T1-weighted MR.
Project description:Details of the internal hippocampal structure visible at 4 T allow for in vivo volumetry of subfields. The aims of this study were: 1. To determine if Apo e4 has subfield specific effects in controls. 2. To study the influence of Apo e4 on hippocampal subfields in AD.81 subjects (66 controls, mean age 60.8+/-13.6, range: 28-85 years), and 15 AD (mean age 67.5+/-9.3) were studied. Entorhinal cortex, subiculum, CA1, CA1-CA2 transition zone, CA3-4 and dentate gyrus (CA3&DG) and total hippocampal volume were determined using a manual marking strategy.Significant effects for Apo e4 on the CA3&DG were found in the total control population (p=0.042) and in older controls (61-85 years) (p=0.036) but not in younger (28-60 years) controls. Significant effects for Apo e4 (p=0.0035) on CA3&DG were also found in a subgroup of older subjects and AD subjects. AD with Apo e4 had smaller CA3&DG than AD without Apo e4 (p=0.027).These findings suggest that Apo e4 exerts a regionally selective effect on CA3&DG in normal aging and AD.
Project description:The increased understanding that neuropathology begins decades before symptom onset, has led to the conceptualization and widespread utilization of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) as an important transitional state between healthy aging and dementia. Further subcategorization to MCI subtype has led to more distinct prognoses and it is widely considered that amnestic and non-amnestic MCI (aMCI, naMCI) likely have distinct pathophysiologies. Yet, accurately classification remains contentious. Here, we differentiate hippocampal subfield volume between subtypes, diagnosed according to stringent clinical consensus criteria, where aMCI is characterized based on deficits in delayed recall (rather than encoding). We then identify memory performance correlates to subfield volume and associations with long-term cognitive performance and outcome. 3D T1-weighted structural MRI was acquired in 142 participants recruited from the Healthy Brain Aging (HBA) Clinic and diagnosed with aMCI (n = 38), naMCI (n = 84) or subjective memory complaints (SMC; n = 20). T1-weighted datasets were processed with the cortical and hippocampal subfield processing streams in FreeSurfer (v6.0). Subfield volumes, and associations with baseline and longitudinal objective memory scores were then examined. Subfield volumes were found to differentiate clinical profiles: subiculum, CA1, CA4 and dentate gyrus volumes were significantly reduced in aMCI compared to both naMCI and SMC. CA1 subfield volume was shown to predict concurrent memory performance in aMCI, while dentate gyrus volume significantly predicted longitudinal verbal learning and memory decline in the entire cohort. Our findings demonstrate that using a more stringent diagnostic approach to characterizing aMCI is well justified, as delayed recall deficits are strongly linked to underlying volumetric subfield reductions in CA1, CA4 and the dentate gyrus, subfields known to be associated with mnemonic processes. Further research is now warranted to replicate these findings in other MCI samples.
Project description:The heterogeneous specialisation of hippocampal subfields across memory functions has been widely shown in animal models. Yet, few in vivo studies in humans have explored correspondence between hippocampal subfield anatomy and memory performance in ageing. Here, we used a well-validated automated MR segmentation protocol to measure hippocampal subfield volumes in 436 non-demented adults aged 50+. We explored relationships between hippocampal subfield volume and verbal episodic memory, as indexed by word list recall at immediate presentation and following delay. In separate multilevel models for each task, we tested linearity and non-linearity of associations between recall performance and subfield volume. Fully-adjusted models revealed that immediate and delayed recall were both associated with cubic fits with respect to volume of subfields CA1, CA2/3, CA4, molecular layer, and granule cell layer of dentate gyrus; moreover, these effects were partly dissociable from quadratic age trends, observed for subiculum, molecular layer, hippocampal tail, and CA1. Furthermore, analyses of semantic fluency data revealed little evidence of robust associations with hippocampal subfield volumes. Our results show that specific hippocampal subfields manifest associations with memory encoding and retrieval performance in non-demented older adults; these effects are partly dissociable from age-related atrophy, and from retrieval of well-consolidated semantic categories.
Project description:Hippocampal atrophy and abnormal ?-Amyloid (A?) deposition are established markers of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Nonetheless, longitudinal trajectory of A?-associated hippocampal subfield atrophy prior to dementia remains unclear. We hypothesized that elevated A? correlated with longitudinal subfield atrophy selectively in no cognitive impairment (NCI), spreading to other subfields in mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We analyzed data from two independent longitudinal cohorts of nondemented elderly, including global PET-A? in AD-vulnerable cortical regions and longitudinal subfield volumes quantified with a novel auto-segmentation method (FreeSurfer v.6.0). Moreover, we investigated associations of A?-related progressive subfield atrophy with memory decline. Across both datasets, we found a converging pattern that higher A? correlated with faster CA1 volume decline in NCI. This pattern spread to other hippocampal subfields in MCI group, correlating with memory decline. Our results for the first time suggest a longitudinal focal-to-widespread trajectory of A?-associated hippocampal subfield atrophy over disease progression in nondemented elderly.
Project description:The most common presentation of early onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD - defined as symptom onset <65 years) is with progressive episodic memory impairment - amnestic or typical Alzheimer's disease (tAD). However, EOAD is notable for its phenotypic heterogeneity, with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) - characterised by prominent higher-order visual processing deficits and relative sparing of episodic memory - the second most common canonical phenotype. The hippocampus, which comprises a number of interconnected anatomically and functionally distinct subfields, is centrally involved in Alzheimer's disease and is a crucial mediator of episodic memory. The extent to which volumes of individual hippocampal subfields differ between different phenotypes in EOAD is unclear. The aim of this analysis was to investigate the hypothesis that patients with a PCA phenotype will exhibit differences in specific hippocampal subfield volumes compared to tAD. We studied 63 participants with volumetric T1-weighted MRI performed on the same 3T scanner: 39 EOAD patients [27 with tAD and 12 with PCA] and 24 age-matched controls. Volumetric estimates of the following hippocampal subfields for each participant were obtained using Freesurfer version 6.0: CA1, CA2/3, CA4, presubiculum, subiculum, hippocampal tail, parasubiculum, the molecular and granule cell layers of the dentate gryus (GCMLDG), the molecular layer, and the hippocampal amygdala transition area (HATA). Linear regression analyses comparing mean hippocampal subfield volumes between groups, adjusting for age, sex and head size, were performed. Using a Bonferonni-corrected p-value of p < 0.0025, compared to controls, tAD was associated with atrophy in all hippocampal regions, except the parasubiculum. In PCA patients compared to controls, the strongest evidence for volume loss was in the left presubiclum, right subiculum, right GCMLDG, right molecular layer and the right HATA. Compared to PCA, patients with tAD had strong evidence for smaller volumes in left CA1 and left hippocampal tail. In conclusion, these data provide evidence that hippocampal subfield volumes differ in different phenotypes of EOAD.