Accelerated decline in white matter microstructure in subsequently impaired older adults and its relationship with cognitive decline.
Williams OA., Shafer AT., Rivra EP., An Y., Landman BA., Ferrucci L., Resnick SM.
<jats:p>INTRODUCTION: Little is known about longitudinal decline in white matter (WM) microstructure and its associations with cognition in preclinical Alzheimers disease (AD). METHODS: Longitudinal diffusion tensor imaging and neuropsychological testing from 50 older adults who subsequently developed mild cognitive impairment or dementia (subsequently impaired, SI) and 200 cognitively normal controls. Rates of WM decline were compared between groups using voxel-wise linear mixed-effects models. Associations between change in WM and cognition were examined. RESULTS: SI had faster decline in fractional anisotropy (FA) in the right inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (R.IFOF) and bilateral splenium of the corpus callosum. Decline in R.IFOF FA was related to decline in verbal memory, visuospatial ability, processing speed, and MMSE (p≤ 0.05). Decline in bilateral splenium FA was related to decline in verbal fluency, processing speed, and MMSE (p≤ 0.05). DISCUSSION: Accelerated regional WM decline is characteristic of preclinical AD and related to domain specific cognitive decline.</jats:p>