Morphometry of the amygdala in patients with questionable dementia and mild dementia

Anke Hensel, Henrike Wolf, Tillmann Dieterlen, Steffi Riedel-Heller, Thomas Arendt, Hermann Josef Gertz
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 2005 November 15, 238 (1): 71-4
The volume of the amygdala is reduced in advanced Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, there is controversy whether amygdala atrophy is present in mild AD and in the transitional phase between health and the onset of dementia. The aim of this prospective longitudinal study was to investigate whether amygdala atrophy is present in subjects with questionable dementia and mild dementia and whether amygdala volume is associated with the future rate of cognitive change, that is the annual change in the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). At baseline, volumes of the amygdala were measured in 97 participants aged 70-87 years (40 controls, 33 patients with questionable dementia, 24 patients with mild AD) using magnetic resonance imaging. Eighty-six participants were clinically re-examined after 2.3 years on average. At baseline, significant differences in mean amygdala volume were found between controls and participants with mild AD. There was no significant correlation between the longitudinal annual change in MMSE and the baseline amygdala volume in any of the three groups.

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