A preliminary study of functional abnormalities in aMCI subjects during different episodic memory tasks

Mingwu Jin, Victoria S Pelak, Tim Curran, Rajesh R Nandy, Dietmar Cordes
Magnetic Resonance Imaging 2012, 30 (4): 459-70
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is an important imaging modality to understand the neurodegenerative course of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer's disease (AD), because the memory dysfunction may occur before structural degeneration is obvious. In this research, we investigated the functional abnormalities of subjects with amnestic MCI (aMCI) using three episodic memory paradigms that are relevant to different memory domains in both encoding and recognition phases. Both whole-brain analysis and region-of-interest (ROI) analysis of the medial temporal lobes (MTL), which are central to the memory formation and retrieval, were used to compare the efficiency of the different memory paradigms and the functional difference between aMCI subjects and normal control subjects. We also investigated the impact of using different functional activation measurements in ROI analysis. This pilot study could facilitate the use of fMRI activations in the MTL as a marker for early detection and monitoring progression of AD.

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