Morphometric analysis of medial temporal lobe subregions in Alzheimer's disease using high-resolution MRI

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Hari E., Kurt E., Ulaşoğlu Yıldız Ç., Bayram A., Bilgiç B., Demiralp T., ...More

BRAIN STRUCTURE & FUNCTION, vol.228, no.8, pp.1885-1899, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 228 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00429-023-02683-2
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.1885-1899
  • Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, Amygdala nuclei, Hippocampal subfields, Magnetic resonance imaging, Morphometric analysis
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


The spread pattern of progressive degeneration seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD) to small-scale medial temporal lobe subregions is critical for early diagnosis. In this context, it was aimed to examine the morphometric changes of the hippocampal subfields, amygdala nuclei, entorhinal cortex (ERC), and parahippocampal cortex (PHC) using MRI. MRI data of patients diagnosed with 20 Alzheimer's disease dementia (ADD), 30 amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), and 30 subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) without demographic differences were used. Segmentation and parcellation were performed using FreeSurfer. The segmentation process obtained volume values of 12 hippocampal subfields and 9 amygdala nuclei. Thickness values of ERC and PHC were calculated with the parcellation process. ANCOVA was performed using age, education and gender as covariates to evaluate the intergroup differences. Linear discriminant analysis was used to investigate whether atrophy predicted groups at an early stage. ERC and PHC thickness decreased significantly throughout the disease continuum, while only ERC was affected in the early stage. When the hippocampal and amygdala subfields were compared volumetrically, significant differences were found in the amygdala between the SCI and aMCI groups. In the early period, only volume reduction in the anterior amygdaloid area of the amygdala nuclei exceeded the significance threshold. Research on AD primarily focuses on original hippocampocentric structures and their main function which is episodic memory. Our results emphasized the significance of so far relatively neglected olfactocentric structures and their functions, such as smell and social cognition in the pre-dementia stages of the AD process.