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Intelligence quotient–adjusted memory impairment is associated with abnormal single photon emission computed tomography perfusion

  • DORENE M. RENTZ (a1), TERRI J. HUH (a2), LISA M. SARDINHA (a1), ERIN K. MORAN (a3), JOHN A. BECKER (a3), KIRK R. DAFFNER (a1), REISA A. SPERLING (a1) (a4) and KEITH A. JOHNSON (a1) (a3) (a4)...


Cognitive reserve among highly intelligent older individuals makes detection of early Alzheimer's disease (AD) difficult. We tested the hypothesis that mild memory impairment determined by IQ-adjusted norms is associated with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) perfusion abnormality at baseline and predictive of future decline. Twenty-three subjects with a Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) score of 0, were reclassified after scores were adjusted for IQ into two groups, 10 as having mild memory impairments for ability (IQ-MI) and 13 as memory-normal (IQ-MN). Subjects underwent cognitive and functional assessments at baseline and annual follow-up for 3 years. Perfusion SPECT was acquired at baseline. At follow-up, the IQ-MI subjects demonstrated decline in memory, visuospatial processing, and phonemic fluency, and 6 of 10 had progressed to a CDR of 0.5, while the IQ-MN subjects did not show decline. The IQ-MI group had significantly lower perfusion than the IQ-MN group in parietal/precuneus, temporal, and opercular frontal regions. In contrast, higher perfusion was observed in IQ-MI compared with IQ-MN in the left medial frontal and rostral anterior cingulate regions. IQ-adjusted memory impairment in individuals with high cognitive reserve is associated with baseline SPECT abnormality in a pattern consistent with prodromal AD and predicts subsequent cognitive and functional decline. (JINS, 2007, 13, 821–831.)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Dorene M. Rentz, PsyD, Division of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 221 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA. E-mail:


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