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Information processing speed and episodic memory are two commonly
affected cognitive abilities in MS. Insights into the mechanisms of and
relationships between these abilities have recently come from structural
neuroimaging techniques, but few studies have used fluid-attenuated
inversion recovery (FLAIR), a neuroimaging sequence known to be sensitive
to cortical and juxtacortical lesions in MS. We hypothesized that a
volumetric index of FLAIR total lesion volume (TLV) would be associated
with slowed processing speed and verbal memory dysfunction in MS. Twenty
MS patients underwent FLAIR imaging and were administered measures of
verbal memory and processing speed. Correlational and regression analyses
indicated that TLV was directly and independently related to measures of
processing speed and verbal memory, and TLV accounted for 56% of the
variance in cognitive performance. These findings, considered in the
context of prior work, suggest that FLAIR TLV is a useful predictor of
commonly impaired cognitive functions in MS, and shows promise as a
functionally relevant biomarker for disease status. (JINS, 2005,
Impairment in semantic processing occurs early
in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and differential impact
on subtypes of semantic relations have been reported, yet
there is little data on the neuroanatomic basis of these
deficits. Patients with mild AD and healthy controls underwent
3 functional MRI auditory stimulation tasks requiring semantic
or phonological decisions (match–mismatch) about
word pairs (category–exemplar, category–function,
pseudoword). Patients showed a significant performance
deficit only on the exemplar task. On voxel-based fMRI
activation analyses, controls showed a clear activation
focus in the left superior temporal gyrus for the phonological
task; patients showed additional foci in the left dorsolateral
prefrontal and bilateral cingulate areas. On the semantic
tasks, predominant activation foci were seen in the inferior
and middle frontal gyrus (left greater than right) in both
groups but patients showed additional activation suggesting
compensatory recruitment of locally expanded foci and remote
regions, for example, right frontal activation during the
exemplar task. Covariance analyses indicated that exemplar
task performance was strongly related to signal increase
in bilateral medial prefrontal cortex. The authors conclude
that fMRI can reveal similarities and differences in functional
neuroanatomical processing of semantic and phonological
information in mild AD compared to healthy elderly, and
can help to bridge cognitive and neural investigations
of the integrity of semantic networks in AD. (JINS,
1999, 5, 377–392.)
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