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Subjective memory impairment (SMI) is common among older adults. Increasing evidence suggests that SMI is a risk factor for future cognitive decline, as well as for mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Medial temporal lobe structures, including the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, are affected in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. The current study examined the gray matter (GM) volume and microstructural changes of hippocampal and entorhinal regions in individuals with SMI, compared with elderly control participants without memory complaints.
A total of 45 participants (mean age: 70.31 ± 6.07 years) took part in the study, including 18 participants with SMI and 27 elderly controls without memory complaints. We compared the GM volume and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measures in the hippocampal and entorhinal regions between SMI and control groups.
Individuals with SMI had lower entorhinal cortical volumes than control participants, but no differences in hippocampal volume were found between groups. In addition, SMI patients exhibited DTI changes (lower fractional anisotropy (FA) and higher mean diffusivity in SMI) in the hippocampal body and entorhinal white matter compared with controls. Combining entorhinal cortical volume and FA in the hippocampal body improved the accuracy of classification between SMI and control groups.
These findings suggest that the entorhinal region exhibits macrostructural as well as microstructural changes in individuals with SMI, whereas the hippocampus exhibits only microstructural alterations.
The diagnostic relevance of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) remains to be unresolved. The aim of this study is to determine clinical correlates of SMCs in MCI. Furthermore, we examined whether there are the differences due to different aspects of complaints (i.e. prospective memory (PM) versus retrospective memory (RM) complaints).
We examined the cross-sectional associations between SMCs and depressive symptoms, instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), and cognitive measures in sixty-six individuals with MCI (mean age: 65.7 ± 8.01 years). The criteria for MCI included SMCs, objective cognitive impairment, normal general cognitive function, largely intact functional activities, and absence of dementia. SMCs were assessed using the Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire (PRMQ), which contains 16 items describing everyday memory failure of both PM and RM.
SMC severity (i.e. PRMQ total score) was associated with stronger depressive symptoms and worse IADL performance. SMCs were not related to cognitive measures. For PM and RM subscores, both depressive symptoms and IADL were related to the PRMQ-PM and -RM scores. The main contributors to these PM and RM scores were depressive symptoms and IADL impairment, respectively.
This study suggests that SMCs are more associated with depressive symptoms and IADL problems than with cognitive performance in individuals with MCI. Furthermore, while PM and RM complaints are related to both depressive symptoms and IADL, the differences between these main contributors suggest that RM complaints based on IADL could be more associated with the organically driven pathological features of MCI.
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