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Age of Onset and Brain Atrophy in Alzheimer's Disease

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2005

Jong Inn Woo
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Ju Han Kim
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Jung Hie Lee
Affiliation:
Aging and Physical Culture Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Using magnetic resonance imaging-based planimetry, we measured cortical and cerebral (cortical and ventricular) atrophy in 26 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) (age, 72.2 ± 7.0) according to NINCDS-ADRDA criteria and 22 control subjects (age, 71.5 ± 5.4). AD patients exhibited greater cerebral atrophy (p < .05) than control subjects. Cerebral atrophy was significantly correlated with age (r = .72, p < .0005) in healthy volunteers but not in AD patients. In AD patients, age of onset was negatively correlated with the estimated rate of disease-attributed cerebral degeneration ([observed atrophy - atrophy in normal aging calculated from the regression equation derived from the control group]/[duration of illness]) (r = −.54, p < .005). Multiple regression with interaction analysis demonstrated that age, age of onset, and their interaction successfully explained cerebral (R2 = .51, p < .05) and cortical (R2 = .64, p < .05) atrophy in patients with probable AD. Age of onset may be a strong predictor of the rate of cerebral degeneration in AD, and our results suggest that controlling age and the age of onset is essential in the quantitative study of AD.

Type
Studies on Dementia
Copyright
© 1997 International Psychogeriatric Association

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