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Volumetric alterations in the hippocampal subfields of subjects at increased risk of dementia.

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Dounavi, Maria-Eleni 
Wells, Katie 
Ritchie, Karen 
Ritchie, Craig W 


The hippocampus is one of the first regions to demonstrate atrophy during the prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease. Volumetric analysis of its individual subfields could provide biomarkers with higher sensitivity than whole hippocampal volume during an earlier disease stage. We quantified the hippocampal subfields volume in a large cohort comprising healthy participants (aged 40-59) with dementia family history (FH) and controls (without FH), examined at 2 time points across 2 years. Subfield volumes were quantified using both a T1-weighted and a high-resolution T2 hippocampal magnetic resonance imaging acquisition with Freesurfer. The participants were stratified based on dementia FH, APOE genotype, and CAIDE (Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia) risk score. Whole hippocampal volume did not differ between the groups. The volume of the molecular layer was lower in participants with an APOE ε4 genotype, but there were no differences between subjects with and without dementia FH or with an increasing CAIDE score. The molecular layer may be the first hippocampal region to demonstrate volumetric alterations in subjects at risk of dementia.



Alzheimer's disease, Dementia, Hippocampal subfields, Hippocampus, Preclinical dementia, Adult, Aging, Alzheimer Disease, Apolipoproteins E, Atrophy, Dementia, Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Educational Status, Female, Genotype, Hippocampus, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Organ Size, Risk

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Neurobiol Aging

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Elsevier BV