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In vivo nucleus basalis of Meynert degeneration in mild cognitive impairment with Lewy bodies.

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Schumacher, Julia 
Taylor, John-Paul 
Hamilton, Calum A 
Firbank, Michael 
Cromarty, Ruth A 


OBJECTIVES: To investigate in vivo degeneration of the cholinergic system in mild cognitive impairment with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB), we studied nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM) volumes from structural MR images and its relation to EEG slowing and cognitive impairment. METHODS: We studied the NBM using structural MR images in 37 patients with MCI-LB, 34 patients with MCI with Alzheimer's disease (MCI-AD), and 31 healthy control participants. We also tested correlations between NBM volumes and measures of overall cognition and measures of EEG slowing in the MCI groups. RESULTS: Overall NBM volume was reduced in MCI-LB compared to controls with no significant difference between MCI-AD and controls or between the two MCI groups. The voxel-wise analysis revealed bilateral clusters of reduced NBM volume in MCI-LB compared to controls and smaller clusters in MCI-AD compared to controls. There was a significant association between overall NBM volume and measures of overall cognition in MCI-LB, but not in MCI-AD. In both MCI groups, reduced NBM volume was correlated with more severe EEG slowing. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides in vivo evidence that early cholinergic degeneration in DLB occurs at the MCI stage and is related to the severity of cognitive impairment. Furthermore, the results suggest that early EEG slowing in MCI-LB might be in part cholinergically driven. Importantly, these findings suggest an early cholinergic deficit in MCI-LB that may motivate further testing of the effectiveness of cholinesterase inhibitors in this group.



Alzheimer’s disease, EEG, Mild cognitive impairment, Nucleus basalis of Meynert, dementia with Lewy bodies, Alzheimer Disease, Basal Nucleus of Meynert, Cognitive Dysfunction, Humans, Lewy Bodies, Lewy Body Disease

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Neuroimage Clin

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Elsevier BV