Dement Neurocogn Disord.  2019 Sep;18(3):77-95. 10.12779/dnd.2019.18.3.77.

The Cortical Neuroanatomy Related to Specific Neuropsychological Deficits in Alzheimer's Continuum

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. yj_1211@nate.com, sangwonseo@empal.com
  • 2Neuroscience Center, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Health Sciences and Technology, Samsung Advanced Institute for Health Sciences & Technology (SAIHST), Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4The BOM Brain Health Neuropsychology Center & Cognitive Rehabilitation Research Institute, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Samsung Alzheimer Research Center, and Center for Clinical Epidemiology Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
AND PURPOSE: In Alzheimer's continuum (a comprehensive of preclinical Alzheimer's disease [AD], mild cognitive impairment [MCI] due to AD, and AD dementia), cognitive dysfunctions are often related to cortical atrophy in specific brain regions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between anatomical pattern of cortical atrophy and specific neuropsychological deficits.
METHODS
A total of 249 participants with Alzheimer's continuum (125 AD dementia, 103 MCI due to AD, and 21 preclinical AD) who were confirmed to be positive for amyloid deposits were collected from the memory disorder clinic in the department of neurology at Samsung Medical Center in Korea between September 2013 and March 2018. To analyze neuropsychological test-specific neural correlates representing the relationship between cortical atrophy measured by cortical thickness and performance in specific neuropsychological tests, a linear regression analysis was performed. Two neural correlates acquired by 2 different standardized scores in neuropsychological tests were also compared.
RESULTS
Cortical atrophy in several specific brain regions was associated with most neuropsychological deficits, including digit span backward, naming, drawing-copying, verbal and visual recall, semantic fluency, phonemic fluency, and response inhibition. There were a few differences between 2 neural correlates obtained by different z-scores.
CONCLUSIONS
The poor performance of most neuropsychological tests is closely related to cortical thinning in specific brain areas in Alzheimer's continuum. Therefore, the brain atrophy pattern in patients with Alzheimer's continuum can be predict by an accurate analysis of neuropsychological tests in clinical practice.

Keyword

Neuropsychological Tests; Cortical Atrophy; Alzheimer's Disease; Alzheimer's Continuum; Cognition; Neural Correlates
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