Correlation between cortical theta activity and hippocampal volumes in health, mild cognitive impairment, and mild dementia.
The brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) invariably exhibit neuropathology in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex when examined postmortem. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) offers a noninvasive, high-resolution method for quantifying volumetric changes in the AD brain antemortem. Eight patients diagnosed with probable AD and 7 age-matched controls had MRI scans and were tested on a battery of cognitive and olfactory tests. The hippocampus and entorhinal cortex (parahippocampal gyrus) showed significant atrophy, with over 40% reduction in size. Areas of the brain that are not highly involved in the degenerative state of AD, such as the striatum, did not show significant volumetric changes. Hippocampal and parahippocampal gyrus volumes had the highest correlation with scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination (r = 0.89), with lower correlations for a smell identification test (r = 0.65), odor match-to-sample test (r = 0.72), and a visual match-to-sample test (r = 0.26).