Patterns of progressive atrophy vary with age in Alzheimer's disease patients

Cassidy M. Fiford, Gerard R. Ridgway, David M. Cash, Marc Modat, Jennifer Nicholas, Emily N. Manning, Ian B. Malone, Geert Jan Biessels, Sebastien Ourselin, Owen T. Carmichael, M. Jorge Cardoso, Josephine Barnes, for the, Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Age is not only the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) but also a key modifier of disease presentation and progression. Here, we investigate how longitudinal atrophy patterns vary with age in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD. Data comprised serial longitudinal 1.5-T magnetic resonance imaging scans from 153 AD, 339 MCI, and 191 control subjects. Voxel-wise maps of longitudinal volume change were obtained and aligned across subjects. Local volume change was then modeled in terms of diagnostic group and an interaction between group and age, adjusted for total intracranial volume, white-matter hyperintensity volume, and apolipoprotein E genotype. Results were significant at p < 0.05 with family-wise error correction for multiple comparisons. An age-by-group interaction revealed that younger AD patients had significantly faster atrophy rates in the bilateral precuneus, parietal, and superior temporal lobes. These results suggest younger AD patients have predominantly posterior progressive atrophy, unexplained by white-matter hyperintensity, apolipoprotein E, or total intracranial volume. Clinical trials may benefit from adapting outcome measures for patient groups with lower average ages, to capture progressive atrophy in posterior cortices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-32
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Atrophy
  • Early-onset Alzheimer's disease
  • Hippocampus
  • Late-onset
  • Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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