Project: Research project

Project Details


This project is designed to use a non-invasive imaging technique to improve
the accuracy of the clinical diagnosis of dementia of the Alzheimer's type
(DAT). While imaging techniques are currently being used to exclude other
causes of dementia, this project will evaluate the role of magnetic
resonance (MR)-based volume measurements of the temporal lobe in improving
the clinical diagnosis. The study will draw upon two resources of the Mayo
Clinic: the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Patient Registry (ADPR) and an
MR-based measurement technique developed at Mayo to measure the volumes the
anterior temporal lobe (ATL), medial temporal lobe (MTL), and hippocampal
formation (HF). The Mayo Clinic ADPR has been enrolling patients and
control subjects for four years and consequently has a mechanism in place
to evaluate and diagnose patients for the current project. The MR-volume
technique has been developed and its accuracy and reproducibility
validated. The present study proposes to apply this technique to 3 groups:
patients with DAT, a group of mildly impaired patients, and a group of age,
sex, and education matched control subjects to determine if MR can
differentiate among the groups on the basis of volumetric measures of the
ATL, MTL, and HF. The study will also evaluate the relationships among
age, memory function, and severity of dementia (if appropriate) within the
three groups. The project will extend over three years and will involve a
total of 75 DAT patients, 36 mildly impaired patients, and Ill
appropriately matched control subjects.

We anticipate that MR measurements of the ATL, MTL, and in particular,, the
HF will discriminate between patients with DAT and control subjects in a
sensitive and specific fashion. In addition, we anticipate that the ATL,
MTL, and in particular, the HF will decrease in volume with age but that
the decline will be most pronounced for patients with DAT. Similarly, the
volume of the temporal lobe structures, in particular the HF, will
correlate directly with clinical indices of memory function in all three
groups and in the DAT group will correlate inversely with dementia
severity. In sum, we are proposing that measurement of volumetric indices
of temporal lobe structures will be a sensitive and specific method of
non-invasively distinguishing among patients with DAT, mild cognitive
impairment, and normal elderly individuals.
StatusNot started


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