Human anterolateral entorhinal cortex volumes are associated with cognitive decline in aging prior to clinical diagnosis

Neurobiol Aging. 2017 Sep;57:195-205. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.04.025. Epub 2017 May 8.


We investigated whether older adults without subjective memory complaints, but who present with cognitive decline in the laboratory, demonstrate atrophy in medial temporal lobe (MTL) subregions associated with Alzheimer's disease. Forty community-dwelling older adults were categorized based on Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) performance. Total gray/white matter, cerebrospinal fluid, and white matter hyperintensity load were quantified from whole-brain T1-weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery magnetic resonance imaging scans, whereas hippocampal subfields and MTL cortical subregion volumes (CA1, dentate gyrus/CA2/3, subiculum, anterolateral and posteromedial entorhinal, perirhinal, and parahippocampal cortices) were quantified using high-resolution T2-weighted scans. Cognitive status was evaluated using standard neuropsychological assessments. No significant differences were found in the whole-brain measures. However, MTL volumetry revealed that anterolateral entorhinal cortex (alERC) volume-the same region in which Alzheimer's pathology originates-was strongly associated with MoCA performance. This is the first study to demonstrate that alERC volume is related to cognitive decline in undiagnosed community-dwelling older adults.

Keywords: Aging; Dementia; Hippocampus; Memory; Mild cognitive impairment; Neuroimaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / pathology*
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnosis
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / etiology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / pathology*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Entorhinal Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Entorhinal Cortex / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size