Background: Narrative discourse (ND) refers to one's ability to verbally reproduce a sequence of temporally and logically-linked events. Impairments in ND may occur in subjects with Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI) and Alzheimer's Disease (AD), but correlates across this function, neuroimaging and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) AD biomarkers remain understudied.
Objectives: We sought to measure correlates among ND, Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) indexes and AD CSF biomarkers in patients within the AD spectrum.
Results: Groups differed in narrative production (NProd) and comprehension. aMCI and AD presented poorer inference abilities than controls. AD subjects were more impaired than controls and aMCI regarding WB (p<0.01). ROIs DTI assessment distinguished the three groups. Mean Diffusivity (MD) in the uncinate, bilateral parahippocampal cingulate and left inferior occipitofrontal fasciculi negatively correlated with NProd. Changes in specific tracts correlated with T-tau/Aβ1-42 ratio in CSF.
Conclusions: AD and aMCI patients presented more ND impairments than controls. Those findings were associated with changes in ventral language-associated and in the inferior parahippocampal pathways. The latest were correlated with biomarkers' levels in the CSF.
Methods: AD (N=14), aMCI (N=31) and Control (N=39) groups were compared for whole brain (WB) and regions of interest (ROI) DTI parameters, ND and AD CSF biomarkers.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; CSF biomarkers; language; mild cognitive impairment; white matter.