Subjective cognitive and non-cognitive complaints and brain MRI biomarkers in the MEMENTO cohort

Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2020 Jul 5;12(1):e12051. doi: 10.1002/dad2.12051. eCollection 2020.


Introduction: Subjective cognitive complaints may be a signature of preclinical stage Alzheimer's disease. However, the link between subjective cognitive and non-cognitive complaints and brain alterations remains unclear.

Methods: The relationship between cognitive and non-cognitive complaints and brain biomarkers, measured by structural magnetic resonance imaging, was investigated in 2056 participants of the MEMENTO cohort of outpatients, who were dementia-free at baseline. We assessed whether the cognitive status at inclusion or the presence of the apolipoprotein E gene variant (APOE) ε4 could modulate the association between the intensity of complaints and brain lesions.

Results: Smaller hippocampal volume was associated with higher memory complaints and discomfort in daily life. In APOE ε4 carriers, smaller whole-brain white matter and gray matter volumes and gyrification indices in several regions of interest of the parietal and temporal lobes, in the entorhinal and the para-hippocampal gyrus, were associated with higher memory complaint score.

Conclusions: The intensity of subjective complaints in not only memory but discomfort in daily life was associated with brain degeneration markers. The presence of APOE ε4 modulated the relationships between subjective memory complaints and brain alterations.

Keywords: magnetic resonance imaging; multi‐center cohort; preclinical AD; subjective health complaints.