White matter integrity is associated with cognition and amyloid burden in older adult Koreans along the Alzheimer's disease continuum

Alzheimers Res Ther. 2023 Dec 16;15(1):218. doi: 10.1186/s13195-023-01369-5.


Background: White matter (WM) microstructural changes in the hippocampal cingulum bundle (CBH) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been described in cohorts of largely European ancestry but are lacking in other populations.

Methods: We assessed the relationship between CBH WM integrity and cognition or amyloid burden in 505 Korean older adults aged ≥ 55 years, including 276 cognitively normal older adults (CN), 142 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 87 AD patients, recruited as part of the Korean Brain Aging Study for the Early Diagnosis and Prediction of Alzheimer's disease (KBASE) at Seoul National University.

Results: Compared to CN, AD and MCI subjects showed significantly higher RD, MD, and AxD values (all p-values < 0.001) and significantly lower FA values (left p ≤ 0.002, right p ≤ 0.015) after Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons. Most tests of cognition and mood (p < 0.001) as well as higher medial temporal amyloid burden (p < 0.001) were associated with poorer WM integrity in the CBH after Bonferroni adjustment.

Conclusion: These findings are consistent with patterns of WM microstructural damage previously reported in non-Hispanic White (NHW) MCI/AD cohorts, reinforcing existing evidence from predominantly NHW cohort studies.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Cingulum bundle of the hippocampus; Cognition; Mild cognitive impairment; White matter.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease* / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Amyloidogenic Proteins
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / complications
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / diagnostic imaging
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Humans
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • White Matter* / diagnostic imaging


  • Amyloidogenic Proteins