Amygdala-hippocampal atrophy and memory performance in dementia of Alzheimer type

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. Nov-Dec 1997;8(6):329-36. doi: 10.1159/000106651.


The aim of the present study was to examine the involvement of brain structures, especially the amygdala-hippocampal complex, in dementia of Alzheimer type (DAT), and to assess the relation of amygdala-hippocampal atrophy with memory dysfunction. 14 patients with DAT and 10 healthy age-matched controls were examined with different neuropsychologic tests including the UCLA-Auditory Verbal Learning Test. MRI was performed with a conventional 1.5-tesla scanner. Atrophy was found in many brain structures of demented subjects in comparison with healthy age-matched controls. The volumes of amygdala-hippocampal complexes and of the temporal lobes of demented subjects were more reduced than the total brain volume and other structures. Memory dysfunction was highly correlated with atrophy of the amygdala-hippocampal complexes and of the temporal lobes. Consequently, DAT seems to affect the amygdala-hippocampal complex and their related function (i.e. memory) more than other cerebral structures, but cerebral degeneration in DAT is not restricted to these structures.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Amygdala / pathology*
  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / diagnosis
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology