FRIDAY, Nov. 17, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Faster hippocampal volume (HV) atrophy is associated with cognitive decline, independent of amyloid β (Aβ) and tau, according to a study published online Nov. 15 in Neurology.

Bernard J. Hanseeuw, M.D., Ph.D., from the Gordon Center for Medical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues enrolled 283 older adults without dementia or overt cognitive impairment to examine the associations among Aβ, tau, HV, and cognition, measured over a 10-year period. Data were included for 128 clinically normal older adults with available longitudinal imaging and cognition data.

The researchers found that 27 percent of the participants exhibited an initial high-Aβ burden on positron emission tomography imaging. There was a correlation seen for faster HV atrophy with faster cognitive decline. HV slope was associated with cognitive decline independently of Aβ and tau measures, when comparing all biomarkers, accounting for 10 percent of the variance. By combining the change measures in the different imaging biomarkers, 45 percent of the variance in cognitive decline was explained.

“These results emphasize that dementia is a complex condition with many underlying causes and suggest that types of dementia other than Alzheimer’s disease may contribute to shrinkage in the hippocampus and cognitive decline,” Hanseeuw said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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