Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Longitudinal assessment of global and regional atrophy rates in Alzheimer's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rosie Watson, Dr Michael FirbankORCiD, Professor Andrew BlamireORCiD, Professor John O'Brien



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Background & objective: Percent whole brain volume change (PBVC) measured from serial MRI scans is widely accepted as a sensitive marker of disease progression in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the utility of PBVC in the differential diagnosis of dementia remains to be established. We compared PBVC in AD and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and investigated associations with clinical measures.Methods: 72 participants (14 DLBs, 25 ADs, and 33 healthy controls (HCs)) underwent clinical assessment and 3 Tesla T1-weighted MRI at baseline and repeated at 12 months. We used FSL-SIENA to estimate PBVC for each subject. Voxelwise analyses and ANCOVA compared PBVC between DLB and AD, while correlational tests examined associations of PBVC with clinical measures.Results: AD had significantly greater atrophy over 1 year (1.8%) compared to DLB (1.0%; p=0.01) and HC (0.9%; p < 0.01) in widespread regions of the brain including periventricular areas. PBVC was not significantly different between DLB and HC (p=0.95). There were no differences in cognitive decline betweenDLB and AD. In the combined dementia group (AD and DLB), younger age was associated with higher atrophy rates (r = 0.49, p < 0.01).Conclusions: AD showed a faster rate of global brain atrophy compared to DLB, which had similar rates of atrophy to HC. Among dementia subjects, younger age was associated with accelerated atrophy, reflecting more aggressive disease in younger people. PBVC could aid in differentiating between DLB and AD, however its utility as an outcome marker in DLB is limited. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mak E, Su L, Williams GB, Watson R, Firbank M, Blamire AM, OBrien JT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: NeuroImage: Clinical

Year: 2015

Volume: 7

Pages: 456-462

Online publication date: 07/02/2015

Acceptance date: 30/01/2015

Date deposited: 12/05/2016

ISSN (electronic): 2213-1582

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.nicl.2015.01.017


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
Gates Cambridge, PhD studentship
NIHR Biomedical Research Unit in Dementia and the Biomedical Research Centre
05/JTASir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust