Changes in subcortical structures in early- versus late-onset Alzheimer's disease

Hanna Cho, Sang Won Seo, Jeong Hun Kim, Changsoo Kim, Byoung Seok Ye, Geon Ha Kim, Young Noh, Hee Jin Kim, Cindy W. Yoon, Joon Kyung Seong, Chang Hun Kim, Sue J. Kang, Juhee Chin, Sung Tae Kim, Kyung Han Lee, Duk L. Na

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Patients with early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD) are reported to be different from those with late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) in terms of neuropsychological and neuroimaging findings. In this study, we aimed to compare the longitudinal volume changes of 6 subcortical structures (the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, putamen, globus pallidus, and caudate nucleus) between patients with EOAD and LOAD for 3 years. We prospectively recruited 36 patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (14 EOAD, 22 LOAD) and 14 normal control subjects. We analyzed the volume of subcortical structures using an automatic surface-based method. At baseline, there were no differences in the volumes of subcortical structures between patients with EOAD and LOAD. However, over 3 years of longitudinal follow-up, patients with EOAD showed more rapid volumetric decline in the caudate, putamen, and thalamus than patients with LOAD, which is consistent with neuropsychological results. Our findings suggested that the cognitive reserve theory might be applicable to explain different decline rates of the volumes of the basal ganglia and thalamus according to onset age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1740-1747
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant of the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health and Welfare , Republic of Korea ( A102065 ), a Korean Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) NRL program grant funded by the Korean government (MEST; 2011- 0028333 ), a Samsung Medical Center Clinical Research Development Program grants (CRL- 108011 , and CRS 110-14-1), and the Converging Research Center Program through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2010 K001054 ).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Ageing
  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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