Background: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a useful tool to predict the diagnosis and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD), especially for primary physicians. However, the correlation between baseline MRI findings and AD progression has not been fully established. Objective: To investigate the correlation between hippocampal atrophy (HA) and white matter hyperintensities (WMH) on initial brain MRI images and the degree of cognitive decline and functional changes over 1 year. Methods: In this prospective, 12-month observational study, dementia outpatients were recruited from 29 centers across South Korea. Baseline assessments of HA and WMH on baseline brain MRI were derived as well as cognitive function, dementia severity, activities of daily living, and acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI) use. Follow-up assessments were conducted at 6 and 12 months. Results: Among 899 enrolled dementia patients, 748 were diagnosed with AD of whom 654 (87%) were taking AChEIs. Baseline WMH showed significant correlations with age, current alcohol consumption, and Clinical Dementia Rating score; baseline HA was correlated with age, family history, physical exercise, and the results of cognitive assessments. Among the AChEI group, changes in the Korean version of the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (K-IADL) were correlated with the severity of HA on baseline brain MRI, but not with the baseline severity of WMH. In the no AChEI group, changes in K-IADL were correlated with the severity of WMH and HA at baseline. Conclusion: Baseline MRI findings could be a useful tool for predicting future clinical outcomes by primary physicians, especially in relation to patients' functional status.
- Atrophy, brain imaging
- cognitive function
- white matter hyperintensities