Increased white matter mean diffusivity and decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) has been observed in subjects diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). We sought to determine whether similar alterations of white matter occur in normal individuals at risk of AD. Diffusion tensor images were acquired in 42 cognitively normal right-handed women with both a family history of dementia and at least one apolipoprotein E4 allele. These were compared with images from 23 normal women without either AD risk factor. Group analyses were performed using tract-based spatial statistics. Reduced FA was observed in the fronto-occipital and inferior temporal fasciculi (particularly posteriorly), the splenium of the corpus callosum, subcallosal white matter and the cingulum bundle. These findings demonstrate that specific white matter pathways are altered in normal women at increased risk of AD years before the expected onset of cognitive symptoms.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in Neurobiology of Aging, v. 31, issue 7, p. 1122–1131.

© 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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Funding Information

This study was supported by NINDS Grant R01 NS-36660.

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Appendix A. Supplementary data