Monitoring disease progression in mild cognitive impairment: Associations between atrophy patterns, cognition, APOE and amyloid.Neuroimage Clin. 2017; 16:418-428.NC
A disease severity index (SI) for Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been proposed that summarizes MRI-derived structural measures into a single score using multivariate data analysis.
To longitudinally evaluate the use of the SI to monitor disease progression and predict future progression to AD in mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Further, to investigate the association between longitudinal change in the SI and cognitive impairment, Apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype as well as the levels of cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-beta 1-42 (Aβ) peptide.
The dataset included 195 AD, 145 MCI and 228 control subjects with annual follow-up for three years, where 70 MCI subjects progressed to AD (MCI-p). For each subject the SI was generated at baseline and follow-ups using 55 regional cortical thickness and subcortical volumes measures that extracted by the FreeSurfer longitudinal stream.
MCI-p subjects had a faster increase of the SI over time (p < 0.001). A higher SI at baseline in MCI-p was related to progression to AD at earlier follow-ups (p < 0.001) and worse cognitive impairment (p < 0.001). AD-like MCI patients with the APOE ε4 allele and abnormal Aβ levels had a faster increase of the SI, independently (p = 0.003 and p = 0.004).
Longitudinal changes in the SI reflect structural brain changes and can identify MCI patients at risk of progression to AD. Disease-related brain structural changes are influenced independently by APOE genotype and amyloid pathology. The SI has the potential to be used as a sensitive tool to predict future dementia, monitor disease progression as well as an outcome measure for clinical trials.