Hippocampal volume and cingulum bundle fractional anisotropy are independently associated with verbal memory in older adults

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46 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship of medial temporal lobe and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) volumetrics as well as fractional anisotropy of the cingulum angular bundle (CAB) and the cingulum cingulate gyrus (CCG) bundle to performance on measures of verbal memory in non-demented older adults. The participants were 100 non-demented adults over the age of 70 years from the Einstein Aging Study. Volumetric data were estimated from T1-weighted images. The entire cingulum was reconstructed using diffusion tensor MRI and probabilistic tractography. Association between verbal episodic memory and MRI measures including volume of hippocampus (HIP), entorhinal cortex (ERC), PCC and fractional anisotropy of CAB and CCG bundle were modeled using linear regression. Relationships between atrophy of these structures and regional cingulum fractional anisotropy were also explored. Decreased HIP volume on the left and decreased fractional anisotropy of left CAB were associated with lower memory performance. Volume changes in ERC, PCC and CCG disruption were not associated with memory performance. In regression models, left HIP volume and left CAB-FA were each independently associated with episodic memory. The results suggest that microstructural changes in the left CAB and decreased left HIP volume independently influence episodic memory performance in older adults without dementia. The importance of these findings in age and illness-related memory decline require additional exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)652-659
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Cingulum
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Hippocampus
  • MRI volumetrics
  • Verbal memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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