Background: We assessed the relationship between early cognitive dysfunction and morphologic changes in the brain, especially hippocampal atrophy, on MR images in Alzheimer-type dementia (AID) patients to establish a technique for making an early clinical diagnosis of AID.
Methods: The subjects of this study were 82 individuals who visited Kawase Neurology Clinic. They consisted of 41 ATD patients and 41 elderly individuals without dementia who visited the clinic for a neurological checkup or because of vertigo or numbness as age-matched controls. As an index for hippocampal atrophy, the hippocampal-intracranial ratio (HIR) was calculated. Discriminant analysis was performed using HIR results and the correct answer rate for recall and calculation items in Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).
Results: The mean ratio was significantly lower in the ATD patients than in the controls. This supports our previous results. The results of discriminant analysis with Mahalanobis generalized distance in the 41 controls and 22 ATD patients who scored 15 or higher. The sensitivity and specificity of HIR combined with the correct answer rate for recall and calculation items in MMSE were 95.5% and 95.1%, respectively, with an overall accuracy of 95.2%.
Conclusion: HIR combined with the correct answer rate for recall and calculation items in MMSE allows for an early diagnosis of ATD.