OBJECTIVES: To better understand how brain atrophy in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as measured using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) volumetrics could affect instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) such as financial abilities.
DESIGN: Controlled, matched-sample, cross-sectional analysis regressing MRI volumetrics with financial performance measures.
SETTING: University medical and research center.
PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-eight people with MCI and 28 older adult controls.
MEASUREMENTS: MRI volumetric measurement of the hippocampi, angular gyri, precunei, and medial frontal lobes. Participants also completed neuropsychological tests and the Financial Capacity Instrument (FCI).
RESULTS: Correlations were performed between FCI scores and MRI volumes in the group with MCI. People with MCI performed significantly below controls on the FCI and had significantly smaller hippocampi. Among people with MCI, performance on the FCI was moderately correlated with angular gyri and precunei volumes. Regression models demonstrated that angular gyrus volumes were predictive of FCI scores. Tests of mediation showed that measures of arithmetic and possibly attention partially mediated the relationship between angular gyrus volume and FCI score.
CONCLUSION: Impaired financial abilities in amnestic MCI correspond with volume of the angular gyri as mediated by arithmetic knowledge. The findings suggest that early neuropathology within the lateral parietal region in MCI leads to a breakdown of cognitive abilities that affect everyday financial skills. The findings have implications for diagnosis and clinical care of people with MCI and AD.