Paul Thompson's Research Publications

Cortical Complexity Maps and Cognition in Alzheimer's Disease

[Submitted to the 122nd Annual Meeting of the American Neurological Association, June 1997]

Jong-Ling Fuh, Michael S. Mega, Paul M. Thompson, Jeffrey L. Cummings, Arthur W. Toga

Laboratory of Neuro Imaging and Alzheimer's Disease Center, Department of Neurology, Division of Brain Mapping, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90095


Background. Modern imaging provides detailed information on brain structure. Cortical complexity has been shown to decrease in patients with epilepsy. We constructed complexity maps from Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients to evaluate structure-function relationships.

Methods. We studied 13 AD patients (6 males, 7 females) aged 67 to 88 (mean age: 76.4 yrs). A battery of neuropsychological tests were conducted and 3D-SPGR magnetic resonance images (MRI) were obtained for each patient. We aligned their MRIs relative to the anterior-posterior commissural line. We extracted the cortical surface and divided it into four divisions grossly reflecting frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes for each hemisphere. These cortical divisions were used to calculate convolution complexity values. Correlations were calculated among the cortical complexity indices, for each lobar division, and cognitive performance on standardized neuropsychological tests.

Results. Verbal fluency was significantly correlated with right frontal complexity (r=0.52, p<0.03); trends were found for the Stroop-C and Trails-B and left frontal complexity (r=-0.45), performance on the Boston Naming Test and left temporal complexity (r=0.39), and performance on the digital symbol task with left parietal complexity (r=0.31).

Conclusion. Our preliminary results demonstrate a new method in mapping brain structure-function relationships.

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    Paul Thompson
    73-360 Brain Research Institute
    UCLA Medical Center
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