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Decreased white matter integrity before the onset of delusions in patients with Alzheimer's disease: diffusion tensor imaging

Authors Nakaaki S, Sato J, Torii K, Oka M, Negi A, Nakamae T, Narumoto J, Miyata J, A Furukawa T, Mimura M

Received 8 October 2012

Accepted for publication 26 November 2012

Published 27 December 2012 Volume 2013:9 Pages 25—29

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S38942

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Shutaro Nakaaki,1 Junko Sato,2 Katsuyoshi Torii,2 Mizuki Oka,1 Atsushi Negi,2 Takashi Nakamae,3 Jin Narumoto,3 Jun Miyata,4 Toshi A Furukawa,5 Masaru Mimura1

1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan; 2Department of Psychiatry and Cognitive-Behavioral Medicine, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan; 3Department of Psychiatry, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan; 4Department of Neuropsychiatry, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan; 5Department of Health Promotion and Human Behavior (Cognitive-Behavioral Medicine), Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine/School of Public Health, Kyoto, Japan

Background: The pathology of delusions in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) associated with white matter (WM) abnormalities is poorly understood. In addition, whether the abnormalities in WM integrity that underlie the delusions develop before the onset of the delusions remains unclear. In this study, we used a diffusion tensor imaging approach to examine the existence of baseline abnormalities in WM integrity in AD patients who developed delusions and AD patients who did not develop delusions.
Methods: Using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, we identified patients with AD who exhibit delusions during a 1-year period. All the patients underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination at baseline. We conducted fractional anisotropy using tract-based spatial statistics software and compared the results of AD patients who developed delusions with those who did not develop delusions.
Results: Compared with the AD patients who did not develop delusions (n = 15), the AD patients who developed delusions (n = 10) exhibited two relatively large clusters and one minimal cluster of significantly lower fractional anisotropy results. The first cluster was located in the left parieto-occipital region and included several fibers: the left inferior longitudinal fasciculus, the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, the posterior corona radiate, and the forceps major of the corpus callosum. The second cluster was located on the body of the corpus callosum. A third minimal cluster was located on the superior temporal gyrus white matter.
Conclusion: Abnormalities in WM integrity involving several fibers may be crucial to the development of delusions in AD patients.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, white matter, DTI, delusions, tract-based spatial statistics

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