Neurodegeneration Precedes Subjective Cognitive Decline


Neurodegeneration occurs years before the onset of cognitive decline in cognitively unimpaired individuals due to co-existance of multiple pathologies as per a study “The interplay between gray matter and white matter neurodegeneration in subjective cognitive decline”, at the The Karolinska Institutet, published in the journal Aging-US.

The study assessed subjective cognitive complaints through nine questions covering amnestic and non-amnestic cognitive domains. Among them, 123 individuals fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for SCD (subjective cognitive complaints), while 102 individuals reported zero complaints.

‘Neurodegeneration occurs years before the onset of cognitive decline in cognitively unimpaired individuals due to the co-existence of multiple pathologies.

Neurodegeneration and Cognitive Decline

It was found that higher cognitive complaints related to cortical thinning in several areas of the brain like frontal, temporal, and the insula. There was also reduced hippocampal volume along with higher MD (mean diffusivity) across the white matter (WM) of the brain.

The occipital lobe was sparred. Hence, it was shown that a stronger link exists between the number of cognitive complaints and cortical thinning.

The study thereby investigated the association between GM (gray matter) and WM neurodegeneration in SCD. It further derives a strong link between neurodegeneration processes that affect the GM and WM in SCD individuals – SCD-related cortical thinning and increased MD.

This invites future imaging analysis to brain areas other than those typically involved in Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: Medindia

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