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Regional Fluid-Attenuated Inversion Recovery (FLAIR) at 7 Tesla correlates with amyloid beta in hippocampus and brainstem of cognitively normal elderly subjects


Schreiner, Simon J; Liu, Xinyang; Gietl, Anton F; Wyss, Michael; Steininger, Stefanie C; Gruber, Esmeralda; Treyer, Valerie; Meier, Irene B; Kälin, Andrea M; Leh, Sandra E; Buck, Alfred; Nitsch, Roger M; Pruessmann, Klaas P; Hock, Christoph; Unschuld, Paul G (2014). Regional Fluid-Attenuated Inversion Recovery (FLAIR) at 7 Tesla correlates with amyloid beta in hippocampus and brainstem of cognitively normal elderly subjects. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience:6:240.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) may occur during healthy aging and is a risk factor for Alzheimer Disease (AD). While individual Aβ-accumulation can be measured non-invasively using Pittsburgh Compund-B positron emission tomography (PiB-PET), Fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) is a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) sequence, capable of indicating heterogeneous age-related brain pathologies associated with tissue-edema. In the current study cognitively normal elderly subjects were investigated for regional correlation of PiB- and FLAIR intensity.
METHODS: Fourteen healthy elderly subjects without known history of cognitive impairment received 11C-PiB-PET for estimation of regional Aβ-load. In addition, whole brain T1-MPRAGE and FLAIR-MRI sequences were acquired at high field strength of 7 Tesla (7T). Volume-normalized intensities of brain regions were assessed by applying an automated subcortical segmentation algorithm for spatial definition of brain structures. Statistical dependence between FLAIR- and PiB-PET intensities was tested using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (rho), followed by Holm-Bonferroni correction for multiple testing.
RESULTS: Neuropsychological testing revealed normal cognitive performance levels in all participants. Mean regional PiB-PET and FLAIR intensities were normally distributed and independent. Significant correlation between volume-normalized PiB-PET signals and FLAIR intensities resulted for Hippocampus (right: rho = 0.86; left: rho = 0.84), Brainstem (rho = 0.85) and left Basal Ganglia vessel region (rho = 0.82).
CONCLUSIONS: Our finding of a significant relationship between PiB- and FLAIR intensity mainly observable in the Hippocampus and Brainstem, indicates regional Aβ associated tissue-edema in cognitively normal elderly subjects. Further studies including clinical populations are necessary to clarify the relevance of our findings for estimating individual risk for age-related neurodegenerative processes such as AD.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) may occur during healthy aging and is a risk factor for Alzheimer Disease (AD). While individual Aβ-accumulation can be measured non-invasively using Pittsburgh Compund-B positron emission tomography (PiB-PET), Fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) is a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) sequence, capable of indicating heterogeneous age-related brain pathologies associated with tissue-edema. In the current study cognitively normal elderly subjects were investigated for regional correlation of PiB- and FLAIR intensity.
METHODS: Fourteen healthy elderly subjects without known history of cognitive impairment received 11C-PiB-PET for estimation of regional Aβ-load. In addition, whole brain T1-MPRAGE and FLAIR-MRI sequences were acquired at high field strength of 7 Tesla (7T). Volume-normalized intensities of brain regions were assessed by applying an automated subcortical segmentation algorithm for spatial definition of brain structures. Statistical dependence between FLAIR- and PiB-PET intensities was tested using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (rho), followed by Holm-Bonferroni correction for multiple testing.
RESULTS: Neuropsychological testing revealed normal cognitive performance levels in all participants. Mean regional PiB-PET and FLAIR intensities were normally distributed and independent. Significant correlation between volume-normalized PiB-PET signals and FLAIR intensities resulted for Hippocampus (right: rho = 0.86; left: rho = 0.84), Brainstem (rho = 0.85) and left Basal Ganglia vessel region (rho = 0.82).
CONCLUSIONS: Our finding of a significant relationship between PiB- and FLAIR intensity mainly observable in the Hippocampus and Brainstem, indicates regional Aβ associated tissue-edema in cognitively normal elderly subjects. Further studies including clinical populations are necessary to clarify the relevance of our findings for estimating individual risk for age-related neurodegenerative processes such as AD.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Nuclear Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IREM)
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:11 Nov 2014 15:16
Last Modified:15 Aug 2017 22:09
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1663-4365
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2014.00240
PubMed ID:25249977

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