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Regional atrophy of the corpus callosum in dementia


The regional distribution of degeneration of the corpus callosum (CC) in dementia is not yet clear. This study compared regional CC size in participants (n = 179) from the Cache County Memory and Aging Study. Participants represented a range of cognitive function: Alzheimer's disease (AD), vascular dementia (VaD), mild ambiguous (MA–cognitive problems, but not severe enough for diagnosis of dementia), and healthy older adults. CC outlines obtained from midsagittal magnetic resonance images were divided into 99 equally spaced widths. Factor analysis of these callosal widths identified 10 callosal regions. Multivariate analysis of variance revealed significant group differences for anterior and posterior callosal regions. Post-hoc pairwise comparisons of CC regions in patient groups as compared to the control group (controlling for age) revealed trends toward smaller anterior and posterior regions, but not all were statistically significant. As compared to controls, significantly smaller anterior and posterior CC regions were found in the AD group; significantly smaller anterior CC regions in the VaD group; but no significant CC regional differences in the MA group. Findings suggest that dementia-related CC atrophy occurs primarily in the anterior and posterior portions. (JINS, 2008, 14, 414–423.)

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Correspondence and reprint requests to: Warren S. Brown, Ph.D., The Travis Research Institute, 180 N. Oakland Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101. E-mail:
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