Abnormal white matter integrity in healthy apolipoprotein E epsilon4 carriers

Jay Nierenberg, Nunzio Pomara, Matthew J. Hoptman, John J. Sidtis, Babak A. Ardekani, Kelvin O. Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Apolipoprotein E ε4 is a major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, but the neurobiological basis for this risk is unknown. We used diffusion tensor imaging to measure diffusion anisotropy in the parahippocampal gyrus white matter in healthy elderly apolipoprotein E ε4 carriers and noncarriers. We also measured volumes of the lateral ventricles and temporal horns as proxies of cerebral atrophy. The ε4 carriers (n=14) showed significantly lower fractional anisotropy and higher radial diffusivity in the parahippocampal white matter 15 mm below the anterior commissure-posterior commissure plane than noncarriers (n=15). No group differences in ventricular volumes were found, nor were diffusion tensor imaging measures modulated by ventricular volumes. Diffusion tensor imaging may be sufficiently sensitive to detect preclinical brain changes related to Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1369-1372
Number of pages4
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 22 2005


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Parahippocampal gyrus
  • Temporal lobes


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