Clinical and neuropsychological features associated with structural imaging patterns in patients with mild cognitive impairment

Roberta Rossi, Cristina Geroldi, Lorena Bresciani, Cristina Testa, Giuliano Binetti, Orazio Zanetti, Giovanni B. Frisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To describe the clinical and neuropsychological features of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients with medial temporal atrophy (MTA), white matter hyperintensities (WMH), both, and neither and to assess whether the rate of progression differs among groups. Methods: Ninety-five MCI patients were divided into 4 groups based on the presence of MTA and WMH: 29 were MTA- WMH-, 11 MTA- WMH+, 23 MTA+ WMH-, and 32 MTA+ WMH+. MCI patients were compared with 30 normal subjects. MTA and WMH were assessed with MR-based visual rating scales. Subjects underwent an extensive clinical and neuropsychological investigation. Fifty-six underwent follow-up evaluation. Results: MTA- WMH- had relatively good neuropsychological performance, little vascular and physical comorbidity. MTA- WMH+ performed poorly only on executive neuropsychological tests. MTA+ WMH- patients had poor neuropsychological performances (mainly on memory tests), high physical and vascular comorbidity. MTA+ WMH+ were impaired in neuropsychological performances, had a high number of physical diseases and severe vascular comorbidity. On follow-up, 25% of MTA+ WMH- and 32% of MTA+ WMH+ and none in MTA- WMH- and in MTA- WMH+ converted to dementia (p = 0.05, log rank test). Conclusion: Structural neuroimaging can identify subgroups of MCI patients with specific clinical and neuropsychological features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • Medial temporal atrophy
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Structural neuroimaging
  • White matter hyperintensities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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