Early and late onset Alzheimer's disease patients have distinct patterns of white matter damage

Elisa Canu, Giovanni B. Frisoni, Federica Agosta, Michela Pievani, Matteo Bonetti, Massimo Filippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated patterns of white matter (WM) loss in 18 early onset (EO) and 24 late onset (LO) Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients compared with 42 healthy controls (HC), and explored relationships of WM atrophy and apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype. Subjects underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Patterns of WM were assessed using voxel-based morphometry. Compared with healthy controls, LOAD patients had a selective parahippocampal WM loss, while EOAD patients experienced a more widespread pattern of posterior WM atrophy. The distinct regional distribution of WM atrophy reflected the topography of gray matter (GM) loss. ApoE ε4 status was associated with a greater parahippocampal WM loss in both AD groups. The greater WM atrophy in EOAD than LOAD fits with the evidence that EOAD is a more aggressive form of the disease. The ApoE ε4 effect on WM damage in AD is restricted to specific WM regions and does not seem to be related to age of onset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1033
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Atrophy
  • Early onset
  • VBM
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Ageing
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Early and late onset Alzheimer's disease patients have distinct patterns of white matter damage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this