Single domain amnestic MCI: A multiple cognitive domains fMRI investigation

D. Lenzi, L. Serra, R. Perri, P. Pantano, G. L. Lenzi, E. Paulesu, C. Caltagirone, M. Bozzali, E. Macaluso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI) is associated with the highest annual incidence of conversion to Alzheimer's disease (AD) (10-15%). a-MCI patients may have only a memory deficit (single domain: sd-a-MCI) or additional dysfunctions affecting other cognitive domains (multiple domain: md-a-MCI). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated brain activation in 16 sd-a-MCI patients and 14 controls during four different tasks assessing language, memory, attention and empathy functions. We found greater activation in sd-a-MCI compared with controls in the left inferior temporal gyrus (language), the right superior temporal gyrus (memory) and the right dorsal precentral gyrus (attention). Moreover, patients' activation correlated significantly with neuropsychological scores obtained at tests exploring the corresponding function. These findings indicate that fMRI is sensitive to detect early changes occurring in AD pathology and that individuals with sd-a-MCI show increased activation in multiple task-related brain regions. We suggest that these functional changes relate to the development of early compensatory mechanisms that reduce cognitive deficits associated with the progressive accumulation of brain damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1542-1557
Number of pages16
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • FMRI
  • Multiple cognitive investigation
  • Single domain amnesic mild cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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