People who aren’t showing signs of cognitive decline but have evidence of amyloid in their brains, showed a greater rate of shrinkage of their hippocampus — the part of the brain involved with memory function — later on than cognitively normal people without amyloid in the brain.
Researchers evaluated people without cognitive decline, but who showed evidence on brain imaging of amyloid deposits in their brain. They measured the size of their hippocampus over time (it tends to shrink very early in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease). They concluded that when amyloid is deposited in the brain, damage to the hippocampus is very likely to occur down the road.
The research was shared this week at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in San Diego. Dr. Ron Petersen, the prinicpal investigator on the Mayo Clinic Study on Aging, talks about the study results above.