Corpus callosum shape changes in early Alzheimer’s disease: an MRI study using the OASIS brain database
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The corpus callosum (CC) is the largest fiber bundle connecting the left and right cerebral hemispheres. It has been a region examined extensively for indications of various pathologies, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Almost all previous studies of the CC in AD have been concerned with its size, particularly its mid-sagittal cross-sectional area (CCA). In this study, we show that the CC shape, characterized by its circularity (CIR), may be affected more profoundly than its size in early AD. MRI scans (n = 196) were obtained from the publicly available Open Access Series of Imaging Studies database. The CC cross-sectional region on the mid-sagittal section of the brain was automatically segmented using a novel algorithm. The CCA and CIR were compared in 98 normal controls (NC) subjects, 70 patients with very mild AD (AD-VM), and 28 patients with mild AD (AD-M). Statistical analysis of covariance controlling for age and intracranial capacity showed that both the CIR and the CCA were significantly reduced in the AD-VM group relative to the NC group (CIR: p = 0.004; CCA: p = 0.005). However, only the CIR was significantly different between the AD-M and AD-VM groups (p = 0.006) being smaller in the former. The CCA was not significantly different between the AD-M and AD-VM groups. The results suggest that CC shape may be a more sensitive marker than its size for monitoring the progression of AD. In order to facilitate independent analyses, the CC segmentations and the CCA and CIR data used in this study have been made publicly available (http://www.nitrc.org/projects/art).
KeywordsAlzheimer’s disease Brain Corpus callosum Shape analysis Magnetic resonance imaging
We thank our colleagues responsible for the OASIS project for making the MRI data available. Data analysis and manuscript preparation were supported by R01 DC007658. The OASIS project was supported by the following NIH grants: P50 AG05681, P01 AG03991, R01 AG021910, P50 MH071616, U24 RR021382, and R01 MH56584.
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