Brain Imaging and Behavior

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 132–141 | Cite as

White Matter Integrity and Episodic Memory Performance in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study

  • Felicia C. GoldsteinEmail author
  • Hui Mao
  • Liya Wang
  • Chunchun Ni
  • James J. Lah
  • Allan I. Levey


White matter (WM) integrity in the medial temporal lobes and episodic memory performance were examined in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and age-matched cognitively intact controls. Material specific associations between WM in the left versus right hemisphere and verbal versus visual memory performance were examined as well. Fourteen right-handed amnestic MCI patients underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and received verbal (words, story) and visual (designs) memory tests. Delayed verbal memory was significantly correlated with loss of WM integrity in the medial temporal lobe. This finding was associated with both the left and right temporal regions. Immediate visual memory performance was significantly correlated with the loss of WM integrity in the left temporal region. The results indicate that WM integrity in the medial temporal lobe is associated with objective memory functioning in MCI. However, strong material specific relationships were not observed, possibly reflecting diverse encoding strategies used by participants such as imagery of verbal material and verbal encoding of designs.


Mild cognitive impairment Memory Diffusion tensor White matter Magnetic resonance imaging 



We thank Ann Johnson, B.A. and Tara Ravichandran, B.A. for their help in recruiting and evaluating patients.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felicia C. Goldstein
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Hui Mao
    • 2
  • Liya Wang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Chunchun Ni
    • 2
  • James J. Lah
    • 1
  • Allan I. Levey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyThe Second Hospital of ShenzhenShenzhenChina
  4. 4.Neurology DepartmentWesley Woods Health CenterAtlantaUSA

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