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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and executive dysfunction. A case-control study on the significance of frontal white matter changes detected by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)


Sjöbeck, Martin, Elfgren, Christina, Larsson, Elna-Marie, Brockstedt, Sara, Lätt, Jimmy, Englund, Elisabet, Passant, Ulla


Archives Of Gerontology And Geriatrics, Volume: 50, No.: 3, Pages.: 260-266

Year of Publication



White matter (WM) changes are frequently seen on structural imaging in AD but the clinical relevance of these changes is uncertain. Frontal WM pathology is often observed upon neuropathological examination in AD. Since frontal cortical/sub-cortical pathology is known to relate to executive dysfunction, the aim was to elucidate if frontal WM changes in AD correlated with executive dysfunction. In all, 15 AD patients and 15 age-matched control cases were investigated in the study, which covered conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), DTI, neuropsychiatric and neuropsychological examinations. Reduced performance on neuropsychological testing of executive function correlated significantly with an increasing degree of frontal WM changes detected by DTI in the AD group, while no such correlation was observed for the controls. Conventional semi-quantitative MRI assessment did not correlate with results on neuropsychological testing of executive function in any of the groups. The structural correlate to certain dimensions of executive dysfunction in AD patients could be related to changes in the deep frontal WM. DTI appears to be more sensitive in the detection of clinically significant WM alterations than conventional semi-quantitative MRI.; Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bibtex Citation

@article{Sj_beck_2010, doi = {10.1016/j.archger.2009.03.014}, url = {}, year = 2010, month = {may}, publisher = {Elsevier {BV}}, volume = {50}, number = {3}, pages = {260--266}, author = {Martin Sjöbeck and Christina Elfgren and Elna-Marie Larsson and Sara Brockstedt and Jimmy Lätt and Elisabet Englund and Ulla Passant}, title = {Alzheimer{textquotesingle}s disease ({AD}) and executive dysfunction. A case-control study on the significance of frontal white matter changes detected by diffusion tensor imaging ({DTI})}, journal = {Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics} }


aged, aged, 80 and over, alzheimer disease, diagnosis, diffusion tensor imaging, executive function, female, frontal lobe, humans, magnetic resonance imaging, male, neuropsychological tests, pathology, sensitivity and specificity, statistics nonparametric

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes


Type of Interventions

Diagnostic Target Identification

Diagnostic Targets

Neuroimaging (e.g. MRI, PET, CAT etc.)