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Early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD) has been shown to progress more rapidly than late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD). However, no studies have compared the topography of brain volume reduction over time. The purpose of this 3-year longitudinal study was to compare EOAD and LOAD in terms of their rates of decline in cognitive testing and topography of cortical thinning. We prospectively recruited 36 patients with AD (14 EOAD and 22 LOAD) and 14 normal controls. All subjects were assessed with neuropsychological tests and with magnetic resonance imaging at baseline, Year 1, and Year 3. The EOAD group showed more rapid decline than the LOAD group in attention, language, and frontal-executive tests. The EOAD group also showed more rapid cortical thinning in widespread association cortices. In contrast, the LOAD group presented more rapid cortical thinning than the EOAD group only in the left parahippocampal gyrus. Our study suggests that patients with EOAD show more rapid cortical atrophy than patients with LOAD, which accounts for faster cognitive decline on neuropsychological tests.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurobiol Aging

Publication Date





1921.e9 - 1921.e15


Age of Onset, Aged, Alzheimer Disease, Atrophy, Cerebral Cortex, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies