15 December 2005
This cross-sectional study aimed at determining the clinical and structural brain magnetic resonance imaging correlates of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The data presented here are from the first wave of the longitudinal Personality and Total Health through Life 60+ project. 2,551 community-dwelling individuals in the age range of 60–64 years were recruited randomly through the electoral roll. They were screened using Mini-Mental State Examination and a short cognitive battery. Those who screened positive underwent detailed medical and neuropsychological assessments. Of the 224 subjects who screened positive, 117 underwent a detailed assessment. Twenty-nine subjects fulfilled the Mayo Clinic criteria for MCI. Magnetic resonance imaging scans were analyzed for 26 subjects with MCI as well as normal controls. Subjects were clinically evaluated for depressive symptoms and major and minor depression syndromes. Logistic regression analysis was performed predicting MCI from anterior and mid-ventricular brain ratios, cortical atrophy measures, hippocampal volumes, volumes of amygdala and white matter hyperintensities after adjusting for age, gender, years of education, depression and physical disability. None of the neuroanatomical substrates appeared as predictors of MCI. The only predictors were higher depression scores and fewer years of education. Structural neuroimaging may not have an added advantage in the detection of MCI in middle-aged community-dwelling subjects. It may be that this age group is too young for such brain changes to be identified.