Basal forebrain atrophy contributes to allocentric navigation impairment in Alzheimer's disease patients

Kerbler, Georg M., Nedelska, Zuzana, Fripp, Jurgen, Laczo, Jan, Vyhnalek, Martin, Lisy, Jiri, Hamlin, Adam S., Rose, Stephen, Hort, Jakub and Coulson, Elizabeth J. (2015) Basal forebrain atrophy contributes to allocentric navigation impairment in Alzheimer's disease patients. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 7 185: 1-11. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2015.00185

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Author Kerbler, Georg M.
Nedelska, Zuzana
Fripp, Jurgen
Laczo, Jan
Vyhnalek, Martin
Lisy, Jiri
Hamlin, Adam S.
Rose, Stephen
Hort, Jakub
Coulson, Elizabeth J.
Title Basal forebrain atrophy contributes to allocentric navigation impairment in Alzheimer's disease patients
Journal name Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1663-4365
Publication date 2015-09-28
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3389/fnagi.2015.00185
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 7
Issue 185
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Language eng
Abstract The basal forebrain degenerates in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and this process is believed to contribute to the cognitive decline observed in AD patients. Impairment in spatial navigation is an early feature of the disease but whether basal forebrain dysfunction in AD is responsible for the impaired navigation skills of AD patients is not known. Our objective was to investigate the relationship between basal forebrain volume and performance in real space as well as computer-based navigation paradigms in an elderly cohort comprising cognitively normal controls, subjects with amnestic mild cognitive impairment and those with AD. We also tested whether basal forebrain volume could predict the participants’ ability to perform allocentric- vs. egocentric-based navigation tasks. The basal forebrain volume was calculated from 1.5 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and navigation skills were assessed using the human analog of the Morris water maze employing allocentric, egocentric, and mixed allo/egocentric real space as well as computerized tests. When considering the entire sample, we found that basal forebrain volume correlated with spatial accuracy in allocentric (cued) and mixed allo/egocentric navigation tasks but not the egocentric (uncued) task, demonstrating an important role of the basal forebrain in mediating cue-based spatial navigation capacity. Regression analysis revealed that, although hippocampal volume reflected navigation performance across the entire sample, basal forebrain volume contributed to mixed allo/egocentric navigation performance in the AD group, whereas hippocampal volume did not. This suggests that atrophy of the basal forebrain contributes to aspects of navigation impairment in AD that are independent of hippocampal atrophy.
Keyword Basal forebrain
Alzheimer's disease
Cognitive impairment
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID 569601
2/2012 (699002)
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes This Document is Protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. It is reproduced with permission.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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