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The Neuroanatomic Correlates of Olfactory Identification Impairment in Healthy Older Adults and in Persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment.

TitleThe Neuroanatomic Correlates of Olfactory Identification Impairment in Healthy Older Adults and in Persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsKamath V, Senjem ML, Spychalla AJ, Chen H, Palta P, Mosley TH, B Windham G, Griswold M, Knopman DS, Gottesman RF, Jack CR, A Sharrett R, Schneider ALC
JournalJ Alzheimers Dis
Volume89
Issue1
Pagination233-245
Date Published2022
ISSN1875-8908
KeywordsAged, Alzheimer Disease, Cognitive Dysfunction, Entorhinal Cortex, Female, Humans, Male, Olfaction Disorders, Smell
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Olfactory identification (OI) impairment appears early in the course of Alzheimer's disease dementia (AD), prior to detectable cognitive impairment. However, the neuroanatomical correlates of impaired OI in cognitively normal older adults (CN) and persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are not fully understood.

OBJECTIVE: We examined the neuroanatomic correlates of OI impairment in older adults from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Neurocognitive Study (ARIC-NCS).

METHODS: Our sample included 1,600 older adults without dementia who completed clinical assessment and structural brain imaging from 2011 to 2013. We characterized OI impairment using the 12-item Sniffin' Sticks odor identification test (score ≤6). We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and region of interest (ROI) analyses to examine the neuroanatomic correlates of impaired OI in CN and MCI, after adjusting for potential confounders. Analyses were also separately stratified by race and sex.

RESULTS: In CN, OI impairment was associated with smaller amygdala gray matter (GM) volume (p < 0.05). In MCI, OI impairment was associated with smaller GM volumes of the olfactory cortex, amygdala, entorhinal cortex, hippocampus, and insula (ps < 0.05). Differential associations were observed by sex in MCI; OI impairment was associated with lower insular GM volumes among men but not among women (p-interaction = 0.04). There were no meaningful interactions by race.

CONCLUSION: The brain regions associated with OI impairment in individuals without dementia are specifically those regions known to be the primary targets of AD pathogenic processes. These findings highlight the potential utility of olfactory assessment in the identification and stratification of older adults at risk for AD.

DOI10.3233/JAD-220228
Alternate JournalJ Alzheimers Dis
PubMed ID35871337