INTRODUCTION: We aimed to investigate if thinner cortex of the Alzheimer's disease (AD)-signature region was related to clinical progression in patients with subjective cognitive decline (SCD).
METHODS: We included 302 SCD patients with clinical follow-up (≥1 year) and three-dimensional T1 magnetic resonance imaging. We estimated AD-signature cortical thickness, consisting of nine frontal, parietal, and temporal gyri and hippocampal volume. We used Cox proportional hazard models (hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals) to evaluate cortical thickness in relation to clinical progression to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia.
RESULTS: After a follow-up of the mean (standard deviation) 3 (2) years, 49 patients (16%) showed clinical progression to MCI (n = 32), AD (n = 9), or non-AD dementia (n = 8). Hippocampal volumes, thinner cortex of the AD-signature (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval], 5 [2-17]) and various AD-signature subcomponents were associated with increased risk of clinical progression. Stratified analyses showed that thinner AD-signature cortex was specifically predictive for clinical progression to dementia but not to MCI.
DISCUSSION: In SCD patients, thinner regional cortex is associated with clinical progression to dementia.