Atlas-based diffusion tensor imaging correlates of executive function

Milap A. Nowrangi, Ozioma Okonkwo, Constantine Lyketsos, Kenichi Oishi, Susumu Mori, Marilyn Albert, Michelle M. Mielke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Impairment in executive function (EF) is commonly found in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Atlas-based diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) methods may be useful in relating regional integrity to EF measures in MCI and AD. Sixty-six participants (25 normal controls, 22 MCI, and 19 AD) received DTI scans and clinical evaluation. DTI scans were applied to a pre-segmented atlas and fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) were calculated. ANOVA was used to assess group differences in frontal, parietal, and cerebellar regions. For regions differing between groups (p < 0.01), linear regression examined the relationship between EF scores and regional FA and MD. Anisotropy and diffusivity in frontal and parietal lobe white matter structures were associated with EF scores in MCI and only frontal lobe structures in AD. EF was more strongly associated with FA than MD. The relationship between EF and anisotropy and diffusivity was strongest in MCI. These results suggest that regional white matter integrity is compromised in MCI and AD and that FA may be a better correlate of EF than MD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-598
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • diffusion tensor imaging executive function
  • mild cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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