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Atrophy in the medial temporal lobe is generally considered to be highly associated with age-related memory decline. Volume loss in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex has extensively been investigated, but the posterior parts of the parahippocampal gyrus have received little attention. The present MRI study investigated whether volume differences in medial temporal lobe areas are differentially related to age-related memory decline. Thirty-nine subjects from a longitudinal study on cognitive aging (the Maastricht Aging Study) have been examined: 20 participants (mean age=67 years, range 52-80) with memory decline over a period of 12 years were matched to 19 participants without memory decline. Manual tracing was performed on 3T MR images to measure the volumes of the anterior, middle and posterior parts of the hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus. A robust group difference and a significant association with memory decline were observed only in the posterior part of the parahippocampal gyrus. Our results may suggest that the posterior parahippocampal gyrus plays a key role in age-related memory decline. Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


S Burgmans, M P J van Boxtel, K E M van den Berg, E H B M Gronenschild, H I L Jacobs, J Jolles, H B M Uylings. The posterior parahippocampal gyrus is preferentially affected in age-related memory decline. Neurobiology of aging. 2011 Sep;32(9):1572-8

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PMID: 19879667

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