J Korean Med Sci.  2015 Nov;30(11):1652-1658. 10.3346/jkms.2015.30.11.1652.

Gray and White Matter Degenerations in Subjective Memory Impairment: Comparisons with Normal Controls and Mild Cognitive Impairment

  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Neurology, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Neurology, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. neuroman@catholic.ac.kr
  • 4Department of Radiology, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.


Subjective memory impairment (SMI) is now increasingly recognized as a risk factor of progression to dementia. This study investigated gray and white matter changes in the brains of SMI patients compared with normal controls and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients. We recruited 28 normal controls, 28 subjects with SMI, and 29 patients with MCI aged 60 or older. We analyzed gray and white matter changes using a voxel-based morphometry (VBM), hippocampal volumetry and regions of interest in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). DTI parameters of corpus callosum and cingulum in SMI showed more white matter changes compared with those in normal controls, they were similar to those in MCI except in the hippocampus, which showed more degenerations in MCI. In VBM, SMI showed atrophy in the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes compared with normal controls although it was not as extensive as that in MCI. Patients with SMI showed gray and white matter degenerations, the changes were distinct in white matter structures. SMI might be the first presenting symptom within the Alzheimer's disease continuum when combined with additional risk factors and neurodegenerative changes.


Subjective Memory Impairment; Diffusion Tensor Imaging; Voxel-based Morphometry; Mild Cognitive Impairment

MeSH Terms

Diagnosis, Differential
Diffusion Tensor Imaging/methods
Gray Matter/*pathology
Memory Disorders/*diagnosis/etiology
Mild Cognitive Impairment/complications/*diagnosis
Neurodegenerative Diseases/complications/*pathology
Reference Values
Reproducibility of Results
Sensitivity and Specificity
White Matter/*pathology
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