J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2018 Oct;22(2):70-75. 10.0000/jkgp.2018.22.2.70.

Anxiety Symptoms are Associated with Progression to Dementia in Patients with Amyloid-Positive Mild Cognitive Impairment

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Kangwon National University Hospital, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Neurology, Kangwon National University Hospital, Chuncheon, Korea. light26@kangwon.ac.kr
  • 4Department of Neurology, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.


Anxiety is prevalent in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and are considered to be a risk factor for conversion to dementia. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether Anxiety symptoms in MCI promote disease progression in a manner related to amyloid status, and to determine the relationship between anxiety symptoms and longitudinal cerebral structural changes.
Baseline data for 230 patients with amyloid-positive MCI (52 with anxiety and 178 without) from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative study were analyzed. All participants underwent comprehensive cognitive testing, volumetric MRI, and [18F]AV45 positron emission tomography amyloid imaging. Anxiety symptoms were measured using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire. A voxel-based morphometric analysis using volumetric brain MRI data was used to compare longitudinal structural changes related to anxiety symptoms.
The conversion rate to dementia was different between patients with and without anxiety in amyloid-positive MCI (37.7% vs. 16.1%, respectively ; p=0.001). Anxiety in amyloid-positive MCI was associated with longitudinal cortical atrophy in the left superior temporal gyrus, left Heschl's gyrus, left parahippocampal gyrus, left anterior cingulum, bilateral anterior cingulum and right superior orbital gyrus.
Our study indicates that the presence of anxiety in patients with amyloid-positive MCI is associated with higher conversion to dementia and longitudinal cortical atrophy.


Mild cognitive impairment; Alzheimer's disease; Anxiety
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