Posterior cortical atrophy and Alzheimer's disease: a meta-analytic review of neuropsychological and brain morphometry studies

Brain Imaging and Behavior
Jorge AlvesOscar F Gonçalves

Abstract

This paper presents the first systematic review and meta-analysis of neuropsychological and brain morphometry studies comparing posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) to typical Alzheimer's disease (tAD). Literature searches were conducted for brain morphometry and neuropsychological studies including a PCA and a tAD group. Compared to healthy controls (HC), PCA patients exhibited significant decreases in temporal, occipital and parietal gray matter (GM) volumes, whereas tAD patients showed extensive left temporal atrophy. Compared to tAD patients, participants with PCA showed greater GM volume reduction in the right occipital gyrus extending to the posterior lobule. In addition, PCA patients showed less GM volume loss in the left parahippocampal gyrus and left hippocampus than tAD patients. PCA patients exhibit significantly greater impairment in Immediate Visuospatial Memory as well as Visuoperceptual and Visuospatial Abilities than patients with tAD. However, tAD patients showed greater impairment in Delayed Auditory/Verbal Memory than patients with PCA. PCA is characterized by significant atrophy of the occipital and parietal regions and severe impairments in visuospatial functioning.

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