Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have published data suggesting that atrophy may not be linked as strongly to reduced cognition and a need for memory care among seniors as previously thought.
They studied 107 subjects with ages ranging from 75 to 81 by giving them cognitive tests to determine ability, along with MRI scans to determine how the size of the brain affected its ability to function.
Instead of atrophy, Dr.
Susan D. Shenkin and the other authors reported that the size of the brain prior to old age, and not a reduction in any one area, was correlative to good brain function, and cautioned that "taking into account prior mental ability" would benefit neurological researchers.
Although brain atrophy may not be linked with reduced brain function, it could potentially signal the onset of Alzheimer's.
Scientists from the Netherlands reported that mild cognitive impairment that included a shrunken hippocampus may be linked to the onset of Alzheimer's in a study published in Neurology.