Recollection-related hippocampal fMRI effects predict longitudinal memory change in healthy older adults

Mingzhu Hou, Marianne De Chastelaine, Manasi Jayakumar, Brian E. Donley, Michael D. Rugg

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Prior fMRI studies have reported relationships between memory-related activity in the hippocampus and in-scanner memory performance, but whether such activity is predictive of longitudinal memory change remains unclear. Here, we administered a neuropsychological test battery to a sample of cognitively healthy older adults on three occasions, the second and third sessions occurring one month and three years after the first session. Structural and functional MRI data were acquired between the first two sessions. The fMRI data were derived from an associative recognition procedure and allowed estimation of hippocampal effects associated with both successful associative encoding and successful associative recognition (recollection). Baseline memory performance and memory change were evaluated using memory component scores derived from a principal components analysis of the neuropsychological test scores. Across participants, right hippocampal encoding effects correlated significantly with baseline memory performance after controlling for chronological age. Additionally, both left and right hippocampal associative recognition effects correlated negatively with longitudinal memory decline after controlling for age, and the relationship with the left hippocampal effect remained after also controlling for left hippocampal volume. Thus, in cognitively healthy older adults, the magnitude of hippocampal recollection effects appears to be a robust predictor of future memory change.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107537
Early online date19 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

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