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MRI-based comparative study of different mild cognitive impairment subtypes: protocol for an observational case-control study

08 Mar 2017


Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and vascular mild cognitive impairment (VaMCI) comprise the 2 main types of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The first condition generally progresses to Alzheimer's disease, whereas the second is likely to develop into vascular dementia (VD). The brain structure and function of patients with MCI differ from those of normal elderly individuals. However, whether brain structures or functions differ between these 2 MCI subtypes has not been studied. This study is designed to analyse neuroimages of brain in patients with VaMCI and aMCI using multimodality MRI (structural MRI (sMRI), functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)).

Methods and analysis

In this study, 80 participants diagnosed with aMCI, 80 participants diagnosed with VaMCI, and 80 age-matched, gender-matched and education-matched normal controls (NCs) will be recruited to the Hongqi Hospital of Mudanjiang Medical University, Heilongjiang, China. All participants will undergo neuroimaging and neuropsychological evaluations. The primary outcome measures will be (1) microstructural alterations revealed by multimodal MRIs, including sMRI, resting-state functional MRI and DTI; and (2) a neuropsychological evaluation, including the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT), Memory and Executive Screening (MES), trail making test, Stroop colour naming condition and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale, to evaluate global cognition, memory function, attention, visuospatial skills, processing speed, executive function and emotion, respectively.

Trial registration number

NCT02706210; Pre-results.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open