Hippocampal formation size predicts declining memory performance in normal aging
Hippocampal formation (HF) atrophy, although common in normal aging, has unknown clinical consequences. We used MRI to derive HF size measurements at baseline on 44 cognitively normal older adults entering a longitudinal study of memory function (mean age = 68.4 years, mean follow-up = 3.8 years). Only one subject became demented at follow-up. Multiple regression analyses controlling for age, gender, education, and diffuse cerebral atrophy revealed that HF size significantly predicted longitudinal change on memory tests previously found sensitive to decline in normal aging. These results indicate HF atrophy may be a risk factor for accelerated memory dysfunction in normal aging.