Aim: Hippocampal atrophy shown on magnetic resonance imaging can differentiate Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients from subjects with normal cognition (NC). Simplified automated methods that use volumetric analysis, such as as the voxel-based specific regional analysis system for AD, have become widely used in Japan. However, the diagnostic value of the voxel-based specific regional analysis system compared with visual rating scores for clinical diagnosis is unclear. Methods: Study participants consisted of 37 AD patients, 29 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients, and 21 NC subjects. All participants underwent neuropsychological testing and magnetic resonance imaging. The imaging was scored visually for regional brain atrophy by two raters based on a newly developed visual rating score. The voxel-based specific regional analysis system for AD scores were calculated with the analysis system's advanced software. We analyzed whether these scores aid in discriminating among AD, MCI, and NC. Results: The AD group had significantly different visual rating scores, regional analysis scores, and all neuropsychological test scores than the NC group. The AD group had significantly different visual rating scores than the MCI group, and a significant difference was observed between the MCI and NC groups on regional analysis scores. Both the visual rating and regional analysis scores showed equivalent correlations with the neuropsychological test scores. Conclusions: Both the visual rating and regional analysis scores are clinically useful tools for differentiating among AD, MCI, and NC.
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