TitleDifferential association of left and right hippocampal volumes with verbal episodic and spatial memory in older adults.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsEzzati, A, Katz, MJ, Zammit, AR, Lipton, ML, Zimmerman, ME, Sliwinski, MJ, Lipton, RB
IssuePt B
Date Published2016 Dec
KeywordsAged, Aging, Cross-Sectional Studies, Educational Status, Female, Functional Laterality, Hippocampus, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Memory, Episodic, Neuropsychological Tests, Organ Size, Regression Analysis, Sex Characteristics, Spatial Memory, Speech Perception

<p>The hippocampus plays a critical role in verbal and spatial memory, thus any pathological damage to this formation may lead to cognitive impairment. It is suggested that right and left hippocampi are affected differentially in healthy or pathologic aging. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that verbal episodic memory performance is associated with left hippocampal volume (HV) while spatial memory is associated with right HV. 115 non-demented adults over age 70 were drawn from the Einstein Aging Study. Verbal memory was measured using the free recall score from the Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test - immediate recall (FCSRT-IR), logical memory immediate and delayed subtests (LM-I and LM-II) from the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R). Spatial Memory was measured using a computerized dot memory paradigm that has been validated for use in older adults. All participants underwent 3T MRI with subsequent automatized measurement of the volume of each hippocampus. The sample had a mean age of 78.7 years (SD=5.0); 57% were women, and 52% were white. Participants had a mean of 14.3 years (SD=3.5) of education. In regression models, two tests of verbal memory (FCSRT-IR free recall and LM-II) were positively associated with left HV, but not with right HV. Performance on the spatial memory task was associated with right HV, but not left HV. Our findings support the hypothesis that the left hippocampus plays a critical role in episodic verbal memory, while right hippocampus might be more important for spatial memory processing among non-demented older adults.</p>

Alternate JournalNeuropsychologia
PubMed ID27542320
PubMed Central IDPMC5154822
Grant ListP01 AG003949 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG039409 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R03 AG045474 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
UL1 TR001073 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States