The fornix in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The fornix is an integral white matter bundle located in the medial diencephalon and is part of the limbic structures. It serves a vital role in memory functions and as such has become the subject of recent research emphasis in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). As the characteristic pathological processes of AD progress, structural and functional changes to the medial temporal lobes and other regions become evident years before clinical symptoms are present. Though gray matter atrophy has been the most studied, degradation of white matter structures especially the fornix may precede these and has become detectable with use of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and other complimentary imaging techniques. Recent research utilizing DTI measurement of the fornix has shown good discriminability of diagnostic groups, particularly early and preclinical, as well as predictive power for incident MCI and AD. Stimulating and modulating fornix function by the way of DBS has been an exciting new area as pharmacological therapeutics has been slow to develop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Issue numberJAN
StatePublished - 2015


  • Alzheimer's
  • DBS
  • DTI
  • Fornix
  • MCI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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