Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Comparison of semantic and episodic memory BOLD fMRI activation in predicting cognitive decline in older adults. J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2013 Jan;19(1):11-21



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84872090395   18 Citations


Previous studies suggest that task-activated functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can predict future cognitive decline among healthy older adults. The present fMRI study examined the relative sensitivity of semantic memory (SM) versus episodic memory (EM) activation tasks for predicting cognitive decline. Seventy-eight cognitively intact elders underwent neuropsychological testing at entry and after an 18-month interval, with participants classified as cognitively "Stable" or "Declining" based on a?Y 1.0 SD decline in performance. Baseline fMRI scanning involved SM (famous name discrimination) and EM (name recognition) tasks. SM and EM fMRI activation, along with Apolipoprotein E (APOE) I?4 status, served as predictors of cognitive outcome using a logistic regression analysis. Twenty-seven (34.6%) participants were classified as Declining and 51 (65.4%) as Stable. APOE I?4 status alone significantly predicted cognitive decline (R(2) = .106; C index = .642). Addition of SM activation significantly improved prediction accuracy (R(2) = .285; C index = .787), whereas the addition of EM did not (R(2) = .212; C index = .711). In combination with APOE status, SM task activation predicts future cognitive decline better than EM activation. These results have implications for use of fMRI in prevention clinical trials involving the identification of persons at-risk for age-associated memory loss and Alzheimer's disease.

Author List

Hantke N, Nielson KA, Woodard JL, Breting LM, Butts A, Seidenberg M, Carson Smith J, Durgerian S, Lancaster M, Matthews M, Sugarman MA, Rao SM


Alissa Butts PhD Assistant Professor in the Neurology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Kristy Nielson PhD Professor in the Psychology department at Marquette University

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Activities of Daily Living
Apolipoprotein E4
Brain Mapping
Cognition Disorders
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
Logistic Models
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Memory, Episodic
Mental Status Schedule
Neuropsychological Tests
Predictive Value of Tests
Principal Component Analysis