A follow-up study of the cognitive disorder's spectrum: Does iron cause cognitive impairment or vice-versa?

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Medical Physics Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Mashhad University of Medical Sciences


Introduction: Mild cognitive disorders are transient and transient stages with a definite time window that can potentially cause Alzheimer's disease. The iron deposition is one of the major brain pathological changes implicated in these disorders. Deposition causes toxicity in brain neurons and their death. The quantitative susceptibility mapping technique is an image processing method that can accurately show these changes on the ppm scale.

Objective: Identification of the changes in iron deposits in the brain nuclei of the studied groups after one year to assess the time window of each stage of cognitive impairment and the importance of targeted treatment.

Materials and Methods: One-year follow-up data were downloaded from the ADNI research database, and eight healthy participants and twenty-one participants with cognitive impairment based on MMSE cognitive test scores in 5 groups of CN, SMC, EMCI, LMCI, and Alzheimer's were included This study. QSM processing was performed using the SEPIA toolbox in MATLAB, and segmentation was performed using the FSL software. Finally, statistical analyzes were performed using SPSS V26 software.

Results: statistically significant changes were observed in the QSM values of the right thalamus (p-value = 0.043) in the LMCI group and the nucleus of the right hippocampus (p-value = 0.050) in the control group.

Conclusion: At one year, the right hippocampal nucleus in healthy individuals exhibits increased iron accumulation, suggesting that the nucleus is susceptible to the highest rate of iron deposition in healthy individuals. Based on this result, it may be possible to confirm the hypothesis that iron deposition is the cause of the unknown cause-and-effect relationship between iron deposition and Alzheimer's disease.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 11 August 2023
  • Receive Date: 19 February 2023
  • Revise Date: 01 August 2023
  • Accept Date: 11 August 2023