Selective hippocampal subfield volume reductions in World Trade Center responders with cognitive impairment

September 6, 2021

Authors: Yael Deri, Sean A P Clouston, Christine DeLorenzo, John D Gardus 3rd, Megan Horton, Cheuk Tang, Alison C Pellecchia, Stephanie Santiago-Michels, Melissa A Carr, Sam Gandy, Mary Sano, Evelyn J Bromet, Roberto G Lucchini, Benjamin J Luft

Journal: Alzheimer's & Dementia

DOI: 10.1002/dad2.12165

Year Published: 2021


The objective of this study was to investigate associations between dementia in World Trade Center (WTC) responders and in vivo volumetric measures of hippocampal subfield volumes in WTC responders at midlife.


A sample of 99 WTC responders was divided into dementia and unimpaired groups. Participants underwent structural T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Volumetric measures included the overall hippocampus and eight subfields. Regression models examined volumetric measure of interest adjusting for confounders including intracranial volume.


Dementia was associated with smaller hippocampal volume and with reductions across hippocampal subfields. Smaller hippocampal subfield volumes were associated with longer cumulative time worked at the WTC. Domain-specific cognitive performance was associated with lower volumetric measures across hippocampal subregions.


This is the first study to investigate hippocampal subfield volumes in a sample of WTC responders at midlife. Selective hippocampal subfield volume reductions suggested abnormal cognition that were associated with WTC exposure duration.

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