Journal List > Dement Neurocogn Disord > v.11(1) > 1120798

Dement Neurocogn Disord. 2012 Mar;11(1):18-24. Korean.
Published online Mar 31, 2012.
Copyright© 2012 Korean Dementia Association
Can We Further Divide Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment Based on the Pattern of Memory Deficit?: A Preliminary Study
Eun Hye Jeong, M.D., Hee-Young Kim, M.D. and Jae-Hong Lee, M.D.
Department of Neurology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Address for correspondence: Jae-Hong Lee, M.D. Department of Neurology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 388-1 Pungnap-2 dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138-736, Korea. Tel: +82-2-3010-3446, Fax: +82-2-474-4691, Email:
Received Dec 23, 2011; Revised Mar 23, 2012; Accepted Mar 23, 2012.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered as a transitional state between normal aging and dementia and can be subdivided into amnestic vs. nonamnestic and single vs. multiple domains types. It is suggested that these clinical subtypes may have different underlying etiologies and outcomes. The amnestic MCI differs in the performance profile on memory testing: retention vs. retrieval deficit. Generally, the retention deficit is attributed to the medial temporal dysfunction and the retrieval deficit to the frontal dysfunction. We tried to determine whether there could be distinctive subtypes available even in the amnestic MCI.


Sixty-two patients with amnestic MCI-single domain were included in this retrospective study. They were divided into the retention- vs. the retrieval-deficit groups according to the results of Seoul Verbal Learning Test (SVLT). We compared baseline characteristics including vascular risk factors and neuropsychological profiles. We also measured the medial temporal atrophy (MTA) using a visual rating scale and assessed lacunar infarcts and white matter hyperintensities (WMH).


Of 62 patients, 41 had retention deficit and 21 had retrieval deficit on SVLT. Among baseline clinical and demographic variables, only the frequency of hypertension was higher in the retrieval-deficit group (p=0.005). There were no differences in neuropsychological profiles between the two groups other than a lower immediate recall score in the retention-deficit group (p=0.012) and a higher recognition score in the retrieval-deficit group (p=0.001). Severities of WMH and MTA were not different between the two groups, nor was the number of lacunar infarcts and microbleeds.


We could not find any significant difference except for the frequency of hypertension between the two subgroups of amnestic MCI, suggesting that there may be no further gain in subdividing a single domain amnestic MCI.

Keywords: Amnestic mild cognitive impairment; Memory; Retention; Retrieval; Medial temporal atrophy; White matter hyperintensities


Table 1
Baseline characteristics according to the two amnestic MCI subtypes
Click for larger image

Table 2
Neuropsychological profiles of the two amnestic MCI subtypes
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Table 3
MRI findings of the two amnestic MCI subtypes
Click for larger image


This study was supported by a grant from the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (A102065) and a grant from Bayer Korea.

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