Study of hippocampal size and age
From Firenze University Press Journal: Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology
Luiz Gabriel Dias Duarte Machado, MBBS at School of Medicine La Sapienza University of Rome
Lior Mevorach, MBBS at School of Medicine La Sapienza University of Rome
Victor de Oliveira Corrêa, BA at School of Medicine University of Santo Amaro, Sao Paulo
Maria Eugênia Martins Publio Correa, BA at School of Medicine University of Santo Amaro, Sao Paulo
Gabriel Phillip Sinibaldi Eagers, BA at School of Medicine University of Santo Amaro, Sao Paulo
Guilherme Rodrigues Guidoni, BA at School of Medicine University of Santo Amaro, Sao Paulo
Antonio Santoro, Professor of Neurosurgery at School of Medicine La Sapienza University of Rome
Paulo Henrique Pires de Aguiar, Neurosurgeon of Sírio-Libanês Hospital
The hippocampus is a thoroughly studied structure of the temporal cerebral lobe due to its key role in the systems involved in learning, memory, emotional behavior, motor and homeostatic control.
It inferiorly borders the temporal horn of the lateral ventricle, resembling a seahorse, and is composed of a head with hippocampal digi-tations, a body and a tail, both with fimbriae. It is anatomically connected medially, ventrally and posteriorly to the fornix, and inferolaterally connected to the parahip-pocampal gyrus through the subiculum.
It contains a bilaminar internal structure comprised of the cornu ammonis (CA) and dentate gyrus (DG). Cornu ammonis can be subdivided into four structures according to its display of pyramidal neurons, namely from CA1, which is continuous with the subiculum, to CA, which is the nearest region to the DG.
The hippocampus is susceptible to different means of damage and, among them, epilepsy, hypoxia, ischemia, and encephalitis are associated with amnesic effects.
Cardiovascular disease, vascular risk factors, diabetes, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, and psychiatric disorders, among others, are factors associated with hippocampal atrophy with increasing age. Moreover, pathologies of the brain related to a loss of hippocampal function, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, are also associated with atrophy of the hippocampus and its internal structures.
The rate of hippocampal atrophy in cognitively normal individuals increases with age, which substantially increases onwards from midlife. In contrast to our current knowledge of hippocampal anatomy, neurophysiology and pathophysiology, scientific literature on the relationship between the hippocampal size and age is limited. Our study aims to further the understanding of this relationship.
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