Education is associated with sub-regions of the hippocampus and the amygdala vulnerable to neuropathologies of Alzheimer’s disease

Xiaoying Tang, Vijay R. Varma, Michael I. Miller, Michelle C Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We evaluated the correlation of educational attainment with structural volume and shape morphometry of the bilateral hippocampi and amygdalae in a sample of 110 non-demented, older adults at elevated sociodemographic risk for cognitive and functional declines. In both men and women, no significant education–volume correlation was detected for either structure. However, when performing shape analysis, we observed regionally specific associations with education after adjusting for age, intracranial volume, and race. By sub-dividing the hippocampus and the amygdala into compatible subregions, we found that education was positively associated with size variations in the CA1 and subiculum subregions of the hippocampus and the basolateral subregion of the amygdala (p < 0.05). In addition, we detected a greater left versus right asymmetric pattern in the shape-education correlation for the hippocampus but not the amygdala. This asymmetric association was largely observed in men versus women. These findings suggest that education in youth may exert direct and indirect influences on brain reserve in regions that are most vulnerable to the neuropathologies of aging, dementia, and specifically, Alzheimer disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Structure and Function
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Aug 17 2016



  • Amygdala
  • Brain reserve
  • Cognitive reserve
  • Education
  • Hippocampus
  • Shape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Anatomy
  • Histology

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