Main effects and interactions of cerebral hemispheres, gender, and age in the calculation of volumes and asymmetries of selected structures of episodic memory
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The aim of this study was to clarify the influence of anatomical (cerebral hemisphere) and demographic (age and gender) variables on the gray matter (GM) volumes and volumetric asymmetry indices (VAIs) of selected structures involved in episodic memory. A cross-sectional study was performed in 47 healthy volunteers. Neuropsychological evaluation revealed similar IQs across the sample. Using SPM-based software, brain segmentation, labeling and volume measurements of the hippocampus, amygdala, middle temporal gyrus and parahippocampal gyrus were performed in each cerebral hemisphere. A two-way between-groups multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was applied to GM volumes and VAIs. The main effects of gender and cerebral hemisphere on GM volumes were significant (p <.001), while there was no significant interaction effect between gender and cerebral hemisphere. VAI measurements showed a nonsignificant effect of gender, but a significant influence of age (p =.015). The linear model of interactions and main effects explained 33% of the variance influencing the GM volume quantification. While cerebral hemisphere and gender were found to affect the volumes of brain structures involved in episodic memory, the calculation of VAIs was affected only by age. A comprehensive understanding of the main effects and interaction effects of cerebral hemisphere, gender and age on the volumes and asymmetries of structures related to episodic memory might help neurologists, psychiatrists, geriatricians and other neuroscientists in the study of degenerative brain diseases. © 2016, CIC Edizioni Internazionali s.r.l. All rights reserved.