Abstract : This paper presents a new approach for template-based analysis of anatomical variability in populations,in the framework of Large Deformation Diffeomorphic Metric Mappings and mathematical currents. We propose a fast approach in which the template is computed using an diffeomorphic iterative centroid method. Statistical analysis is then performed on the initial momenta that define the deformations between the centroid and each individual subject. We applied the approach to study the variability of the hippocampus in 134 patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and 160 elderly control subjects. We show that this approach can describe the main modes of variability of the two populations and can predict the performance to a memory test in AD patients.