Interhemispheric coherence derived from electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings is a measure of functional interhemispheric connectivity. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) determines the integrity of subcortical fiber tracts. We studied the pattern of subcortical fiber tracts underlying interhemispheric coherence and its alteration in 16 subjects with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), an at risk syndrome for Alzheimer's disease, and 20 cognitively healthy elderly control subjects using resting state EEG and high resolution DTI at 3 T. We used a multivariate network approach based on principal component analysis to determine effects of coherence on the regional pattern of diffusivity. Temporo-parietal coherence in the alpha band was significantly correlated with diffusivity in predominantly posterior white matter tracts including posterior corpus callosum, parietal, temporal and occipital lobe white matter, thalamus, midbrain, pons, and cerebellum, both in MCI subjects and controls (P < 0.05). In MCI subjects, frontal coherence in the alpha band was significantly correlated with a predominately frontal pattern of diffusivity including fiber tracts of the anterior corpus callosum, frontal lobe white matter, thalamus, pons, and cerebellum (P < 0.05). The study provides a methodology to access specific networks of subcortical fiber tracts subserving the maintenance of interhemispheric resting state coherence in the human brain.
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