Functional Connectivity Tracks Clinical Deterioration in Alzheimer's Disease

Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Apr;33(4):828.e19-30. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2011.06.024. Epub 2011 Aug 16.

Abstract

While resting state functional connectivity has been shown to decrease in patients with mild and/or moderate Alzheimer's disease, it is not yet known how functional connectivity changes in patients as the disease progresses. Furthermore, it has been noted that the default mode network is not as homogenous as previously assumed and several fractionations of the network have been proposed. Here, we separately investigated the modulation of 3 default mode subnetworks, as identified with group independent component analysis, by comparing Alzheimer's disease patients to healthy controls and by assessing connectivity changes over time. Our results showed decreased connectivity at baseline in patients versus controls in the posterior default mode network, and increased connectivity in the anterior and ventral default mode networks. At follow-up, functional connectivity decreased across all default mode systems in patients. Our results suggest that earlier in the disease, regions of the posterior default mode network start to disengage whereas regions within the anterior and ventral networks enhance their connectivity. However, as the disease progresses, connectivity within all systems eventually deteriorates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Pathways / blood supply
  • Neural Pathways / pathology
  • Oxygen / blood

Substances

  • Oxygen