Early functional network alterations in asymptomatic elders at risk for Alzheimer's disease

Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 26;7(1):6517. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-06876-8.


Amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition is known to starts decades before the onset of clinical symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD), however, the detailed pathophysiological processes underlying this preclinical period are not well understood. This study aimed to investigate functional network alterations in cognitively intact elderly individuals at risk for AD, and assessed the association between these network alterations and changes in Aβ deposition, glucose metabolism, and brain structure. Forty-five cognitively normal elderly subjects, who were classified into Aβ-positive (CN+) and Aβ-negative (CN-) groups using 11C-Pittsburgh compound B PET, underwent resting state magnetoencephalography measurements, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET (FDG-PET) and structural MRI. Results demonstrated that in the CN+ group, functional connectivity (FC) within the precuneus was significantly decreased, whereas it was significantly enhanced between the precuneus and the bilateral inferior parietal lobules in the low-frequency bands (theta and delta). These changes were suggested to be associated with local cerebral Aβ deposition. Most of Aβ+ individuals in this study did not show any metabolic or anatomical changes, and there were no significant correlations between FC values and FDG-PET or MRI volumetry data. These results demonstrate that functional network alterations, which occur in association with Aβ deposition, are detectable using magnetoencephalography before metabolic and anatomical changes are seen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Connectome*
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Male
  • Nerve Net / pathology*
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology*
  • Plaque, Amyloid*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography


  • Glucose

Associated data

  • JPRN/UMIN000006419
  • JPRN/UMIN000016144