Resting-state MRI functional connectivity as a neural correlate of multidomain lifestyle adherence in older adults at risk for Alzheimer's disease

Sci Rep. 2023 May 9;13(1):7487. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-32714-1.


Prior research has demonstrated the importance of a healthy lifestyle to protect brain health and diminish dementia risk in later life. While a multidomain lifestyle provides an ecological perspective to voluntary engagement, its association with brain health is still under-investigated. Therefore, understanding the neural mechanisms underlying multidomain lifestyle engagement, particularly in older adults at risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD), gives valuable insights into providing lifestyle advice and intervention for those in need. The current study included 139 healthy older adults with familial risk for AD from the Prevent-AD longitudinal aging cohort. Self-reported exercise engagement, cognitive activity engagement, healthy diet adherence, and social activity engagement were included to examine potential phenotypes of an individual's lifestyle adherence. Two adherence profiles were discovered using data-driven clustering methodology [i.e., Adherence to healthy lifestyle (AL) group and Non-adherence to healthy lifestyle group]. Resting-state functional connectivity matrices and grey matter brain features obtained from magnetic resonance imaging were used to classify the two groups using a support vector machine (SVM). The SVM classifier was 75% accurate in separating groups. The features that show consistently high importance to the classification model were functional connectivity mainly between nodes located in different prior-defined functional networks. Most nodes were located in the default mode network, dorsal attention network, and visual network. Our results provide preliminary evidence of neurobiological characteristics underlying multidomain healthy lifestyle choices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Gray Matter / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Social Behavior

Grants and funding