Abnormal connectivity in the posterior cingulate and hippocampus in early Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment

Yongxia Zhou, John H Dougherty, Karl F Hubner, Bing Bai, Rex L Cannon, R Kent Hutson
Alzheimer's & Dementia: the Journal of the Alzheimer's Association 2008, 4 (4): 265-70

BACKGROUND: Brain imaging studies of early Alzheimer's disease (AD) have shown decreased metabolism predominantly in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), medial temporal lobe, and inferior parietal lobe. This study investigated functional connectivity between these regions, as well as connectivity between these regions and the whole brain.

METHODS: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies were performed in subjects with early AD, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and normal controls.

RESULTS: The data indicate both decreased fiber connections and disrupted connectivity between the hippocampus and PCC in early AD. The MCI group showed reduced fiber numbers derived from PCC and hippocampus to the whole brain.

CONCLUSIONS: The fMRI and DTI results confirmed decreased connectivity from both the PCC and hippocampus to the whole brain in MCI and AD and reduction in connectivity between these two regions, which plausibly represents an early imaging biomarker for AD.

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