Resting State Network Modularity Along the Prodromal Late Onset Alzheimer's Disease Continuum
34 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2018 First Look: Under Review
Alzheimer's disease is considered a disconnection syndrome, motivating the use of brain network measures to detect changes in whole-brain resting-state functional connectivity (FC). We investigated changes in FC within and among resting state networks (RSN) across four different stages in the Alzheimer's disease continuum, and examining two independent cohorts of individuals (84 and 58 individuals, respectively) each comprising control, subjective cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's dementia groups. For each participant, FC was computed as a matrix of Pearson correlations between pairs of time series from 278 gray matter brain regions. We determined significant differences in FC modular organization with two distinct approaches, network contingency analysis and multiresolution consensus clustering. Network contingency analysis identified RSN sub-blocks that differed significantly across clinical groups. Multiresolution consensus clustering identified differences in the stability of modules across multiple spatial scales. Significant modules were further test for statistical association with average memory and executive function cognitive scores. Across both analysis approaches in both participant cohorts the findings converged on a pattern of FC that varied systematically with diagnosis within the frontoparietal network (FP) and between the FP network and default mode network (DMN). Disturbances of modular organization were manifest as greater internal coherence of the FP network and stronger coupling between FP and DMN, resulting in less segregation of these two networks. Our findings suggest that the pattern of interactions within and between specific RSNs holds potential as a new biomarker predictive of clinical progression along the Alzheimer's disease spectrum.
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