Progressive structural and covariance connectivity abnormalities in patients with Alzheimer’s disease

Front Aging Neurosci. 2023 Jan 6;14:1064667. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2022.1064667. eCollection 2022.


BACKGROUND: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases worldwide and characterized by cognitive decline and brain structure atrophy. While studies have reported substantial grey matter atrophy related to progression of AD, it remains unclear about brain regions with progressive grey matter atrophy, covariance connectivity, and the associations with cognitive decline in AD patients.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to investigate the grey matter atrophy, structural covariance connectivity abnormalities, and the correlations between grey matter atrophy and cognitive decline during AD progression.

MATERIALS: We analyzed neuroimaging data of healthy controls (HC, n = 45) and AD patients (n = 40) at baseline (AD-T1) and one-year follow-up (AD-T2) obtained from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. We investigated AD-related progressive changes of grey matter volume, covariance connectivity, and the clinical relevance to further understand the pathological progression of AD.

RESULTS: The results showed clear patterns of grey matter atrophy in inferior frontal gyrus, prefrontal cortex, lateral temporal gyrus, posterior cingulate cortex, insula, hippocampus, caudate, and thalamus in AD patients. There was significant atrophy in bilateral superior temporal gyrus (STG) and left caudate in AD patients over a one-year period, and the grey matter volume decrease in right STG and left caudate was correlated with cognitive decline. Additionally, we found reduced structural covariance connectivity between right STG and left caudate in AD patients. Using AD-related grey matter atrophy as features, there was high discrimination accuracy of AD patients from HC, and AD patients at different time points.

PMID:36688148 | PMC:PMC9853893 | DOI:10.3389/fnagi.2022.1064667


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