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Functional Connectivity Variations in Mild Cognitive Impairment: Associations with Cognitive Function

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 October 2011

S. Duke Han*
Affiliation:
Department of Behavioral Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
Konstantinos Arfanakis
Affiliation:
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois Department of Radiology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
Debra A. Fleischman
Affiliation:
Department of Behavioral Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
Sue E. Leurgans
Affiliation:
Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
Elizabeth R. Tuminello
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Emily C. Edmonds
Affiliation:
Department of Behavioral Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
David A. Bennett
Affiliation:
Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
*
Correspondence and reprint requests to: S. Duke Han, Department of Behavioral Sciences, 1645 W. Jackson Blvd. Ste. 400, Chicago, IL 60612. E-mail: duke_han@rush.edu

Abstract

Participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have a higher likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) compared to those without MCI, and functional magnetic resonance neuroimaging (fMRI) used with MCI participants may prove to be an important tool in identifying early biomarkers for AD. We tested the hypothesis that functional connectivity differences exist between older adults with and without MCI using resting-state fMRI. Data were collected on over 200 participants of the Rush Memory and Aging Project, a community-based, clinical-pathological cohort study of aging. From the cohort, 40 participants were identified as having MCI, and were compared to 40 demographically matched participants without cognitive impairment. MCI participants showed lesser functional connectivity between the posterior cingulate cortex and right and left orbital frontal, right middle frontal, left putamen, right caudate, left superior temporal, and right posterior cingulate regions; and greater connectivity with right inferior frontal, left fusiform, left rectal, and left precentral regions. Furthermore, in an alternate sample of 113, connectivity values in regions of difference correlated with episodic memory and processing speed. Results suggest functional connectivity values in regions of difference are associated with cognitive function and may reflect the presence of AD pathology and increased risk of developing clinical AD. (JINS, 2012, 18, 39–48)

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2011

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