Identifying the Alternation Patterns of Brain Functional Connectivity in Progressive Mild Cognitive Impairment Patients: A Longitudinal Whole-brain Voxel-wise Degree Analysis

Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. 2016;8 DOI 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00195


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience

ISSN: 1663-4365 (Online)

Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Internal medicine: Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB, XML



Yanjia Deng (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Kai Liu (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Lin Shi (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Yi Lei (The Second People’s Hospital of Shenzhen)
Peipeng Liang (Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University)
Kuncheng Li (Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University)
Winnie CW Chu (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Defeng Wang (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 14 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are at high risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD), while some of them may remain stable over decades. The underlying mechanism is still not fully understood. In this study, we aimed to explore the connectivity differences between progressive MCI (PMCI) and stable MCI (SMCI) individuals on a whole-brain scale and on a voxel-wise basis, and we also aimed to reveal the differential dynamic alternation patterns between these two disease subtypes. The resting-state functional magnetic resonance images of PMCI and SMCI patients at baseline and year-one were obtained from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative dataset, and the progression was determined based on a three-year follow-up. A whole-brain voxel-wise degree map that was calculated based on graph-theory was constructed for each subject, and then the cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses on the degree maps were performed between PMCI and SMCI patients. In longitudinal analyses, compared with SMCI group, PMCI group showed decreased long-range degree in the left middle occipital/supramarginal gyrus, while the short-range degree was increased in the left supplementary motor area and middle frontal gyrus and decreased in the right middle temporal pole. A significant longitudinal alteration of decreased short-range degree in the right middle occipital was found in PMCI group. Taken together with previous evidence, our current findings may suggest that PMCI, compared with SMCI, might be a severe presentation of disease along the AD continuum, and the rapidly reduced degree in the right middle occipital gyrus may have indicative value for the disease progression. Moreover, the cross-sectional comparison results and corresponding receiver-operator characteristic-curves analyses may indicate that the baseline degree difference is not a good predictor of disease progression in MCI patients. Overall, these findings may provide objective evidence and an indicator to characterize the progression-related brain connectivity changes in MCI patients.