Medizinische Universität Graz Austria/Österreich - Forschungsportal - Medical University of Graz

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Gewählte Publikation:

Hebebrand, M.
Structural covariance networks in Alzheimer’s disease
Humanmedizin; [ Diplomarbeit ] Graz Medical University; 2016. pp. [OPEN ACCESS]


Autor*innen der Med Uni Graz:
Koini Marisa
Schmidt Reinhold

The cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) might be the consequence of disrupted connectivity of various brain regions. Different network-based approaches have been established to examine inter-relationships between different brain regions as cause of cognitive decline. Next to functional magnetic resonance imaging (functional MRI) and diffusion weighted imaging, the analysis of structural covariance networks (SCNs) is relatively new and provides complementary information about inter-regional structural brain connectivity. The objective of this study was the identification of SCNs and the detection of the magnitude of integrity change in AD compared to non-demented elderly. T1-weighted MRI scans of 78 patients with probable AD and 78 age and sex matched non-demented elderly, retrieved from the Prospective Registry On Dementia in Austria (PRODEM) and the Austrian Stroke Prevention Family Study (ASPFS), respectively, were analyzed. Grey matter segmentation and independent component analysis were used. Results revealed 16 SCNs composed of cortical, subcortical and/or cerebellar structures. 10 SCNs demonstrated decreased structural covariance network integrity in AD when compared to the control group. Patients did not show higher integrity in any network. These results highlight the impact of AD on selective cerebral networks and corroborate the assumption of AD being a disconnection syndrome, as suggested in prior studies. Future studies have to examine the impact of these network changes and cognitive decline.

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