20 March 2015 Communication of brain network core connections altered in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia but possibly preserved in early-onset Alzheimer's disease
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Abstract
Diffusion imaging and brain connectivity analyses can assess white matter deterioration in the brain, revealing the underlying patterns of how brain structure declines. Fiber tractography methods can infer neural pathways and connectivity patterns, yielding sensitive mathematical metrics of network integrity. Here, we analyzed 1.5-Tesla wholebrain diffusion-weighted images from 64 participants – 15 patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), 19 with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (EOAD), and 30 healthy elderly controls. Using whole-brain tractography, we reconstructed structural brain connectivity networks to map connections between cortical regions. We evaluated the brain’s networks focusing on the most highly central and connected regions, also known as hubs, in each diagnostic group – specifically the “high-cost” structural backbone used in global and regional communication. The high-cost backbone of the brain, predicted by fiber density and minimally short pathways between brain regions, accounted for 81-92% of the overall brain communication metric in all diagnostic groups. Furthermore, we found that the set of pathways interconnecting high-cost and high-capacity regions of the brain’s communication network are globally and regionally altered in bvFTD, compared to healthy participants; however, the overall organization of the high-cost and high-capacity networks were relatively preserved in EOAD participants, relative to controls. Disruption of the major central hubs that transfer information between brain regions may impair neural communication and functional integrity in characteristic ways typical of each subtype of dementia.
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Madelaine Daianu, Madelaine Daianu, Neda Jahanshad, Neda Jahanshad, Mario F. Mendez, Mario F. Mendez, George Bartzokis, George Bartzokis, Elvira E. Jimenez, Elvira E. Jimenez, Paul M. Thompson, Paul M. Thompson, } "Communication of brain network core connections altered in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia but possibly preserved in early-onset Alzheimer's disease", Proc. SPIE 9413, Medical Imaging 2015: Image Processing, 941322 (20 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2082352; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2082352
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