Fronto-temporal functional disconnection precedes hippocampal atrophy in clinically confirmed multi-domain amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment

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Kathryn M. Broadhouse
Natalie J. Winks
Mathew J. Summers

Abstract

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is fraught with high false positive diagnostic errors. The high rate of false positive diagnosis hampers attempts to identify reliable and valid biomarkers for MCI. Recent research suggests that aberrant functional neurocircuitries emerge prior to significant cognitive deficits. The aim of the present study was to examine this in clinically confirmed multi-domain amnestic-MCI (mdaMCI) using an established, multi-time point, methodology for minimizing false positive diagnosis. Structural and resting-state functional MRI data were acquired in healthy controls (HC, n=24), clinically-confirmed multi-domain amnestic-MCI (mdaMCI, n=14) and mild Alzheimer’s Dementia (mAD, n=6). Group differences in cortical thickness, hippocampal volume and functional connectivity were investigated. Hippocampal subvolumes differentiated mAD from HC and mdaMCI. Functional decoupling of fronto-temporal networks implicated in memory and executive function differentiated HC and mdaMCI. Decreased functional connectivity in these networks was associated with poorer cognitive performance scores. Preliminary findings suggest the large-scale decoupling of fronto-temporal networks associated with cognitive decline precedes measurable structural neurodegeneration in clinically confirmed MCI and may represent a potential biomarker for disease progression. 

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How to Cite
Broadhouse, K. M., Winks, N. J., & Summers, M. J. (2021). Fronto-temporal functional disconnection precedes hippocampal atrophy in clinically confirmed multi-domain amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment. EXCLI Journal, 20, 1458-1473. https://doi.org/10.17179/excli2021-4191
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Original articles