Brain changes within the visuo-spatial attentional network in posterior cortical atrophy

Chiara Cerami, Chiara Crespi, Pasquale Anthony Della Rosa, Alessandra Dodich, Alessandra Marcone, Giuseppe Magnani, Elisabetta Coppi, Andrea Falini, Stefano F. Cappa, Daniela Perani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is characterized by basic visual and high order visual-spatial dysfunctions. In this study, we investigated long-distance deafferentation processes within the frontal-parietal-occipital network in ten PCA patients using a MRI-PET combined approach. Objective voxel-based [18F]FDG-PET imaging measured metabolic changes in single patients. Comprehensive investigation of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics and grey-matter density with voxel-based morphometry were obtained in a subgroup of 6 patients. Fractional anisotropy in the superior longitudinal fasciculus correlated with the PET metabolic changes within the inferior parietal and frontal eye field regions. [18F]FDG-PET analysis showed in each PCA case the typical bilateral hypometabolic pattern, involving posterior temporal, parietal, and occipital cortex, with additional hypometabolic foci in the frontal eye fields. Voxel-based morphometry showed right-sided atrophy in the parieto-occipital cortex, as well as a limited temporal involvement. DTI revealed extensive degeneration of the major anterior-posterior connecting fiber bundles and of commissural frontal lobe tracts. Microstructural measures in the superior longitudinal fasciculus were correlated with the PET metabolic changes within the inferior parietal and frontal eye field regions. Our results confirmed the predominant occipital-temporal and occipital-parietal degeneration in PCA patients. [18F]FDG-PET and DTI-MRI combined approaches revealed neurodegeneration effects well beyond the classical posterior cortical involvement, most likely as a consequence of deafferentation processes within the occipital-parietal-frontal network that could be at the basis of visuo-perceptual, visuo-spatial integration and attention deficits in PCA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-395
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Dementia
  • diffusion tensor imaging
  • frontal eye field
  • posterior cortical atrophy
  • voxel-based morphometry
  • [${18}^F$]FDG-PET imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine(all)

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