Disruption of Semantic Network in Mild Alzheimer's Disease Revealed by Resting-State fMRI

Daniele Mascali, Mauro DiNuzzo, Laura Serra, Silvia Mangia, Bruno Maraviglia, Marco Bozzali, Federico Giove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Subtle semantic deficits can be observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients even in the early stages of the illness. In this work, we tested the hypothesis that the semantic control network is deregulated in mild AD patients. We assessed the integrity of the semantic control system using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in a cohort of patients with mild AD (n = 38; mean mini-mental state examination = 20.5) and in a group of age-matched healthy controls (n = 19). Voxel-wise analysis spatially constrained in the left fronto-temporal semantic control network identified two regions with altered functional connectivity (FC) in AD patients, specifically in the pars opercularis (POp, BA44) and in the posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG, BA21). Using whole-brain seed-based analysis, we demonstrated that these two regions have altered FC even beyond the semantic control network. In particular, the pMTG displayed a wide-distributed pattern of lower connectivity to several brain regions involved in language-semantic processing, along with a possibly compensatory higher connectivity to the Wernicke's area. We conclude that in mild AD brain regions belonging to the semantic control network are abnormally connected not only within the network, but also to other areas known to be critical for language processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroscience
Volume371
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Dec 2 2017

Keywords

  • Journal Article

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