Functional and structural brain networks in posterior cortical atrophy: A two-centre multiparametric MRI study

F Agosta, G Mandic-Stojmenovic, E Canu, T Stojkovic, F Imperiale, F Caso, E Stefanova, M Copetti, VS Kostic, M Filippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study identified structural and functional brain connectivity alterations in two independent samples of patients along the posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) disease course. Twenty-one PCA patients and 44 controls were recruited from two expert centres. Microstructural damage of white matter (WM) tracts was assessed using probabilistic tractography; resting state (RS) functional connectivity of brain networks was explored using a model free approach; grey matter (GM) atrophy was investigated using voxel-based morphometry. Compared with controls, common patterns of damage across PCA patients included: GM atrophy in the occipital-temporal-parietal regions; diffusion tensor (DT) MRI alterations of the corpus callosum and superior (SLF) and inferior longitudinal fasciculi (ILF) bilaterally; and decreased functional connectivity of the occipital gyri within the visual network and the precuneus and posterior cingulum within the default mode network (DMN). In PCA patients with longer disease duration and greater disease severity, WM damage extended to the cingulum and RS functional connectivity alterations spread within the frontal, dorsal attentive and salience networks. In PCA, reduced DMN functional connectivity was associated with SLF and ILF structural alterations. PCA patients showed distributed WM damage. Altered RS functional connectivity extends with disease worsening from occipital to temporo-parietal and frontostriatal regions, and this is likely to occur through WM connections. Future longitudinal studies are needed to establish trajectories of damage spreading in PCA and whether a combined DT MRI/RS functional MRI approach is promising in monitoring the disease progression. © 2018 The Authors
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-910
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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