Longitudinal changes in functional brain connectivity predicts conversion to Alzheimer's disease

Laura Serra, Mara Cercignani, Chiara Mastropasqua, Mario Torso, Barbara Spanò, Elena Makovac, Vanda Viola, Giovanni Giulietti, Camillo Marra, Carlo Caltagirone, Marco Bozzali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This longitudinal study investigates the modifications in structure and function occurring to typical Alzheimer's disease (AD) brains over a 2-year follow-up, from pre-dementia stages of disease, with the aim of identifying biomarkers of prognostic value. Thirty-one patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment were recruited and followed-up with clinical, neuropsychological, and MRI assessments. Patients were retrospectively classified as AD Converters or Non-Converters, and the data compared between groups. Cross-sectional MRI data at baseline, assessing volume and functional connectivity abnormalities, confirmed previous findings, showing a more severe pattern of regional grey matter atrophy and default-mode network disconnection in Converters than in Non-Converters. Longitudinally, Converters showed more grey matter atrophy in the frontotemporal areas, accompanied by increased connectivity in the precuneus. Discriminant analysis revealed that functional connectivity of the precuneus within the default mode network at baseline is the parameter able to correctly classify patients in Converters and Non-Converters with high sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-389
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2016


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • functional disconnection
  • grey matter atrophy
  • longitudinal study
  • mild cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology


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