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Altered structural network organization in cognitively normal individuals with amyloid pathology

Journal article
Authors Olga Voevodskaya
Joana B. Pereira
Giovanni Volpe
Olof Lindberg
Erik Stomrud
Danielle van Westen
Eric Westman
Oskar Hansson
Published in Neurobiology of Aging
Volume 64
Pages 15-24
ISSN 0197-4580
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 15-24
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiol...
Keywords graph theory, structural co-variance networks, β-amyloid, global efficiency, hubs, Alzheimer's disease, modularity
Subject categories Neurobiology

Abstract

Recent findings show that structural network topology is disrupted in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), with changes occurring already at the prodromal disease stages. Amyloid accumulation, a hallmark of AD, begins several decades before symptom onset and its effects on brain connectivity at the earliest disease stages is not fully known. We studied global and local network changes in a large cohort of cognitively healthy individuals (N=299, Swedish BioFINDER study) with and without β-amyloid (Aβ) pathology (based on cerebrospinal fluid Aβ42/Aβ40 levels). Structural correlation matrices were constructed based on MRI cortical thickness data. Despite the fact that no significant regional cortical atrophy was found in the Aβ-positive group, this group exhibited an altered global network organization, including decreased global efficiency and modularity. At the local level, Aβ-positive individuals displayed fewer and more disorganized modules as well as a loss of hubs. Our findings suggest that changes in network topology occur already at the presymptomatic (preclinical) stage of AD and may precede detectable cortical thinning.

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