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Magn Reson Imaging. 2012 Jan;30(1):48-61. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2011.07.007. Epub 2011 Oct 6.

Aberrant default mode network in subjects with amnestic mild cognitive impairment using resting-state functional MRI.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76059, USA.


Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) is a syndrome associated with faster memory decline than normal aging and frequently represents the prodromal phase of Alzheimer's disease. When a person is not actively engaged in a goal-directed task, spontaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals can reveal functionally connected brain networks, including the so-called default mode network (DMN). To date, only a few studies have investigated DMN functions in aMCI populations. In this study, group-independent component analysis was conducted for resting-state fMRI data, with slices acquired perpendicular to the long axis of the hippocampus, from eight subjects with aMCI and eight normal control subjects. Subjects with aMCI showed an increased DMN activity in middle cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex and left inferior parietal cortex compared to the normal control group. Decreased DMN activity for the aMCI group compared to the normal control group was noted in lateral prefrontal cortex, left medial temporal lobe (MTL), left medial temporal gyrus, posterior cingulate cortex/retrosplenial cortex/precuneus and right angular gyrus. Although MTL volume difference between the two groups was not statistically significant, a decreased activity in left MTL was observed for the aMCI group. Positive correlations between the DMN activity and memory scores were noted for left lateral prefrontal cortex, left medial temporal gyrus and right angular gyrus. These findings support the premise that alterations of the DMN occur in aMCI and may indicate deficiencies in functional, intrinsic brain architecture that correlate with memory function, even before significant MTL atrophy is detectable by structural MRI.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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