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Curr Alzheimer Res. 2020 Feb 12. doi: 10.2174/1567205017666200213100607. [Epub ahead of print]

Disrupted Time-Dependent and Functional Connectivity Brain Network in Alzheimer's Disease: A Resting-State fMRI Study Based on Visibility Graph.

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School of Electrical and Information Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China.
Principal Researcher at Tencent, Guangdong, China.



Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with insidious onset, which is difficult to be reversed and cured. Therefore, discovering more precise biological information from neuroimaging biomarkers is crucial for accurate and automatic detection of AD.


We innovatively used a visibility graph (VG) to construct the time-dependent brain networks as well as functional connectivity network to investigate the underlying dynamics of AD brain based on functional magnetic resonance imaging. There were 32 AD patients and 29 normal controls (NCs) from the Alzheimer's disease neuroimaging initiative (ADNI) database. First, the VG method mapped the time series of single brain region into networks. By extracting topological properties of the networks, the most significant features were selected as discriminant features into a supporting vector machine for classification. Furthermore, in order to detect abnormalities of these brain regions in the whole AD brain, functional connectivity among different brain regions was calculated based on the correlation of regional degree sequences.


According to the topology abnormalities exploration of local complex networks, we found several abnormal brain regions, including left insular, right posterior cingulate gyrus and other cortical regions. The accuracy of characteristics of the brain regions extracted from local complex networks was 88.52%. Association analysis demonstrated that the left inferior opercular part of frontal gyrus, right middle occipital gyrus, right superior parietal gyrus and right precuneus played a tremendous role in AD.


These results would be helpful in revealing the underlying pathological mechanism of the disease.


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