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PLoS One. 2013 Jul 23;8(7):e68860. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068860. Print 2013.

Glucose metabolism during resting state reveals abnormal brain networks organization in the Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment.

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Neurodiagnostic Department, Cuban Neuroscience Center, Havana, Cuba.


This paper aims to study the abnormal patterns of brain glucose metabolism co-variations in Alzheimer disease (AD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) patients compared to Normal healthy controls (NC) using the Alzheimer Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database. The local cerebral metabolic rate for glucose (CMRgl) in a set of 90 structures belonging to the AAL atlas was obtained from Fluro-Deoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography data in resting state. It is assumed that brain regions whose CMRgl values are significantly correlated are functionally associated; therefore, when metabolism is altered in a single region, the alteration will affect the metabolism of other brain areas with which it interrelates. The glucose metabolism network (represented by the matrix of the CMRgl co-variations among all pairs of structures) was studied using the graph theory framework. The highest concurrent fluctuations in CMRgl were basically identified between homologous cortical regions in all groups. Significant differences in CMRgl co-variations in AD and MCI groups as compared to NC were found. The AD and MCI patients showed aberrant patterns in comparison to NC subjects, as detected by global and local network properties (global and local efficiency, clustering index, and others). MCI network's attributes showed an intermediate position between NC and AD, corroborating it as a transitional stage from normal aging to Alzheimer disease. Our study is an attempt at exploring the complex association between glucose metabolism, CMRgl covariations and the attributes of the brain network organization in AD and MCI.

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