Functional connectivity in mild cognitive impairment with Lewy bodies.

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Previous resting-state fMRI studies in dementia with Lewy bodies have described changes in functional connectivity in networks related to cognition, motor function, and attention as well as alterations in connectivity dynamics. However, whether these changes occur early in the course of the disease and are already evident at the stage of mild cognitive impairment is not clear. We studied resting-state fMRI data from 31 patients with mild cognitive impairment with Lewy bodies compared to 28 patients with mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease and 24 age-matched controls. We compared the groups with respect to within- and between-network functional connectivity. Additionally, we applied two different approaches to study dynamic functional connectivity (sliding-window analysis and leading eigenvector dynamic analysis). We did not find any significant changes in the mild cognitive impairment groups compared to controls and no differences between the two mild cognitive impairment groups, using static as well as dynamic connectivity measures. While patients with mild cognitive impairment with Lewy bodies already show clear functional abnormalities on EEG measures, the fMRI analyses presented here do not appear to be sensitive enough to detect such early and subtle changes in brain function in these patients.

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Authors: Julia Schumacher, John-Paul Taylor, Calum A Hamilton, Michael Firbank, Paul C Donaghy, Gemma Roberts, Louise Allan, Rory Durcan, Nicola Barnett, John T O’Brien, Alan J Thomas