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Aberrant Hippocampal Subregion Networks Associated with the Classifications of aMCI Subjects: A Longitudinal Resting-State Study

Public Library of Science
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029288
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Anatomy And Physiology
  • Neurological System
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neuroscience
  • Neuroimaging
  • Fmri
  • Medicine
  • Mental Health
  • Psychiatry
  • Dementia
  • Neurology
  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Medicine


Background Altered hippocampal structure and function is a valuable indicator of possible conversion from amnestic type mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) to Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, little is known about the disrupted functional connectivity of hippocampus subregional networks in aMCI subjects. Methodology/Principal Findings aMCI group-1 (n = 26) and controls group-1 (n = 18) underwent baseline and after approximately 20 months follow up resting-state fMRI scans. Integrity of distributed functional connectivity networks incorporating six hippocampal subregions (i.e. cornu ammonis, dentate gyrus and subicular complex, bilaterally) was then explored over time and comparisons made between groups. The ability of these extent longitudinal changes to separate unrelated groups of 30 subjects (aMCI-converters, n = 6; aMCI group-2, n = 12; controls group-2, n = 12) were further assessed. Six longitudinal hippocampus subregional functional connectivity networks showed similar changes in aMCI subjects over time, which were mainly associated with medial frontal gyrus, lateral temporal cortex, insula, posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and cerebellum. However, the disconnection of hippocampal subregions and PCC may be a key factor of impaired episodic memory in aMCI, and the functional index of these longitudinal changes allowed well classifying independent samples of aMCI converters from non-converters (sensitivity was 83.3%, specificity was 83.3%) and controls (sensitivity was 83.3%, specificity was 91.7%). Conclusions/Significance It demonstrated that the functional changes in resting-state hippocampus subregional networks could be an important and early indicator for dysfunction that may be particularly relevant to early stage changes and progression of aMCI subjects.

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