Task Deactivation Reductions and Atrophy within Parietal Default Mode Regions Are Overlapping but Only Weakly Correlated in Mild Cognitive Impairment


Reduced task deactivation within regions of the default mode network (DMN) has been frequently reported in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). As task deactivation reductions become increasingly used in the study of early AD states, it is important to understand their relationship to atrophy. To address this issue, the present study compared task deactivation reductions during a lexical decision task and atrophy in aMCI, using a series of parallel voxel-wise and region-wise analyses of fMRI and structural data. Our results identified multiple regions within parietal cortex as convergence areas of task deactivation and atrophy in aMCI. Relationships between parietal regions showing overlapping task deactivation reductions and atrophy in aMCI were then explored. Regression analyses demonstrated minimal correlation between task deactivation reductions and either local or global atrophy in aMCI. In addition, a logistic regression model which combined task deactivation reductions and atrophy in parietal DMN regions showed higher classificatory accuracy of aMCI than separate task deactivation or atrophy models. Results suggest that task deactivation reductions and atrophy in parietal regions provide complementary rather than redundant information in aMCI. Future longitudinal studies will be required to assess the utility of combining task deactivation reductions and atrophy in the detection of early AD.

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Published in Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, v. 27, no. 2, p. 415–427.

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