Diminished neural network dynamics in amnestic mild cognitive impairment

Einat K. Brenner, Benjamin M. Hampstead, Emily C. Grossner, Rachel A. Bernier, Nicholas Gilbert, K. Sathian, Frank G. Hillary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is widely regarded as an intermediate stage between typical aging and dementia, with nearly 50% of patients with amnestic MCI (aMCI) converting to Alzheimer's dementia (AD) within 30 months of follow-up (Fischer et al., 2007). The growing literature using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging reveals both increased and decreased connectivity in individuals with MCI and connectivity loss between the anterior and posterior components of the default mode network (DMN) throughout the course of the disease progression (Hillary et al., 2015; Sheline & Raichle, 2013; Tijms et al., 2013). In this paper, we use dynamic connectivity modeling and graph theory to identify unique brain “states,” or temporal patterns of connectivity across distributed networks, to distinguish individuals with aMCI from healthy older adults (HOAs). We enrolled 44 individuals diagnosed with aMCI and 33 HOAs of comparable age and education. Our results indicated that individuals with aMCI spent significantly more time in one state in particular, whereas neural network analysis in the HOA sample revealed approximately equivalent representation across four distinct states. Among individuals with aMCI, spending a higher proportion of time in the dominant state relative to a state where participants exhibited high cost (a measure combining connectivity and distance), predicted better language performance and less perseveration. This is the first report to examine neural network dynamics in individuals with aMCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
StatePublished - Aug 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)


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