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Intrinsic functional connectivity and cognitive performance in patients with Alzheimer's Disease: a functional magnetic resonance study

Grant number: 12/04462-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2012
Effective date (End): May 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine
Principal Investigator:Marcio Luiz Figueredo Balthazar
Grantee:Aya Fukuda
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Médicas (FCM). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia, whose progressive decline in multiple cognitive domains (memory, language, gnosis, praxis and executive functions) harmfully interfere in social and occupational ability of the patient. Although the decline of these cognitive domains is a key clinical feature of the disease, the neurobiology of these symptoms is not fully known. Recent advances in neuroimaging of Dementia suggest that the anatomical and functional disorders do not occur only in specific brain structures, but in neurofunctional networks, each associated with certain mental functions. Studies in functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) at rest show 2 main disrupted networks in AD: Salience and Default Mode Network. Although the disorder of connectivity in these networks is well demonstrated, little is known about their role in the genesis of the cognitive symptoms of patients with AD. In this study, we intend to verify if there is a correlation between the degree of connectivity of the SN and DMN networks and typical cognitive symptoms of AD, in the following areas: working and episodic memories, visuospatial perception, language and executive functions. Therefore, we will study 20 patients with mild to moderate AD, followed at Dementia and Neuropsychology out patients clinic (Unicamp Hospital), as well as 20 healthy elderly subjects, matched for age and education. We also intend to compare, in these two groups, cognitive performance and the degree of functional connectivity in the DMN and SN, as measured by the method of fMRI at rest. (AU)