Structural Cerebral Network Differences in Prodromal Alzheimer’s Disease and Prodromal Dementia with Lewy Bodies
Introduction: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) have long prodromal phases without dementia. However, the patterns of cerebral network alteration in this early stage of the disease remain to be clarified. Method: Participants were 48 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to AD (MCI-AD), 18 patients with MCI with DLB (MCI with Lewy bodies: MCI-LB), and 23 healthy controls who underwent a 1.5-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scan. Cerebral networks were extracted from individual T1-weighted images based on the intracortical similarity, and we estimated the differences of network metrics among the three diagnostic groups. Results: Whole-brain analyses for degree, betweenness centrality, and clustering coefficient images were performed using SPM8 software. The patients with MCI-LB showed significant reduction of degree in right putamen, compared with healthy subjects. The MCI-AD patients showed significant lower degree in left insula and bilateral posterior cingulate cortices compared with healthy subjects. There were no significant differences in small-world properties and in regional gray matter volume among the three groups. Conclusions: We found the change of degree in the patients with MCI-AD and with MCI-LB, compared with healthy controls. These findings were consistent with the past single-photon emission computed tomography studies focusing on AD and DLB. The disease-related difference in the cerebral neural network might provide an adjunct biomarker for the early detection of AD and DLB.