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Conductance-Based Structural Brain Connectivity in Aging and Dementia

By Aina Frau-Pascual, Jean Augustinak, Divya Varadarajan, Anastasia Yendiki, David H Salat, Bruce Fischl, Iman Aganj

Posted 17 Sep 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.15.298331

Structural brain connectivity has been shown to be sensitive to the changes that the brain undergoes during Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression. In this work, we used our recently proposed structural connectivity quantification measure derived from diffusion MRI, which accounts for both direct and indirect pathways, to quantify brain connectivity in dementia. We analyzed data from the ADNI-2 and OASIS-3 datasets to derive relevant information for the study of the changes that the brain undergoes in AD. We also compared these datasets to the HCP dataset, as a reference, and eventually validated externally on two cohorts of the EDSD database. Our analysis shows expected trends of mean conductance with respect to age and cognitive scores, significant age prediction values in aging data, and regional effects centered among subcortical regions, and cingulate and temporal cortices. Results indicate that the conductance measure has prediction potential, especially for age, that age and cognitive scores largely overlap, and that this measure could be used to study effects such as anti-correlation in structural connections.

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