Age-related changes in the default mode network are more advanced in Alzheimer disease

D. T. Jones, M. M. MacHulda, P. Vemuri, E. M. McDade, G. Zeng, M. L. Senjem, J. L. Gunter, S. A. Przybelski, R. T. Avula, D. S. Knopman, B. F. Boeve, R. C. Petersen, C. R. Jack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

219 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate age-related default mode network (DMN) connectivity in a large cognitively normal elderly cohort and in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) compared with age-, gender-, and education-matched controls. Methods: We analyzed task-free-fMRI data with both independent component analysis and seedbased analysis to identify anterior and posterior DMNs. We investigated age-related changes in connectivity in a sample of 341 cognitively normal subjects. We then compared 28 patients with AD with 56 cognitively normal noncarriers of the APOE ε4 allele matched for age, education, and gender. Results: The anterior DMN shows age-associated increases and decreases in fontal lobe connectivity, whereas the posterior DMN shows mainly age-associated declines in connectivity throughout. Relative to matched cognitively normal controls, subjects with AD display an accelerated pattern of the age-associated changes described above, except that the declines in frontal lobe connectivity did not reach statistical significance. These changes survive atrophy correction and are correlated with cognitive performance. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that the DMN abnormalities observed in patients with AD represent an accelerated aging pattern of connectivity compared with matched controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1524-1531
Number of pages8
Issue number16
StatePublished - Oct 18 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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