Altered structural and functional connectivity in Posterior Cortical Atrophy and Dementia with Lewy bodies

Neha Atulkumar Singh, Austin W. Goodrich, Jonathan Graff-Radford, Mary M. Machulda, Irene Sintini, Arenn F. Carlos, Carling G. Robinson, Robert I. Reid, Val J. Lowe, Clifford R. Jack, Ronald C. Petersen, Bradley F. Boeve, Keith A. Josephs, Kejal Kantarci, Jennifer L. Whitwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) show distinct atrophy and overlapping hypometabolism profiles, but it is unknown how disruptions in structural and functional connectivity compare between these disorders and whether breakdowns in connectivity relate to either atrophy or hypometabolism. Thirty amyloid-positive PCA patients, 24 amyloid-negative DLB patients and 30 amyloid-negative cognitively unimpaired (CU) healthy individuals were recruited at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, and underwent a 3T head MRI, including structural MRI, resting state functional MRI (rsfMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) sequences, as well as [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET. We assessed functional connectivity within and between 12 brain networks using rsfMRI and the CONN functional connectivity toolbox and calculated regional DTI metrics using the Johns Hopkins atlas. Multivariate linear-regression models corrected for multiple comparisons and adjusted for age and sex compared DTI metrics and within-network and between-network functional connectivity across groups. Regional gray-matter volumes and FDG-PET standard uptake value ratios (SUVRs) were calculated and analyzed at the voxel-level using SPM12. We used univariate linear-regression models to investigate the relationship between connectivity measures, gray-matter volume, and FDG-PET SUVR. On DTI, PCA showed degeneration in occipito-parietal white matter, posterior thalamic radiations, splenium of the corpus collosum and sagittal stratum compared to DLB and CU, with greater degeneration in the temporal white matter and the fornix compared to CU. We observed no white-matter degeneration in DLB compared to CU. On rsfMRI, reduced within-network connectivity was present in dorsal and ventral default mode networks (DMN) and the dorsal-attention network in PCA compared to DLB and CU, with reduced within-network connectivity in the visual and sensorimotor networks compared to CU. DLB showed reduced connectivity in the cerebellar network compared to CU. Between-network analysis showed increased connectivity in both cerebellar-to-sensorimotor and cerebellar-to-dorsal attention network connectivity in PCA and DLB. PCA showed reduced anterior DMN-to-cerebellar and dorsal attention-to-sensorimotor connectivity, while DLB showed reduced posterior DMN-to-sensorimotor connectivity compared to CU. PCA showed reduced dorsal DMN-to-visual connectivity compared to DLB. The multimodal analysis revealed weak associations between functional connectivity and volume in PCA, and between functional connectivity and metabolism in DLB. These findings suggest that PCA and DLB have unique connectivity alterations, with PCA showing more widespread disruptions in both structural and functional connectivity; yet some overlap was observed with both disorders showing increased connectivity from the cerebellum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number120564
StatePublished - Apr 15 2024


  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Multimodal imaging analysis
  • Posterior cortical atrophy
  • Resting state functional connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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