Magnetoencephalographic evaluation of resting-state functional connectivity in Alzheimer's disease

C J Stam, B F Jones, I Manshanden, A M van Cappellen van Walsum, T Montez, J P A Verbunt, J C de Munck, H W Berendse, P Scheltens

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Statistical interdependencies between magnetoencephalographic signals recorded over different brain regions may reflect the functional connectivity of the resting-state networks. We investigated topographic characteristics of disturbed resting-state networks in Alzheimer's disease patients in different frequency bands. Whole-head 151-channel MEG was recorded in 18 Alzheimer patients (mean age 72.1 years, SD 5.6; 11 males) and 18 healthy controls (mean age 69.1 years, SD 6.8; 7 males) during a no-task eyes-closed resting state. Pair-wise interdependencies of MEG signals were computed in six frequency bands (delta, theta, alpha1, alpha2, beta and gamma) with the synchronization likelihood (a nonlinear measure) and coherence and grouped into long distance (intra- and interhemispheric) and short distance interactions. In the alpha1 and beta band, Alzheimer patients showed a loss of long distance intrahemispheric interactions, with a focus on left fronto-temporal/parietal connections. Functional connectivity was increased in Alzheimer patients locally in the theta band (centro-parietal regions) and the beta and gamma band (occipito-parietal regions). In the Alzheimer group, positive correlations were found between alpha1, alpha2 and beta band synchronization likelihood and MMSE score. Resting-state functional connectivity in Alzheimer's disease is characterized by specific changes of long and short distance interactions in the theta, alpha1, beta and gamma bands. These changes may reflect loss of anatomical connections and/or reduced central cholinergic activity and could underlie part of the cognitive impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1335-44
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Alzheimer Disease/physiopathology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality/physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways/physiopathology
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Rest/physiology

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