Network attack simulations in Alzheimer's disease: The link between network tolerance and neurodegeneration

Matteo Mancini, Marcel A. De Reus, Laura Serra, Marco Bozzali, Martijn P. Van Den Heuvel, Mara Cercignani, Silvia Conforto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The brain structure is a complex network of interconnected regions with specific topological characteristics. Since the disruption of this infrastructure has been linked to brain diseases, a key element to the quest for understanding how such diseases start and spread is to outline the degenerative pattern. In this paper, we explored this aspect using network attack simulation on the structural connectomes of 60 patients among Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 30 healthy subjects. We considered different attack strategies and different metrics to evaluate and compare the induced changes between the different groups. We found out that patients and controls share common attack tolerance patterns in the peripheral connections compared to each other, and that hubs played analogous role in the tolerance impact. These results suggest that the spreading pattern of Alzheimer's disease does not target specific class of regions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Nano to Macro, ISBI 2016 - Proceedings
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781479923502
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2016
Event2016 IEEE 13th International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: From Nano to Macro, ISBI 2016 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 13 Apr 201616 Apr 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging


Conference2016 IEEE 13th International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: From Nano to Macro, ISBI 2016
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • brain network
  • connectome
  • diffusion tractography
  • graph theory
  • network attack

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