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Guiding diffusion tract-based anatomy by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we aim to investigate the relationship between structural connectivity and functional activity in the human brain. To this purpose, we introduced a novel groupwise fMRI-guided tractographic approach, that was applied on a population ranging between prodromic and moderate stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The study comprised of 15 subjects affected by amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), 14 diagnosed with AD and 14 elderly healthy adults who were used as controls. By creating representative (ensemble) functionally guided tracts within each group of participants, our methodology highlighted the white matter fiber connections involved in verbal fluency functions for a specific population, and hypothesized on brain compensation mechanisms that potentially counteract or reduce cognitive impairment symptoms in prodromic AD. Our hope is that this fMRI-guided tractographic approach could have potential impact in various clinical studies, while investigating white/gray matter connectivity, in both health and disease.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0092026

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS One

Publication Date

2014

Volume

9

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Alzheimer Disease, Brain, Brain Mapping, Case-Control Studies, Cognitive Dysfunction, Demography, Diffusion Tensor Imaging, Disease Progression, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Task Performance and Analysis