Functional Network Endophenotypes Unravel the Effects of Apolipoprotein E Epsilon 4 in Middle-Aged Adults

Beijing Normal University, China
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 02/2013; 8(2):e55902. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055902
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Apolipoprotein E-ε4 (APOE-ε4) accentuates memory decline, structural volume loss and cerebral amyloid deposition in cognitively healthy adults. We investigated whether APOE-ε4 carriers will show disruptions in the intrinsic cognitive networks, including the default mode (DMN), executive control (ECN) and salience (SN) networks, relative to noncarriers in middle-aged healthy adults; and the extent to which episodic-memory performance is related to the altered functional connectivity (Fc) in these networks. Resting-state functional connectivity MRI (R-fMRI) was used to measure the differences in the DMN, ECN and SN Fc between 20 APOE-ε4 carriers and 26 noncarriers. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to determine the relationship between episodic-memory performance and Fc differences in the three resting-state networks across all subjects. There were no significant differences in the demographic and neuropsychological characteristics and the gray-matter volumes in the carriers and noncarriers. While mostly diminished DMN and ECN functional connectivities were seen, enhanced connections to the DMN structures were found in the SN in ε4 carriers. Altered DMN and ECN were associated with episodic memory performance. Significant Fc differences in the brain networks implicated in cognition were seen in middle-aged individuals with a genetic risk for AD, in the absence of cognitive decline and gray-matter atrophy. Prospective studies are essential to elucidate the potential of R-fMRI technique as a biomarker for predicting conversion from normal to early AD in healthy APOE-ε4 carriers.

Download full-text


Available from: Piero Antuono, Aug 22, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Functional imaging studies have shown that certain brain regions, including posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC), consistently show greater activity during resting states than during cognitive tasks. This finding led to the hypothesis that these regions constitute a network supporting a default mode of brain function. In this study, we investigate three questions pertaining to this hypothesis: Does such a resting-state network exist in the human brain? Is it modulated during simple sensory processing? How is it modulated during cognitive processing? To address these questions, we defined PCC and vACC regions that showed decreased activity during a cognitive (working memory) task, then examined their functional connectivity during rest. PCC was strongly coupled with vACC and several other brain regions implicated in the default mode network. Next, we examined the functional connectivity of PCC and vACC during a visual processing task and show that the resultant connectivity maps are virtually identical to those obtained during rest. Last, we defined three lateral prefrontal regions showing increased activity during the cognitive task and examined their resting-state connectivity. We report significant inverse correlations among all three lateral prefrontal regions and PCC, suggesting a mechanism for attenuation of default mode network activity during cognitive processing. This study constitutes, to our knowledge, the first resting-state connectivity analysis of the default mode and provides the most compelling evidence to date for the existence of a cohesive default mode network. Our findings also provide insight into how this network is modulated by task demands and what functions it might subserve.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2003; 100(1):253-8. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0135058100 · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To characterize the effects of cerebrovascular (CV) risk factors on preclinical memory decline in cognitively normal individuals at 3 levels of genetic risk for Alzheimer disease (AD) based on APOE genotype. We performed longitudinal neuropsychological testing on an APOE ε4 enriched cohort, ages 21-97. The long-term memory (LTM) score of the Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT) was the primary outcome measure. Any of 4 CV risk factors (CVany), including hypercholesterolemia (CHOL), prior cigarette use (CIG), diabetes mellitus (DM), and hypertension (HTN), was treated as a dichotomized variable. We estimated the longitudinal effect of age using statistical models that simultaneously modeled the cross-sectional and longitudinal effects of age on AVLT LTM by APOE genotype, CVany, and the interaction between the two. A total of 74 APOE ε4 homozygotes (HMZ), 239 ε4 heterozygotes (HTZ), and 494 ε4 noncarriers were included. APOE ε4 carrier status showed a significant quadratic effect with age-related LTM decline in all models as previously reported. CVany was associated with further longitudinal AVLT LTM decline in APOE ε4 carriers (p=0.02), but had no effect in noncarriers. When ε4 HTZ and HMZ were considered separately, there was a striking effect in HMZ (p<0.001) but not in HTZ. In exploratory analyses, significant deleterious effects were found for CIG (p=0.001), DM (p=0.03), and HTN (p=0.05) in APOE ε4 carriers only that remained significant only for CIG after correction for multiple comparisons. CV risk factors influence age-related memory decline in APOE ε4 HMZ.
    Neurology 02/2011; 76(12):1078-84. DOI:10.1212/WNL.0b013e318211c3ae · 8.30 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Approximately 30% of healthy persons aged over 75 years show Abeta deposition at autopsy. It is postulated that this represents preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD). We evaluated the relationship between Abeta burden as assessed by PiB PET and cognitive decline in a well-characterized, non-demented, elderly cohort. PiB PET studies and cognitive tests were performed on 34 elderly participants (age 73+/-6) from the longitudinal Melbourne Healthy Aging Study (MHAS). Subjects were classified as being cognitively 'stable' or 'declining' by an independent behavioural neurologist based on clinical assessment and serial word-list recall scores from the preceding 6-10 years. Decline was calculated from the slope of the word-list recall scores. Abeta burden was quantified using Standardized Uptake Value normalized to cerebellar cortex. Ten subjects were clinically classified as declining. At the time of the PET scans, three of the declining subjects had mild cognitive impairment, one had AD, and six were declining but remained within the normal range for age on cognitive tests. Declining subjects were much more likely to show cortical PiB binding than stable subjects (70% vs. 17%, respectively). Neocortical Abeta burden correlated with word-list recall slopes (r=-0.78) and memory function (r=-0.85) in the declining group. No correlations were observed in the stable group. Abeta burden correlated with incident memory impairment and the rate of memory decline in the non-demented ageing population. These observations suggest that neither memory decline nor Abeta deposition are part of normal ageing and likely represent preclinical AD. Further longitudinal observations are required to confirm this hypothesis.
    Neuropsychologia 02/2008; 46(6):1688-97. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.02.008 · 3.45 Impact Factor
Show more