Indication of retrograde tau spreading along Braak stages and functional connectivity pathways

European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Joseph Seemillerand the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative


Tau pathology progression in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is explained through the network degeneration hypothesis and the neuropathological Braak stages; however, the compatibility of these models remains unclear. We utilized [18F]AV-1451 tau-PET scans of 39 subjects with AD and 39 sex-matched amyloid-negative healthy controls (HC) in the ADNI (Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative) dataset. The peak cluster of tau-tracer uptake was identified in each Braak stage of neuropathological tau deposition and used to create a seed-based functional connectivity network (FCN) using 198 HC subjects, to identify healthy networks unaffected by neurodegeneration. Voxel-wise tau deposition was both significantly higher inside relative to outside FCNs and correlated significantly and positively with levels of healthy functional connectivity. Within many isolated Braak stages and regions, the correlation between tau and intrinsic functional connectivity was significantly stronger than it was across the whole brain. In this way, each peak cluster of tau was related to multiple Braak stages traditionally associated with both earlier and later stages of disease. We show specificity of healthy FCN topography for AD-pathological tau as well as p...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Alzheimer's Disease
Nerve Degeneration
Tau Proteins
Disease Progression
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