Apr 14, 2020

Altered functional connectivity of cortical networks in semantic variant Primary Progressive Aphasia

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
H. PopalJessica A. Collins


As their illness progresses, patients with the semantic variant of Primary Progressive Aphasia (svPPA) frequently exhibit peculiar behaviors indicative of altered visual attention or an increased interest in artistic endeavors. In the present study, we examined changes within and between large-scale functional brain networks that may explain this altered visual behavior. We first examined the connectivity of the visual association network, the dorsal attention network, and the default mode network in healthy young adults (n=89) to understand the typical architecture of these networks in the healthy brain. We then compared the large-scale functional connectivity of these networks in a group of svPPA patients (n=12) to a group of age-matched cognitively normal controls (n=30). Our results showed that the between-network connectivity of the dorsal attention and visual association networks was elevated in svPPA patients relative to controls. We further showed that this heightened between-network connectivity was associated with a decrease in the within-network connectivity of the default mode network, possibly due to progressive degeneration of the anterior temporal lobes in svPPA. These results suggest that focal neurodegeneration...Continue Reading

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