Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) graph theory may help detect subtle functional connectivity changes affecting memory prior to impairment.
Cognitively normal apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 carriers/noncarriers underwent longitudinal cognitive assessment and one-time MRI. The relationship of left/right hippocampal connectivity and memory trajectory were compared between carriers/noncarriers.
Steepness of verbal memory decline correlated with decreased connectivity in the left hippocampus, only among APOE ε4 carriers. Right hippocampal metrics were not correlated with memory and there were no significant correlations in the noncarriers. Verbal memory decline correlated with left hippocampal volume loss for both carriers and noncarriers, with no other significant volumetric findings.
Findings support early hippocampal dysfunction in intact carriers, the AD disconnection hypothesis, and left hippocampal dysfunction earlier than the right. Combining lateralized graph theoretical metrics with a sensitive measure of memory trajectory allowed for detection of early-stage changes in APOE ε4 carriers before symptoms of mild cognitive impairment are present.

Graph theory connectivity detects preclinical hippocampal changes in APOE ε4 carriers.
The AD disconnection hypothesis was supported in unimpaired APOE ε4 carriers.
Hippocampal dysfunction starts asymmetrically on the left.

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This post is Copyright: Leslie C. Baxter,
Martin Limback‐Stokin,
K. Jakob Patten,
Alejandra Cabello Arreola,
Dona E. C. Locke,
Leland Hu,
Yuxiang Zhou,
Richard J. Caselli | September 14, 2023

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