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Functional Hubs in Mild Cognitive Impairment

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Abstract:

We investigate how hubs of functional brain networks are modified as a result of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition causing a slight but noticeable decline in cognitive abilities, which sometimes precedes the onset of Alzheimer's disease. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate the functional brain networks of a group of patients suffering from MCI and a control group of healthy subjects, during the execution of a short-term memory task. Couplings between brain sites were evaluated using synchronization likelihood, from which a network of functional interdependencies was constructed and the centrality, i.e. importance, of their nodes quantified. The results showed that, with respect to healthy controls, MCI patients were associated with decreases and increases in hub centrality respectively in occipital and central scalp regions, supporting the hypothesis that MCI modifies functional brain network topology, leading to more random structures.

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