Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Neural correlates of attention-executive dysfunction in lewy body dementia and Alzheimer's disease

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Michael FirbankORCiD, Dr Xenia Kobeleva, Dr Alison Killen, Dr Peter GallagherORCiD, Professor David Burn, Professor Alan ThomasORCiD, Professor John O'Brien, Professor John-Paul TaylorORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Attentional and executive dysfunction contribute to cognitive impairment in both Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Using functional MRI, we examined the neural correlates of three components of attention (alerting, orienting and executive/conflict function) in 23 patients with Alzheimer’s disease, 32 patients with Lewy body dementia (19 with dementia with Lewy bodies and 13 with Parkinson’s disease with dementia) and 23 healthy controls using a modified Attention Network Test. Although the functional MRI demonstrated a similar fronto-parieto-occipital network activation in all groups, Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body dementia patients had greater activation of this network for incongruent and more difficult trials, which were also accompanied by slower reaction times. There was no recruitment of additional brain regions or, conversely, regional deficits in brain activation. The default mode network, however, displayed diverging activity patterns in the dementia groups. The Alzheimer’s disease group had limited task related deactivations of the default mode network, whereas patients with Lewy body dementia showed heightened deactivation to all trials, which might be an attempt to allocate neural resources to impaired attentional networks. We posit that, despite a common endpoint of attention-executive disturbances in both dementias, the pathophysiological basis of these is very different between these diseases.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Firbank M, Kobeleva X, Cherry G, Killen A, Gallagher P, Burn DJ, Thomas AJ, O'Brien JT, Taylor JP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Brain Mapping

Year: 2016

Volume: 37

Issue: 3

Pages: 1254-1270

Print publication date: 01/03/2016

Online publication date: 26/12/2015

Acceptance date: 13/12/2015

Date deposited: 06/01/2016

ISSN (print): 1065-9471

ISSN (electronic): 1097-0193

Publisher: Wiley


DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23100

PubMed id: 26705763


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
Newcastle Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) based at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust, Newcastle University
WT088441MAIntermediate Clinical Fellowship