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Functional connectivity in dementia with Lewy bodies: A within- and between-network analysis

Lookup NU author(s): Julia SchumacherORCiD, Dr Luis Peraza RodriguezORCiD, Dr Michael FirbankORCiD, Professor Alan ThomasORCiD, Professor Marcus Kaiser, Dr Peter GallagherORCiD, Professor John O'Brien, Professor Andrew BlamireORCiD, Professor John-Paul TaylorORCiD



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


Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a common form of dementia and is characterized by cognitive fluctuations, visual hallucinations, and Parkinsonism. The phenotypic expression of the disease may, in part, relate to alterations in functional connectivity within and between brain networks. This resting-state study sought to clarify this in DLB, how networks differed from Alzheimer's disease (AD), and whether they were related to clinical symptoms in DLB. Resting-state networks were estimated using independent component analysis. We investigated functional connectivity changes in 31 DLB patients compared to 31 healthy controls and a disease comparator group of 29 AD patients using dual regression and FSLNets. Within-network connectivity was generally decreased in DLB compared to controls, mainly in motor, temporal, and frontal networks. Between-network connectivity was mainly intact; only the connection between a frontal and a temporal network showed increased connectivity in DLB. Differences between AD and DLB were subtle and we did not find any significant correlations with the severity of clinical symptoms in DLB. This study emphasizes the importance of reduced connectivity within motor, frontal, and temporal networks in DLB with relative sparing of the default mode network. The lack of significant correlations between connectivity measures and clinical scores indicates that the observed reduced connectivity within these networks might be related to the presence, but not to the severity of motor and cognitive impairment in DLB patients. Furthermore, our results suggest that AD and DLB may show more similarities than differences in patients with mild disease.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Schumacher J, Peraza LR, Firbank MJ, Thomas AJ, Kaiser M, Gallagher P, O'Brien JT, Blamire AM, Taylor J-T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Brain Mapping

Year: 2018

Volume: 39

Issue: 3

Pages: 1118-1129

Print publication date: 01/03/2018

Online publication date: 29/11/2017

Acceptance date: 20/11/2017

Date deposited: 05/12/2017

ISSN (print): 1065-9471

ISSN (electronic): 1097-0193

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23901


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