Resting-State Connectivity of Auditory and Reward Systems in Alzheimer's Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment.

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Resting-State Connectivity of Auditory and Reward Systems in Alzheimer’s Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Front Hum Neurosci. 2020;14:280

Authors: Wang D, Belden A, Hanser SB, Geddes MR, Loui P

Music-based interventions (MBI) have become increasingly widely adopted for dementia and related disorders. Previous research shows that music engages reward-related regions through functional connectivity with the auditory system, but evidence for the effectiveness of MBI is mixed in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This underscores the need for a unified mechanistic understanding to motivate MBIs. The main objective of the present study is to characterize the intrinsic connectivity of the auditory and reward systems in healthy aging individuals with MCI, and those with AD. Using resting-state fMRI data from the Alzheimer’s Database Neuroimaging Initiative, we tested resting-state functional connectivity within and between auditory and reward systems in older adults with MCI, AD, and age-matched healthy controls (N = 105). Seed-based correlations were assessed from regions of interest (ROIs) in the auditory network (i.e., anterior superior temporal gyrus, posterior superior temporal gyrus, Heschl’s Gyrus), and the reward network (i.e., nucleus accumbens, caudate, putamen, and orbitofrontal cortex). AD individuals were lower in both within-network and between-network functional connectivity in the auditory network and reward networks compared to MCI and controls. Furthermore, graph theory analyses showed that the MCI group had higher clustering and local efficiency than both AD and control groups, whereas AD individuals had lower betweenness centrality than MCI and control groups. Together, the auditory and reward systems show preserved within- and between-network connectivity in MCI individuals relative to AD. These results motivate future music-based interventions in individuals with MCI due to the preservation of functional connectivity within and between auditory and reward networks at that initial stage of neurodegeneration.

PMID: 32765244 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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