Effect of hypertension on the resting-state functional connectivity in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD)
- Alternative Author(s)
- Ku, Jeong Hun
- Publication Year
- Background/Objectives: Although hypertension is known to be a risk factor for AD, the effects of
hypertension on brain function in AD patients are not well understood. We investigated alterations in
resting-state functional connectivity according to the presence of hypertension in AD patients by using a
method of correlation analysis based on a seed region in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). We also
determined whether differences in resting-state connectivity were associated with gray matter atrophy.
Methods: Thirty-seven AD patients (18 patients with hypertension and 19 patients without
hypertension) underwent the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. We obtained the
PCC maps by a temporal correlation method, to identify alterations in the functional connectivity of the
PCC in hypertensive group relative to non-hypertensive group. Voxel-based morphometry analysis was
also applied to adjust the confounding effect of gray matter atrophy.
Results: We detected a decreased connectivity to the PCC in the regions of subgenual anterior cingulated
cortex (ACC) in hypertensive group relative to non-hypertensive group. However, we observed a pattern
of increased connectivity between the PCC and the left inferior parietal cortex in hypertensive group.
After correction for gray matter atrophy, all detected regions still remained significant.
Conclusions: Altered connectivity in AD patients with hypertension suggests the possibility that
hypertension impairs resting-state functional connectivity of the AD brain, inducing a compensational
process outside the impaired networks or disequilibrium in brain connectivity. This finding may account
for an additional contribution of hypertension to the pathophysiology of AD.
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