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Abstract #4311

Investigating the Role of Brain Stem in Alzheimers Disease using Directional Brain Networks derived from Resting State fMRI

Sinan Zhao 1 , Archana Venkataraman 2 , Peipeng Liang 3,4 , and Gopikrishna Deshpande 1,5

1 AU MRI Research Center, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Auburn university, Auburn, AL, United States, 2 Department of Diagnostic Radiology, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States, 3 Department of Radiology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China, 4 Beijing Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Brain Informatics, Key Laboratory for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Ministry of Education, Beijing, China, 5 Department of Psychology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, United States

Connectivity analysis of resting state fMRI has been widely used to identify biomarkers of Alzheimers disease (AD) based on brain network alterations. However, it is difficult to interpret these connectivity results because traditionally, our knowledge of brain function is anchored on regions and not connections. Therefore, a method was recently introduced for identification of disease foci based on non-directional functional connectivity differences between populations. Here we extend this concept for identifying focal directional connectivity deficits in AD as compared to matched controls. We found such a focus in the brain stem whose output was significantly diminished in AD

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