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Abstract #1948

Microstructural and functional connectivity changes in the locus coeruleus: a 7T study in cognitively impaired subjects

Ileana Jelescu1, Federica Ribaldi2, Konstantin Toussas3, Sandra da Costa4, Joao Jorge4, Olivier Reynaud 4, Giovanni B Frisoni3, Jorge Jovicich5, and Michela Pievani6
1CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2UNIGE, Geneve, Switzerland, 3UNIGE, Geneva, Switzerland, 4EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland, 5CIMEC, Trento, Italy, 6IRCCS Brescia, Brescia, Italy


The locus coeruleus (LC) is a brainstem nucleus thought to undergo early microstructural and functional connectivity changes in Alzheimer’s disease. The in vivo assessment of LC changes is however limited by the resolution of current 3T MRI systems. Here we used high-resolution high-field diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) and resting-state fMRI in cognitively impaired older persons to investigate diffusion and functional connectivity LC changes, and their association with cognition and connectivity of large-scale networks. Results show reduced diffusivity in the caudal LC and associations between microstructural changes, memory deficits, and lower functional connectivity of the dorsal and ventral attention networks.

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