Assessing neuronal networks: Understanding Alzheimer's disease
Item Type:Journal Article
Citation:Arun L.W. Bokde, Michael Ewers and Harald Hampel, Assessing neuronal networks: Understanding Alzheimer's disease, Progress in Neurobiology, 89, 2, 2009, 125 - 133
Assessing Neuronal Networks - Understanding Alzheimer's Disease.pdf (published (publisher copy) peer-reviewed) 317.3Kb
Findings derived from neuroimaging of the structural and functional organization of the human brain have led to the widely supported hypothesis that neuronal networks of temporally coordinated brain activity across different regional brain structures underpin cognitive function. Failure of integration within a network leads to cognitive dysfunction. The current discussion on Alzheimer's disease (AD) argues that it presents in part a disconnection syndrome. Studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography and electroencephalography demonstrate that synchronicity of brain activity is altered in AD and correlates with cognitive deficits. Moreover, recent advances in diffusion tensor imaging have made it possible to track axonal projections across the brain, revealing substantial regional impairment in fiber-tract integrity in AD. Accumulating evidence points towards a network breakdown reflecting disconnection at both the structural and functional system level. The exact relationship among these multiple mechanistic variables and their contribution to cognitive alterations and ultimately decline is yet unknown. Focused research efforts aimed at the integration of both function and structure hold great promise not only in improving our understanding of cognition but also of its characteristic progressive metamorphosis in complex chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as AD.
Type of material:Journal Article
Series/Report no:Progress in Neurobiology
Availability:Full text available