Sex differences in multilayer functional network topology over the course of aging in 37543 UK Biobank participants
Mite Mijalkov, Dániel Veréb, Oveis Jamialahmadi, Anna Canal-Garcia, Emiliano Gómez-Ruiz, Didac Vidal-Piñeiro, Stefano Romeo, Giovanni Volpe, Joana B. Pereira
Network Neuroscience 1-40 (2022)
Aging is a major risk factor for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders, with considerable societal and economic implications. Healthy aging is accompanied by changes in functional connectivity between and within resting-state functional networks, which have been associated with cognitive decline. However, there is no consensus on the impact of sex on these age-related functional trajectories. Here, we show that multilayer measures provide crucial information on the interaction between sex and age on network topology, allowing for better assessment of cognitive, structural, and cardiovascular risk factors that have been shown to differ between men and women, as well as providing additional insights into the genetic influences on changes in functional connectivity that occur during aging. In a large cross-sectional sample of 37543 individuals from the UK Biobank cohort, we demonstrate that such multilayer measures that capture the relationship between positive and negative connections are more sensitive to sex-related changes in the whole-brain connectivity patterns and their topological architecture throughout aging, when compared to standard connectivity and topological measures. Our findings indicate that multilayer measures contain previously unknown information on the relationship between sex and age, which opens up new avenues for research into functional brain connectivity in aging.
Multiplex Connectome Changes across the Alzheimer’s Disease Spectrum Using Gray Matter and Amyloid Data
Mite Mijalkov, Giovanni Volpe, Joana B Pereira
Anna Canal-Garcia, Emiliano Gómez-Ruiz, Mite Mijalkov, Yu-Wei Chang, Giovanni Volpe, Joana B Pereira, Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative
Cerebral Cortex, bhab429 (2022)
The organization of the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) connectome has been studied using graph theory using single neuroimaging modalities such as positron emission tomography (PET) or structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Although these modalities measure distinct pathological processes that occur in different stages in AD, there is evidence that they are not independent from each other. Therefore, to capture their interaction, in this study we integrated amyloid PET and gray matter MRI data into a multiplex connectome and assessed the changes across different AD stages. We included 135 cognitively normal (CN) individuals without amyloid-β pathology (Aβ−) in addition to 67 CN, 179 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 132 patients with AD dementia who all had Aβ pathology (Aβ+) from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. We found widespread changes in the overlapping connectivity strength and the overlapping connections across Aβ-positive groups. Moreover, there was a reorganization of the multiplex communities in MCI Aβ + patients and changes in multiplex brain hubs in both MCI Aβ + and AD Aβ + groups. These findings offer a new insight into the interplay between amyloid-β pathology and brain atrophy over the course of AD that moves beyond traditional graph theory analyses based on single brain networks.