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Alzheimer's disease (AD) progressively degrades the brain's gray and white matter. Changes in white matter reflect changes in the brain's structural connectivity pattern. Here, we established individual structural connectivity networks (ISCNs) to distinguish predementia and dementia AD from healthy aging in individual scans. Diffusion tractography was used to construct ISCNs with a fully automated procedure for 21 healthy control subjects (HC), 23 patients with mild cognitive impairment and conversion to AD dementia within 3 years (AD-MCI), and 17 patients with mild AD dementia. Three typical pattern classifiers were used for AD prediction. Patients with AD and AD-MCI were separated from HC with accuracies greater than 95% and 90%, respectively, irrespective of prediction approach and specific fiber properties. Most informative connections involved medial prefrontal, posterior parietal, and insular cortex. Patients with mild AD were separated from those with AD-MCI with an accuracy of approximately 85%. Our finding provides evidence that ISCNs are sensitive to the impact of earliest stages of AD. ISCNs may be useful as a white matter-based imaging biomarker to distinguish healthy aging from AD. © 2012 Elsevier Inc..

Original publication




Journal article


Neurobiology of Aging

Publication Date





2756 - 2765