Functional brain architecture is associated with the rate of tau accumulation in Alzheimer's disease

Nicolai Franzmeier, Julia Neitzel, Anna Rubinski, Ruben Smith, Olof Strandberg, Rik Ossenkoppele, Oskar Hansson, Michael Ewers, Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In Alzheimer's diseases (AD), tau pathology is strongly associated with cognitive decline. Preclinical evidence suggests that tau spreads across connected neurons in an activity-dependent manner. Supporting this, cross-sectional AD studies show that tau deposition patterns resemble functional brain networks. However, whether higher functional connectivity is associated with higher rates of tau accumulation is unclear. Here, we combine resting-state fMRI with longitudinal tau-PET in two independent samples including 53 (ADNI) and 41 (BioFINDER) amyloid-biomarker defined AD subjects and 28 (ADNI) vs. 16 (BioFINDER) amyloid-negative healthy controls. In both samples, AD subjects show faster tau accumulation than controls. Second, in AD, higher fMRI-assessed connectivity between 400 regions of interest (ROIs) is associated with correlated tau-PET accumulation in corresponding ROIs. Third, we show that a model including baseline connectivity and tau-PET is associated with future tau-PET accumulation. Together, connectivity is associated with tau spread in AD, supporting the view of transneuronal tau propagation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number347
JournalNature Communications
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Cite this

Franzmeier, N., Neitzel, J., Rubinski, A., Smith, R., Strandberg, O., Ossenkoppele, R., ... Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) (2020). Functional brain architecture is associated with the rate of tau accumulation in Alzheimer's disease. Nature Communications, 11(1), [347]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-14159-1