Aberrant functional connectivity differentiates retrosplenial cortex from posterior cingulate cortex in prodromal Alzheimer's disease

Kim N. H. Dillen*, Heidi I. L. Jacobs, Juraj Kukolja, Boris von Reutern, Nils Richter, Ozgur A. Onur, Julian Dronse, Karl-Josef Langen, Gereon R. Fink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) is a key hub of the default mode network, a resting-state network involved in episodic memory, showing functional connectivity (FC) changes in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, PCC is a cytoarchitectonically heterogeneous region. Specifically, the retrosplenial cortex (RSC), often subsumed under the PCC, is an area functionally and microanatomically distinct from PCC. To investigate FC patterns of RSC and PCC separately, we used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in healthy aging participants, patients with subjective cognitive impairment, and prodromal AD. Compared to the other 2 groups, we found higher FC from RSC to frontal cortex in subjective cognitive impairment but higher FC to occipital cortex in prodromal AD. Conversely, FC from PCC to the lingual gyrus was higher in prodromal AD. Furthermore, data indicate that RSC and PCC are characterized by differential FC patterns represented by hub-specific interactions with memory and attentions scores in prodromal AD compared to cognitively normal individuals, possibly reflecting compensatory mechanisms for RSC and neurodegenerative processes for PCC. Data thus confirm and extend previous studies suggesting that the RSC is functionally distinct from PCC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-126
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Dementia
  • Seed-based analysis
  • Resting-state
  • Verbal episodic memory
  • Compensation
  • Neurodegeneration

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