Distinct Patterns of Rich Club Organization in Alzheimer's Disease and Subcortical Vascular Dementia: A White Matter Network Study

Wha Jin Lee, Cheol E. Han, Iman Aganj, Sang Won Seo, Joon Kyung Seong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Recent advances in neuroimaging technology have shown that rich club organization in human brain networks plays a crucial role in global communication and cognitive functionality. In this study, we investigated rich club organization within white matter structural brain networks in two common types of dementia, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and subcortical vascular dementia (SVaD). We recruited 30 AD patients ([11C] Pittsburgh compound-B (PiB) PET positive), 39 SVaD patients (PiB negative), and 72 age-, gender-, and education-matched cognitively normal (CN) subjects. Rich club organization was significantly disrupted in both dementia patient groups, which exhibited higher rich club coefficients than the CN group. Rich club organization in the patient groups was primarily disrupted over the left frontal and left middle temporal areas when compared to the CN group. The number of rich club nodes was significantly reduced in the dementia groups, which was more severe in SVaD (p<=<0.0107, permutation-based t-test). Although rich club organization was disrupted both in the patient groups, its disruption pattern is different between them. The rich-club connections normalized by degree-and-strength preserved random networks were significantly increased in the dementia groups with SVaD more severely, and feeder connections were reduced more significantly than in AD. Furthermore, SVaD patients exhibited more sporadic disruption in white matter connectivity than AD patients, with local connections showing a more significant degree of deterioration. Combined with the distinct disruption in rich club nodes, these findings may imply a differing role for rich club organization in AD and SVaD, due to different pathological mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-987
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • diffusion tensor imaging
  • diffusion tractography
  • subcortical vascular dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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