Using individualized brain network for analyzing structural covariance of the cerebral cortex in Alzheimer's patients

The Alzheimer’S Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Cortical thinning patterns in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been widely reported through conventional regional analysis. In addition, the coordinated variance of cortical thickness in different brain regions has been investigated both at the individual and group network levels. In this study, we aim to investigate network architectural characteristics of a structural covariance network (SCN) in AD, and further to show that the structural covariance connectivity becomes disorganized across the brain regions in AD, while the normal control (NC) subjects maintain more clustered and consistent coordination in cortical atrophy variations. We generated SCNs directly from T1-weighted MR images of individual patients using surface-based cortical thickness data, with structural connectivity defined as similarity in cortical thickness within different brain regions. Individual SCNs were constructed using morphometric data from the Samsung Medical Center (SMC) dataset. The structural covariance connectivity showed higher clustering than randomly generated networks, as well as similar minimum path lengths, indicating that the SCNs are "small world." There were significant difference between NC and AD group in characteristic path lengths (z = -2.97, p < 0.01) and small-worldness values (z = 4.05, p < 0.01). Clustering coefficients in AD was smaller than that of NC but there was no significant difference (z = 1.81, not significant). We further observed that the AD patients had significantly disrupted structural connectivity. We also show that the coordinated variance of cortical thickness is distributed more randomly from one region to other regions in AD patients when compared to NC subjects. Our proposed SCN may provide surface-based measures for understanding interaction between two brain regions with co-atrophy of the cerebral cortex due to normal aging or AD. We applied our method to the AD Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) data to show consistency in results with the SMC dataset.

Original languageEnglish
Article number394
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue numberSEP
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HI14C2768). Data collection and sharing for this project was funded by the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) (National Institutes of Health Grant U01 AG024904) and DOD ADNI (Department of Defense award number W81XWH-12-2-0012). ADNI is funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and through generous contributions from the following: AbbVie, Alzheimer's Association; Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation; Araclon Biotech; BioClinica, Inc.; Biogen; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; CereSpir, Inc.; Eisai Inc.; Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Eli Lilly and Company; EuroImmun; F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and its affiliated company Genentech, Inc.; Fujirebio; GE Healthcare; IXICO Ltd.; Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research & Development, LLC.; Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development LLC.; Lumosity; Lundbeck; Merck & Co., Inc.; Meso Scale Diagnostics, LLC.; NeuroRx Research; Neurotrack Technologies; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Pfizer Inc.; Piramal Imaging; Servier; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company; and Transition Therapeutics. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is providing funds to support ADNI clinical sites in Canada. Private sector contributions are facilitated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health ( The grantee organization is the Northern California Institute for Research and Education, and the study is coordinated by the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study at the University of California, San Diego. ADNI data are disseminated by the Laboratory for Neuro Imaging at the University of Southern California

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Kim, Shin, Han, Kim, Na, Seo, Seong and the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cortical thickness
  • Individual SCN
  • Network architecture
  • Network entropy
  • Structural covariance network (SCN)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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