There is a wide range of onset age in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Emerging evidence indicates variation of AD manifestations in oldest-old AD (OOAD); however, the pattern of cognitive dysfunctions remains unclear. We aimed to reveal cognitive performance characteristics and changes in brain functional connectivity in OOAD patients by a resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) study. We enrolled AD patients who had been referred to Kyushu University Hospital (KUH) or Sanno Hospital, and classified them into middle-old AD (MOAD) (65–79 years old) and OOAD (≥80 years old) according to the age of onset. Our subjects consisted of 19 OOAD, 17 MOAD, and 8 normal subjects. Cognitive performance was evaluated using Mini Mental State Examination-Japanese (MMSE-J) and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR). rs-fMRI scanning and independent component analysis (ICA) were performed on Sanno Hospital patients and MOAD vs. OOAD patients were compared. The resulting significant regions were used as seeds for ROI-to-ROI analysis of the KUH dataset. Collectively, MMSE-J delayed recall sub-scores were significantly lower in OOAD patients compared with MOAD patients. ICA of the Sanno Hospital data indicated significant connectivity decrease in the default mode network (DMN) in the OOAD group compared with the MOAD group in the right superior parietal lobule (SPL). ROI-to-ROI analysis of the KUH dataset indicated significant disconnection in the OOAD group of the right SPL from the precuneus (p < 0.01). The functional connectivity from the right SPL to the precuneus was positively correlated with the MMSE-J delayed recall sub-score (p = 0.03) and negatively correlated with the CDR memory sub-scale (p = 0.04). These findings indicate that disconnection between the right SPL and the precuneus may contribute to worse memory capability in OOAD compared with MOAD.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes