Small World Index in Default Mode Network Predicts Progression from Mild Cognitive Impairment to Dementia

Camillo Marra, Francesca Miraglia, Davide Quaranta, Giuseppe Granata, Maria Cotelli, Paolo Maria Rossini, Fabrizio Vecchio, Francesca Alù, Elda Judica

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Aim of this study was to explore the EEG functional connectivity in amnesic mild cognitive impairments (MCI) subjects with multidomain impairment in order to characterize the Default Mode Network (DMN) in converted MCI (cMCI), which converted to Alzheimer's disease (AD), compared to stable MCI (sMCI) subjects. A total of 59 MCI subjects were recruited and divided -after appropriate follow-up- into cMCI or sMCI. They were further divided in MCI with linguistic domain (LD) impairment and in MCI with executive domain (ED) impairment. Small World (SW) index was measured as index of balance between integration and segregation brain processes. SW, computed restricting to nodes of DMN regions for all frequency bands, evaluated how they differ between MCI subgroups assessed through clinical and neuropsychological four-years follow-up. In addition, SW evaluated how this pattern differs between MCI with LD and MCI with ED. Results showed that SW index significantly decreased in gamma band in cMCI compared to sMCI. In cMCI with LD impairment, the SW index significantly decreased in delta band, while in cMCI with ED impairment the SW index decreased in delta and gamma bands and increased in alpha1 band. We propose that the DMN functional alterations in cognitive impairment could reflect an abnormal flow of brain information processing during resting state possibly associated to a status of pre-dementia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2050004-N/A
JournalInternational Journal of Neural Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • EEG
  • default mode network
  • dementia
  • graph theory
  • mild cognitve impairment
  • neuropsychological test


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