Much effort in recent years has focused on understanding the effects of Alzheimer's disease (AD) on neural function. This effort has resulted in an enormous number of papers describing different facets of the functional derangement seen in AD. A particularly important tool for these investigations has been resting-state functional connectivity. Attempts to comprehensively synthesize resting-state functional connectivity results have focused on the potential utility of functional connectivity as a biomarker for disease risk, disease staging, or prognosis. While these are all appropriate uses of this technique, the purpose of this review is to examine how functional connectivity disruptions inform our understanding of AD pathophysiology. Here, we examine the rationale and methodological considerations behind functional connectivity studies and then provide a critical review of the existing literature. In conclusion, we propose a hypothesis regarding the development and spread of functional connectivity deficits seen in AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-311
Number of pages13
JournalBrain connectivity
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • brain networks
  • resting-state functional connectivity


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