Predicting brain age from functional connectivity in symptomatic and preclinical Alzheimer disease

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17 Scopus citations


“Brain-predicted age” quantifies apparent brain age compared to normative neuroimaging trajectories. Advanced brain-predicted age has been well established in symptomatic Alzheimer disease (AD), but is underexplored in preclinical AD. Prior brain-predicted age studies have typically used structural MRI, but resting-state functional connectivity (FC) remains underexplored. Our model predicted age from FC in 391 cognitively normal, amyloid-negative controls (ages 18–89). We applied the trained model to 145 amyloid-negative, 151 preclinical AD, and 156 symptomatic AD participants to test group differences. The model accurately predicted age in the training set. FC-predicted brain age gaps (FC-BAG) were significantly older in symptomatic AD and significantly younger in preclinical AD compared to controls. There was minimal correspondence between networks predictive of age and AD. Elevated FC-BAG may reflect network disruption during symptomatic AD. Reduced FC-BAG in preclinical AD was opposite to the expected direction, and may reflect a biphasic response to preclinical AD pathology or may be driven by inconsistency between age-related vs. AD-related networks. Overall, FC-predicted brain age may be a sensitive AD biomarker.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119228
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Brain aging
  • Machine learning
  • Resting-state functional connectivity
  • fMRI


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