Background: Changes in resting state functional connectivity (rs-fc) occur in Alzheimer's disease (AD), but few longitudinal rs-fc studies have been performed. Most studies focus on single networks and not a global measure of rs-fc. Although the amyloid tau neurodegeneration (AT(N)) framework is increasingly utilized by the AD community, few studies investigated when global rs-fc signature changes occur within this model. Objective: 1) Identify a global rs-fc signature that differentiates cognitively normal (CN) individuals from symptomatic AD. 2) Assess when longitudinal changes in rs-fc occur relative to conversion to symptomatic AD. 3) Compare rs-fc with amyloid, tau, and neurodegeneration biomarkers. Methods: A global rs-fc signature composed of intra-network connections was longitudinally evaluated in a cohort of cognitively normal participants at baseline (n=335). Biomarkers, including cerebrospinal fluid (Aβ42 and tau), structural magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography were obtained. Results: Global rs-fc signature distinguished CN individuals from individuals who developed symptomatic AD. Changes occurred nearly four years before conversion to symptomatic AD. The global rs-fc signature most strongly correlated with markers of neurodegeneration. Conclusion: The global rs-fc signature changes near symptomatic onset and is likely a neurodegenerative biomarker. Rs-fc changes could serve as a biomarker for evaluating potential therapies for symptomatic conversion to AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085-1095
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • biomarkers
  • neuroimaging
  • observational studies


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