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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2017, Article ID 6364314, 9 pages
Research Article

Spatial Navigation Impairment Is Associated with Alterations in Subcortical Intrinsic Activity in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Resting-State fMRI Study

1Department of Radiology, Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China
2The Czech Brain Aging Study, Memory Clinic, Department of Neurology, Charles University 2nd Faculty of Medicine and Motol University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic
3International Clinical Research Center, St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno, Brno, Czech Republic
4Department of Neurology, Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China
5Philips Healthcare, Shanghai, China
6Philips Healthcare, Shatin, Hong Kong

Correspondence should be addressed to Bing Zhang; moc.361.piv@gnijnan_gnibgnahz

Received 16 May 2017; Accepted 14 August 2017; Published 20 September 2017

Academic Editor: Ying Han

Copyright © 2017 Zhao Qing et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Impairment of spatial navigation (SN) skills is one of the features of the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) already at the stage of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We used a computer-based battery of spatial navigation tests to measure the SN performance in 22 MCI patients as well as 21 normal controls (NC). In order to evaluate intrinsic activity in the subcortical regions that may play a role in SN, we measured ALFF, fALFF, and ReHo derived within 14 subcortical regions. We observed reductions of intrinsic activity in MCI patients. We also demonstrated that the MCI versus NC group difference can modulate activity-behavior relationship, that is, the correlation slopes between ReHo and allocentric SN task total errors were significantly different between NC and MCI groups in the right hippocampus (interaction , ), pallidum (, ), and thalamus (, ), which were negative in NC (right hippocampus, ; right pallidum, ; right thalamus, ; all ) but absent in MCI (right hippocampus, ; right pallidum, ; right thalamus ; all ). These findings may provide a novel insight of the brain mechanism associated with SN impairment in MCI and indicated a stage specificity of brain-behavior correlation in dementia. This trial is registered with ChiCTR-BRC-17011316.