Table of Contents
ISRN Geriatrics
Volume 2013, Article ID 542080, 11 pages
Research Article

Small-World Properties in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Early Alzheimer’s Disease: A Cortical Thickness MRI Study

Department of Radiology, Center for Biomedical Imaging, New York University School of Medicine, 4th Floor, 660 First Avenue, New York City, NY 10016, USA

Received 26 December 2012; Accepted 21 January 2013

Academic Editors: D. Chan, S.-K. Herukka, C. S. Hurt, A. McKinlay, D. Orsucci, J. Ryan, and H. Umegaki

Copyright © 2013 Yongxia Zhou and Yvonne W. Lui. 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.


Background. Small-world network consists of networks with local specialization and global integration. Our objective is to detect small-world properties alteration based on cortical thickness in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) including stables and converters, and early Alzheimer's disease (AD) compared to controls. Methods. MRI scans of 13 controls, 10 MCI, and 10 with early AD were retrospectively analyzed; 11 MCI converters, 11 MCI stables, and 10 controls from the ADNI website were also included. Results. There were significantly decreased local efficiencies in patients with MCI and AD compared to controls; and MCI patients showed increased global efficiency compared to AD and controls. The MCI converters experience the worst local efficiency during the converting period to AD; the stables, however, have highest local and global efficiency. Conclusions. The abnormal cortical thickness-based small-world properties in MCI and AD as well as the distinct patterns between two MCI subtypes suggest that small-world network analysis has the potential to better differentiate different stages of early dementia.