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Author Notes:

Corresponding author: William.hu@emory.edu

Authors’ contributions: MM, JAT, WTH, MWP, and DQ were responsible for the conception and design of the study.

JCH, MWP, and WTH were responsible for the acquisition of the data.

MM, JAT, and WTH were responsible for analysis, and interpretation of data, drafting the manuscript and revising it critically for important intellectual content.

All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Acknowledgements: The authors acknowledge the following persons for assistance with enrollment: James Lah, MD, PhD; Allan Levey, MD, PhD; Chadwick Hales, MD, PhD; Angela Ashley, MD; Felicia Goldstein, PhD; and Andrea Kippels, CNP.

Competing interests: WTH has a patent (assignee, Emory University) on the use of CSF p/t-Tau ratio in the evaluation of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, has received research support from Avid Pharmaceuticals, and has received travel support from Eli Lilly and Hoffman-La Roche.

DQ has received research support from Medtronic and Siemens Healthcare.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grants AG43885, AG42856, AG25688, and AG61660.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Neurosciences
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Functional connectivity
  • Default mode network
  • Disparities
  • RISK
  • MRI

Race modifies default mode connectivity in Alzheimer's disease


Journal Title:

Translational Neurodegeneration


Volume 9, Number 1


, Pages 8-8

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background: Older African Americans are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) than older Caucasians, and this difference cannot be readily explained by cerebrovascular and socioeconomic factors alone. We previously showed that mild cognitive impairment and AD dementia were associated with attenuated increases in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of total and phosphorylated tau in African Americans compared to Caucasians, even though there was no difference in beta-amyloid 1-42 level between the two races. Methods: We extended our work by analyzing early functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) biomarkers of the default mode network in older African Americans and Caucasians. We calculated connectivity between nodes of the regions belonging to the various default mode network subsystems and correlated these imaging biomarkers with non-imaging biomarkers implicated in AD (CSF amyloid, total tau, and cognitive performance). Results: We found that race modifies the relationship between functional connectivity of default mode network subsystems and cognitive performance, tau, and amyloid levels. Conclusion: These findings provide further support that race modifies the AD phenotypes downstream from cerebral amyloid deposition, and identifies key inter-subsystem connections for deep imaging and neuropathologic characterization.

Copyright information:

© 2020 The Author(s).

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Universal : Public Domain Dedication License (https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/).
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