By 2050 it is estimated that the number of worldwide Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients will quadruple from the current number of 36 million people. To date, no single test, prior to postmortem examination, can confirm that a person suffers from AD. Therefore, there is a strong need for accurate and sensitive tools for the early diagnoses of AD. The complex etiology and multiple pathogenesis of AD call for a system-level understanding of the currently available biomarkers and the study of new biomarkers via network-based modeling of heterogeneous data types. In this review, we summarize recent research on the study of AD as a connectivity syndrome. We argue that a network-based approach in biomarker discovery will provide key insights to fully understand the network degeneration hypothesis (disease starts in specific network areas and progressively spreads to connected areas of the initial loci-networks) with a potential impact for early diagnosis and disease-modifying treatments. We introduce a new framework for the quantitative study of biomarkers that can help shorten the transition between academic research and clinical diagnosis in AD.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Default-mode network DMN
- Network degeneration hypothesis
- Network-based biomarkers
- Resting-state functional connectivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience