Alterations of the default mode network and cognitive impairments in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Received 20 July 2017
Accepted for publication 1 December 2017
Published 7 February 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 519—528
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Dr Charles Downs
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Chunxue Bai
Xianwei Hu,1 Haibao Wang,2 Youhui Tu,1 Mengdi Fei,3 Minmin Yin,2 Guanghe Fei,1 Yongqiang Yu2
1Pulmonary Department, First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China; 2Radiology Department, First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China; 3Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Background and objectives: Cognitive impairment is a common extrapulmonary comorbidity in COPD patients. The default mode network (DMN) plays a critical role in maintaining the normal activities of humans, and its function can be evaluated by resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlations between cognition and function changes of the DMN in COPD patients.
Methods: One hundred and thirteen eligible participants including 30 control subjects and 83 COPD patients matched for demographic characteristics were recruited. All participants performed cognitive function tests and underwent resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Results: The total cognitive function scores of COPD patients were significantly different from those of control subjects (P<0.05) and worsened with the degree of airflow obstruction. The activated brain regions in the DMN of COPD patients were less than those of normal controls. Six activated brain regions in the DMN were found to develop significantly different functional connectivity (FC) values among the subjects. Meanwhile, the FC values of the left posterior cingulate cortex and left hippocampus correlated well with cognitive functions and pulmonary function.
Conclusion: COPD patients have cognitive impairments that correlate well with disease severity. FC changes in activated brain regions in the DMN may predict cognitive impairment, and the left posterior cingulate cortex and left hippocampus may be important brain regions related to cognitive impairment in COPD patients.
Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cognitive function, resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging, default mode network
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