Systems modeling of white matter microstructural abnormalities in Alzheimer's disease

the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: Microstructural abnormalities in white matter (WM) are often reported in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, it is unclear which brain regions have the strongest WM changes in presymptomatic AD and what biological processes underlie WM abnormality during disease progression. Methods: We developed a systems biology framework to integrate matched diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), genetic and transcriptomic data to investigate regional vulnerability to AD and identify genetic risk factors and gene subnetworks underlying WM abnormality in AD. Results: We quantified regional WM abnormality and identified most vulnerable brain regions. A SNP rs2203712 in CELF1 was most significantly associated with several DTI-derived features in the hippocampus, the top ranked brain region. An immune response gene subnetwork in the blood was most correlated with DTI features across all the brain regions. Discussion: Incorporation of image analysis with gene network analysis enhances our understanding of disease progression and facilitates identification of novel therapeutic strategies for AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102203
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
StatePublished - 2020


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Brain regions
  • CELF1
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Gene expression
  • Immune response
  • Multiscale embedded gene coexpression network analysis
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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