This paper reminds me of our MCI and AD work with fMRI, where we also studied task-related suppression in the default mode network. We used an encoding task, but also an n-back working memory task (see Rombouts et al., 2005).
Besides deactivation (or suppression during task), in this paper Whitfield-Gabrieli and colleagues also studied functional connectivity within the default mode network, and they find changes with schizophrenia. Further, they find an association of functional connectivity with psychopathology in patients.
The analyses are extensive, combining deactivation and functional connectivity of the default mode network. This is a very interesting approach and the methodology could be useful for AD research.
Also for AD, functional connectivity could be tested both with fMRI studies in which patients perform a task (task-fMRI), or are in resting state (no task-fMRI). The same could be applied to MCI patients and people at risk for AD.
Rombouts SA, Barkhof F, Goekoop R, Stam CJ, Scheltens P. Altered resting state networks in mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer's disease: an fMRI study. Hum Brain Mapp. 2005 Dec;26(4):231-9. Abstract
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