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Altered Behavioral and Autonomic Pain Responses in Alzheimer's Disease Are Associated with Dysfunctional Affective, Self-Reflective and Salience Network Resting-State Connectivity.


ABSTRACT: While pain behaviors are increased in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients compared to healthy seniors (HS) across multiple disease stages, autonomic responses are reduced with advancing AD. To better understand the neural mechanisms underlying these phenomena, we undertook a controlled cross-sectional study examining behavioral (Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia, PAINAD scores) and autonomic (heart rate, HR) pain responses in 24 HS and 20 AD subjects using acute pressure stimuli. Resting-state fMRI was utilized to investigate how group connectivity differences were related to altered pain responses. Pain behaviors (slope of PAINAD score change and mean PAINAD score) were increased in patients vs.

Controls

Autonomic measures (HR change intercept and mean HR change) were reduced in severe vs. mildly affected AD patients. Group functional connectivity differences associated with greater pain behavior reactivity in patients included: connectivity within a temporal limbic network (TLN) and between the TLN and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC); between default mode network (DMN) subcomponents; between the DMN and ventral salience network (vSN). Reduced HR responses within the AD group were associated with connectivity changes within the DMN and vSN-specifically the precuneus and vmPFC. Discriminant classification indicated HR-related connectivity within the vSN to the vmPFC best distinguished AD severity. Thus, altered behavioral and autonomic pain responses in AD reflects dysfunction of networks and structures subserving affective, self-reflective, salience and autonomic regulation.

SUBMITTER: Beach PA 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5603705 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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