Aberrant memory system connectivity and working memory performance in subjective cognitive decline.


Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, 5057 Woodward Ave. 7th Floor Suite 7908, Detroit, MI, 48201, United States; Institute of Gerontology, Wayne State University, 87 E. Ferry St., Detroit, MI, 48202, United States. Electronic address: [Email]


Subjective cognitive decline, a perceived worsening of cognitive functioning without objective deficit on assessment, could indicate incipient dementia. However, the neural correlates of subjective cognitive decline as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging remain somewhat unclear. Here, we evaluated differences in functional connectivity across memory regions, and cognitive performance, between healthy older adults aged 50 to 85 with (n = 35, Age = 68.5 ± 7.7, 22 female), and without (n = 48, Age = 67.0 ± 8.8, 29 female) subjective cognitive decline. We also evaluated neurite density, fractional anisotropy, and mean diffusivity of the parahippocampal cingulum, cingulate gyrus cingulum, and uncinate fiber bundles in a subsample of participants (n = 37). Participants with subjective cognitive decline displayed lower average functional connectivity across regions of a putative posterior memory system, and lower retrosplenial-precuneus functional connectivity specifically, than those without memory complaints. Furthermore, participants with subjective cognitive decline performed poorer than controls on visual working memory. However, groups did not differ in cingulum or uncinate diffusion measures. Our results show differences in functional connectivity and visual working memory in participants with subjective cognitive decline that could indicate potential incipient dementia.


Functional connectivity,Memory systems,Neurite density,Subjective cognitive decline,Visual working memory,