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Design of effective personalised perturbation strategies for enhancing cognitive intervention in Alzheimer’s disease


Deco,  Gustavo
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Vohryzek, J., Cabral, J., Perl, Y. S., Demirtas, M., Falcon, C., Gispert, J. D., et al. (2023). Design of effective personalised perturbation strategies for enhancing cognitive intervention in Alzheimer’s disease. bioRxiv. doi:10.1101/2023.04.20.537688.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000D-09B1-1
One of the potential and promising adjuvant therapies for Alzheimer’s disease is that of non-invasive transcranial neurostimulation to potentiate cognitive training interventions. Conceptually, this is achieved by driving brain dynamics towards an optimal state for an effective facilitation of cognitive training interventions. However, current neurostimulation protocols rely on experimental trial-and-error approaches that result in variability of symptom improvements and suboptimal progress. Here, we leveraged whole-brain computational modelling by assessing the regional susceptibility towards optimal brain dynamics from Alzheimer’s disease. In practice, we followed the three-part concept of Dynamic Sensitivity Analysis by first understanding empirical differences between healthy controls and patients with mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s Disease; secondly, by building computational models for all individuals in the mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia cohorts; and thirdly, by perturbing brain regions and assessing the impact on the recovery of brain dynamics to the healthy state (here defined in functional terms, summarised by a measure of metastability for the healthy group). By doing so, we show the importance of key regions, along the anterior-posterior medial line, in driving in-silico improvement of mild dementia and mild cognitive impairment groups. Moreover, this subset consists mainly of regions with high structural nodal degree. Overall, this in-silico perturbational approach could inform the design of stimulation strategies for re-establishing healthy brain dynamics, putatively facilitating effective cognitive interventions targeting the cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease.