- Researchers manipulated functional connectivity density mapping (FCDM) to analyze changes in brain functional connectivity in 16 patients with ischemic WMLs and 13 controls.
- Both short– and long–range FCD maps were quantified, and group comparisons were conducted between the 2 groups.
- They conducted a correlation analysis between regions with altered FCD and cognitive test scores (Mini–Mental State Examination [MMSE] and Montreal Cognitive Assessment [MoCA]) in the patient group.
- They observed that patients with ischemic WMLs exhibited reduced short–range FCD in the temporal cortex, primary motor cortex, and subcortical region, which could account for inadequate top–down attention, impaired motor, memory, and executive function associated with WMLs.
- The positive correlation between primary motor cortex and MoCA scores yielded evidence for the influences of cognitive function on behavioral performance.
- The inferior parietal cortex exhibited increased short–range FCD, reflecting a hyper bottom–up attention to compensate for the inadequate top–down attention for language comprehension and information retrieval in patients with WMLs.
- Moreover, the prefrontal and primary motor cortex showed increased long–range FCD and the former positively correlated with MoCA scores, which recommended a strategy of cortical functional reorganization to compensate for motor and executive deficits.