Association between metabolic syndrome and resting-state functional brain connectivity


Barnaly Rashid, Victoria N. Poole, Francesca C. Fortenbaugh, Michael Esterman, William P. Milberg, Regina E. McGlinchey, David H. Salat, and Elizabeth C. Leritz. 4/1/2021. “Association between metabolic syndrome and resting-state functional brain connectivity.” Neurobiology of Aging, 104, Pp. 1-9. Publisher's Version


The objective of this study is to examine whether metabolic syndrome (MetS), the clustering of 3 or more cardiovascular risk factors, disrupts the resting-state functional connectivity (FC) of the large-scale cortical brain networks. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from seventy-eight middle-aged and older adults living with and without MetS (27 MetS; 51 non-MetS). FC maps were derived from the time series of intrinsic activity in the large-scale brain networks by correlating the spatially averaged time series with all brain voxels using a whole-brain seed-based FC approach. Participants with MetS showed hyperconnectivity across the core brain regions with evidence of loss of modularity when compared with non-MetS individuals. Furthermore, patterns of higher between-network MetS-related effects were observed across most of the seed regions in both right and left hemispheres. These findings indicate that MetS is associated with altered intrinsic communication across core neural networks and disrupted between-network connections across the brain due to the co-occurring vascular risk factors in MetS.