Altered functional connectivity of the posterior cingulate cortex in type 2 diabetes with cognitive impairment

  • Xin Tan
  • Yi Liang
  • Hui Zeng
  • Chunhong Qin
  • Yifan Li
  • Jinquan Yang
  • Shijun QiuEmail author


The posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) has been suggested to be a cortical hub of the default mode network (DMN). Our goal in the current study was to determine whether there were alterations in the PCC’s functional connectivity (FC) with whole brain regions in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and to determine their relationships with cognitive dysfunction. In this study, the FC of the PCC was characterized by using resting-state functional MRI and a seed-based whole-brain correlation method in 24 T2DM patients and compared with 24 well-matched healthy controls. Spearman correlation analysis was performed to determine the relationships between the FC of the PCC and cognitive dysfunction. T2DM was associated with a significantly decreased FC of the PCC to widespread brain regions (p < 0.05, corrected for AlphaSim). We also found that the FC of the PCC in these brain regions was positively correlated with several neuropsychological test scores, such as the FC to the right angular gyrus (AnG) and the bilateral middle temporal gyrus (MTG) with the Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT) and the FC to the bilateral inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) with the digit span test (DST). Moreover, the FCs of the PCC to the right superior parietal lobule (SPL), bilateral temporal lobes and left cerebrum were detected as negatively correlated with the Trail Making Test (TMT). No such correlations were detected in healthy controls. The present study provides useful information about the effect of the FC of the PCC on the underlying neuropathological process of T2DM-related cognitive dysfunction and may provide supporting evidence for further molecular biology studies.


Type 2 diabetes Posterior cingulate cortex Functional connectivity Cognitive dysfunction 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Imaging CenterThe First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese MedicineGuangzhouChina

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