Background/Aims: Depressive symptoms are commonly observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The underlying mechanisms of depressive symptoms in AD remain unclear; frontolimbic circuitry dysfunction may play a role. We aimed to investigate the microstructural integrity of frontolimbic connectivity of specific fiber tracts in AD patients with and without depressive symptoms using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Methods: Eleven AD patients with depressive symptoms (dep-AD), 18 AD patients without depressive symptoms (nondep-AD), and 18 normal control (NC) subjects were included. The cingulum bundle (CB), uncinate fasciculus (UF), and fornix, mainly frontolimbic connectivity, were measured by DTI tractography and the metrics of fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity, and radial diffusivity (RD) were calculated. Results: Compared with NC subjects, both dep-AD and nondep-AD patients showed significant differences for all indices in the fornix and significantly decreased FA and increased MD and RD in the bilateral CB and UF. When compared to nondep-AD patients, dep-AD patients showed significantly increased MD and RD in the bilateral CB and right UF. Conclusion: Depressive symptoms in AD patients may be involved in greater microstructural abnormalities of frontolimbic connectivity and myelin injury in the bilateral CB and right UF might contribute to the pathophysiology of depressive symptoms in AD.

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