We investigated the effect of education on the edge efficiency in resting state functional networks (RSFNs) in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and Alzheimer’s disease dementia (ADD). We collected the data of 57 early aMCI, 141 late aMCI, 173 mild ADD, and 39 moderate-to-severe ADD patients. We used years of education as a proxy for cognitive reserve. We measured edge efficiency for each edge in RSFNs, and performed simple slope analyses to discover their associations with education level among the four groups. In the late aMCI, a sub-network that had hub nodes in the right middle frontal gyrus and the right posterior cingulate gyrus, showed a positive association between RSFN edge efficiency and education (threshold = 2.5, p = 0.0478). There was no negative effect of education on the RSFN edge efficiency. In the early aMCI, mild ADD, and moderate-to-severe ADD, there were no sub-networks showing positive or negative correlation between education and RSFN edge efficiency. There was a positive effect of higher education on RSFN edge efficiency in the late aMCI, but not in the early aMCI or ADD. This indicates that in late aMCI, those who have higher education level have greater ability to resist collapsed functional network.
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