Purpose: Previous studies in patients with Alzheimer’s disease have shown amyloid beta accumulation in the brain and abnormal brain activity, with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in early stages of the disease. The aim of the current study was to investigate functional connectivity in patients with MCI.

Methods: We recruited 24 subjects in total, including 12 patients with MCI (6 men and 6 women) and 12 healthy controls (HCs) (6 men and 6 women), matched for age, gender, and lifestyle factors. All subjects underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans and voxel-wise degree centrality (DC) was used to evaluate alterations in the strength of brain network connectivity.

Results: The DC value of the left inferior temporal gyrus was lower in MCI but significantly higher in the right fusiform gyrus and the left supplementary motor area, compared with HCs. The DC value in left inferior temporal gyrus correlated positively with disease duration and negatively with Mini-Mental State Examination. ROC curve analysis of brain regions showed acceptable specificity and accuracy of DC values between MCIs and HCs in the area under the curve (right fusiform gyrus, 0.955; left supplementary motor area, 0.992; left inferior temporal gyrus, 1.000).

Conclusions: Abnormal functional connectivity in brain regions of patients with MCI may reflect the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease development and could prove useful in clinical diagnosis and treatment.