Cerebral blood flow and gray matter volume covariance patterns of cognition in aging.

Cognitive Neuroscience Division of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York; Department of Neurology, Columbia University of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York. .
Human Brain Mapping (Impact Factor: 6.88). 07/2012; DOI: 10.1002/hbm.22142
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Advancing age results in altered cognitive and neuroimaging-derived markers of neural integrity. Whether cognitive changes are the result of variations in brain measures remains unclear and relating the two across the lifespan poses a unique set of problems. It must be determined whether statistical associations between cognitive and brain measures truly exist and are not epiphenomenal due solely to their shared relationships with age. The purpose of this study was to determine whether cerebral blood flow (CBF) and gray matter volume (GMV) measures make unique and better predictions of cognition than age alone. Multivariate analyses identified brain-wide covariance patterns from 35 healthy young and 23 healthy older adults using MRI-derived measures of CBF and GMV related to three cognitive composite scores (i.e., memory, fluid ability, and speed/attention). These brain-cognitive relationships were consistent across the age range, and not the result of epiphenomenal associations with age and each imaging modality provided its own unique information. The CBF and GMV patterns each accounted for unique aspects of cognition and accounted for nearly all the age-related variance in the cognitive composite scores. The findings suggest that measures derived from multiple imaging modalities explain larger amounts of variance in cognition providing a more complete understanding of the aging brain. Hum Brain Mapp, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective/Methods Neuroimaging research has predominantly focused on exploring how cortical or subcortical brain abnormalities are related to language dysfunction in patients with neurological disease through the use of single modality imaging. Still, limited knowledge exists on how various MRI measures relate to each other and to patients’ language performance. In this study, we explored the relationship between measures of regional cortical thickness, gray-white matter contrast (GWMC), white matter diffusivity [mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA)] and the relative contributions of these MRI measures to predicting language function across patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and healthy controls. T1- and diffusion-weighted MRI data were collected from 56 healthy controls and 52 patients with TLE. By focusing on frontotemporal regions implicated in language function, we reduced each domain of MRI data to its principal component (PC) and quantified the correlations among these PCs and the ability of these PCs to explain the variation in vocabulary, naming and fluency. We followed up our significant findings by assessing the predictive power of the implicated PC’s with respect to language impairment in our sample. Results We found significant positive associations between PCs representing cortical thickness, GWMC and FA that appeared to be partially mediated by changes in total brain volume. We also found a significant association between reduced FA and increased MD after controlling for confounding factors (e.g., age, field strength, total brain volume). Reduced FA was significantly associated with reductions in visual naming while increased MD was associated with reductions in auditory naming scores, even after controlling for the variability explained by reductions in hippocampal volumes. Inclusion of FA and MD PCs in predictive models of language impairment resulted in significant improvements in sensitivity and specificity of the predictions. Conclusions Quantitative MRI measures from T1 and diffusion-weighted scans are unlikely to represent perfectly orthogonal vectors of disease in individuals with epilepsy. On the contrary, they exhibit highly intercorrelated PCs in their factor structures, which is consistent with an underlying pathological process that affects both the cortical and the subcortical structures simultaneously. In addition to hippocampal volume, the PCs of diffusion weighted measures (FA and MD) increase the sensitivity and specificity for determining naming impairment in patients with TLE. These findings underline the importance of combining multimodal imaging measures to better predict language performance in TLE that could extend to other patients with prominent language impairments.
    NeuroImage: Clinical. 01/2014;
  • Source
    Environmental Health Perspectives 09/2014; 122(9):A238-A243. · 7.26 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Advancing age affects both cognitive performance and functional brain activity and interpretation of these effects has led to a variety of conceptual research models without always explicitly linking the two effects. However, to best understand the multifaceted effects of advancing age, age differences in functional brain activity need to be explicitly tied to the cognitive task performance. This work hypothesized that age-related differences in task performance are partially explained by age-related differences in functional brain activity and formally tested these causal relationships. Functional MRI data was from groups of young and old adults engaged in an executive task-switching experiment. Analyses were voxel-wise testing of moderated-mediation and simple mediation statistical path models to determine whether age group, brain activity and their interaction explained task performance in regions demonstrating an effect of age group. Results identified brain regions whose age-related differences in functional brain activity significantly explained age-related differences in task performance. In all identified locations, significant moderated-mediation relationships resulted from increasing brain activity predicting worse (slower) task performance in older but not younger adults. Findings suggest that advancing age links task performance to the level of brain activity. The overall message of this work is that in order to understand the role of functional brain activity on cognitive performance, analysis methods should respect theoretical relationships. Namely, that age affects brain activity and brain activity is related to task performance.
    Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 01/2014; 6:46. · 5.20 Impact Factor


Available from
May 23, 2014