High Consistency of Regional Cortical Thinning in Aging across Multiple Samples

Center for the Study of Human Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Olso 0317, Norway.
Cerebral Cortex (Impact Factor: 8.67). 02/2009; 19(9):2001-12. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhn232
Source: PubMed


Cross-sectional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of cortical thickness and volume have shown age effects on large areas, but there are substantial discrepancies across studies regarding the localization and magnitude of effects. These discrepancies hinder understanding of effects of aging on brain morphometry, and limit the potential usefulness of MR in research on healthy and pathological age-related brain changes. The present study was undertaken to overcome this problem by assessing the consistency of age effects on cortical thickness across 6 different samples with a total of 883 participants. A surface-based segmentation procedure (FreeSurfer) was used to calculate cortical thickness continuously across the brain surface. The results showed consistent age effects across samples in the superior, middle, and inferior frontal gyri, superior and middle temporal gyri, precuneus, inferior and superior parietal cortices, fusiform and lingual gyri, and the temporo-parietal junction. The strongest effects were seen in the superior and inferior frontal gyri, as well as superior parts of the temporal lobe. The inferior temporal lobe and anterior cingulate cortices were relatively less affected by age. The results are discussed in relation to leading theories of cognitive aging.

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    • "The comparison of white and gray matter between young and older adults resulted in significant group differences that are consistent with previous investigations of agerelated structural changes. We found reduced cortical volume and thickness, as well as reduced FA and increased MD and RD values for older adults compared with the younger group (Fjell et al., 2009; Westlye et al., 2010; see Appendices B and C for detailed results). "
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    • "We know, however, that the normal ageing process is associated with significant changes in both grey and white matter in the brain (Raz and Rodrigue, 2006; Fjell et al., 2013). Grey matter volume loss is particularly salient within the parenchyma of both the frontal and temporal lobes (Raz et al., 1997; Tisserand et al., 2002; Masliah et al., 2006; Fjell et al., 2009). White matter is also highly vulnerable to the ageing process, with an estimated volume loss of 45% between the ages of 20 and 80 years (Salat et al., 1999; Marner et al., 2003). "
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