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

ABSTRACT 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.

Download full-text


Available from: Thomas Espeseth, Aug 13, 2015
  • Source
    • "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). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Healthy ageing is accompanied by neurobiological changes that affect the brain's functional organization and the individual's cognitive abilities. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of global age-related differences in the cortical white and gray matter on neural activity in three key large-scale networks. We used functional-structural covariance network analysis to assess resting state activity in the default mode network (DMN), the fronto-parietal network (FPN), and the salience network (SN) of young and older adults. We further related this functional activity to measures of cortical thickness and volume derived from structural MRI, as well as to measures of white matter integrity (fractional anisotropy [FA], mean diffusivity [MD], and radial diffusivity [RD]) derived from diffusion-weighted imaging. First, our results show that, in the direct comparison of resting state activity, young but not older adults reliably engage the SN and FPN in addition to the DMN, suggesting that older adults recruit these networks less consistently. Second, our results demonstrate that age-related decline in white matter integrity and gray matter volume is associated with activity in prefrontal nodes of the SN and FPN, possibly reflecting compensatory mechanisms. We suggest that age-related differences in gray and white matter properties differentially affect the ability of the brain to engage and coordinate large-scale functional networks that are central to efficient cognitive functioning. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Neuroscience 01/2015; 290. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.01.049 · 3.33 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "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). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sports-related concussions have been shown to lead to persistent subclinical anomalies of the motor and cognitive systems in young asymptomatic athletes. In advancing age, these latent alterations correlate with detectable motor and cognitive function decline. Until now, the interacting effects of concussions and the normal ageing process on white matter tract integrity remain unknown. Here we used a tract-based spatial statistical method to uncover potential white matter tissue damage in 15 retired athletes with a history of concussions, free of comorbid medical conditions. We also investigated potential associations between white matter integrity and declines in cognitive and motor functions. Compared to an age- and education-matched control group of 15 retired athletes without concussions, former athletes with concussions exhibited widespread white matter anomalies along many major association, interhemispheric, and projection tracts. Group contrasts revealed decreases in fractional anisotropy, as well as increases in mean and radial diffusivity measures in the concussed group. These differences were primarily apparent in fronto-parietal networks as well as in the frontal aspect of the corpus callosum. The white matter anomalies uncovered in concussed athletes were significantly associated with a decline in episodic memory and lateral ventricle expansion. Finally, the expected association between frontal white matter integrity and motor learning found in former non-concussed athletes was absent in concussed participants. Together, these results show that advancing age in retired athletes presenting with a history of sports-related concussions is linked to diffuse white matter abnormalities that are consistent with the effects of traumatic axonal injury and exacerbated demyelination. These changes in white matter integrity might explain the cognitive and motor function declines documented in this population.
    Brain 09/2014; 137(11):2997-3011. DOI:10.1093/brain/awu236 · 10.23 Impact Factor
    • "To summarize, findings on cognitive similarities between normal elderly and patients with RHD are sparse. In addition, imaging studies have generally not reported hemispheric differences in atrophy in late life (Fjell et al., 2009). It has been suggested that an age-related decline of nonverbal complex skills may be mediated by working-memory decrements involved in the reduction of dopamine D2=3 receptor availability within the right caudate nucleus (Vernaleken et al., 2007). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Three neuropsychological theories have been developed according to a possible existence of a similar pattern of cognitive decline in elderly individuals and patients with brain damage. The respective neuropsychological theories attribute age-related deficits to: (a) dysfunction of the frontal lobes, (b) temporo-parietal dysfunction, or (c) decline of right-hemisphere functions. In the present study, we examined which of these theories best explains the cognitive patterns of normal elderly subjects older than 80 years of age (old elderly). Thirty normal old elderly subjects, 14 patients with subcortical vascular dementia, 14 with mild Alzheimer's disease, 15 with damage of the right hemisphere of the brain, and 20 young elderly controls participated. A test battery covering the main cognitive domains was administered to all participants. A hierarchical cluster analysis revealed five groups of individuals with different cognitive patterns across the whole sample. Old elderly subjects were assigned to four groups according to: (a) preserved overall cognitive performance, (b) processing speed decline, (c) attention decline, or (d) executive impairment. The results of the study are most congruent with models emphasizing frontal-lobe cortical-subcortical and fronto-parietal changes in old age. The results also indicate considerable heterogeneity in the cognitive patterns of normal old elderly adults.
    Applied Neuropsychology: Adult 07/2014; 21(3):195-209. DOI:10.1080/09084282.2013.789965 · 1.32 Impact Factor
Show more