Diffusion tensor imaging detects age related white matter change over a 2 year follow-up which is associated with working memory decline.

Clinical Neuroscience, St George's University of London, London, UK.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry (Impact Factor: 4.87). 09/2009; 81(1):13-9. DOI: 10.1136/jnnp.2008.167288
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a sensitive method for detecting white matter damage, and in cross sectional studies DTI measures correlate with age related cognitive decline. However, there are few data on whether DTI can detect age related changes over short time periods and whether such change correlates with cognitive function.
In a community sample of 84 middle-aged and elderly adults, MRI and cognitive testing were performed at baseline and after 2 years. Changes in DTI white matter histograms, white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume and brain volume were determined. Change over time in performance on tests of executive function, working memory and information processing speed were also assessed.
Significant change in all MRI measures was detected. For cognition, change was detected for working memory and this correlated with change in DTI only. In a stepwise regression, with change in working memory as the dependent variable, a DTI histogram measure explained 10.8% of the variance in working memory. Change in WMH or brain volume did not contribute to the model.
DTI is sensitive to age related change in white matter ultrastructure and appears useful for monitoring age related white matter change even over short time periods.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Studies exploring the underpinnings of age-related neurodegeneration suggest fronto-limbic alterations that are increasingly vulnerable in the presence of disease including late life depression. Less work has assessed the impact of this specific vulnerability on widespread brain circuitry. Seventy-nine older adults (healthy controls=45; late life depression=34) completed translational tasks shown in non-human primates to rely on fronto-limbic networks involving dorsolateral (Self-Ordered Pointing Task) or orbitofrontal (Object Alternation Task) cortices. A sub-sample of participants also completed diffusion tensor imaging for white matter tract quantification (uncinate and cingulum bundle; n=58) and whole brain tract-based spatial statistics (n=62). Despite task associations to specific white matter tracts across both groups, only healthy controls demonstrated significant correlations between widespread tract integrity and cognition. Thus, increasing Object Alternation Task errors were associated with decreasing fractional anisotropy in the uncinate in late life depression; however, only in healthy controls was the uncinate incorporated into a larger network of white matter vulnerability associating fractional anisotropy with Object Alternation Task errors using whole brain tract-based spatial statistics. It appears that the whole brain impact of specific fronto-limbic vulnerabilities in aging may be eclipsed in the presence of disease-specific neuropathology like that seen in late life depression.
    Neuropsychologia 05/2013; · 3.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract White matter (WM) abnormalities are frequently seen on brain MRI of HIV positive (HIV+) patients. We aimed to determine the prevalence of unexplained WM abnormalities and their associations with HIV disease and cardiovascular risk factors. We conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional study of brain MRI of HIV+ patients conducted between 2004 and 2009 at our center. Clinical and laboratory data were compiled, and images were independently reviewed for WM lesions. Images were obtained from 254 patients: 70% male, 53% white, 40% black, mean age 42 years, median current CD4 count 240 cells/mm(3), and 41% not taking antiretroviral therapy (ART). Hyperintense WM lesions were present in 161 patients (63.4%): 89 scans (35.0%) showed diffuse WM signal abnormality (DWMSA), 61 (24.0%) were consistent with small vessel disease (SVD, graded by Fazekas' scale), and 37 (14.6%) showed large asymmetrical focal WM lesions. SVD changes were associated with age and cardiovascular risk factors, and while cerebral SVD may be related to HIV infection, the MRI findings were not associated with HIV-related factors. The only risk factor for DWMSA was black race, and no correlation with cardiovascular risk factors, CD4 count, or clinical presentation was identified. DWMSA are therefore of uncertain neurological significance in HIV+ patients and could represent more than one clinicopathological entity.
    AIDS patient care and STDs 05/2014; · 2.68 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The integrity of the brain's white matter is important for neural processing and displays age-related differences, but the contribution of changes in white matter to cognitive aging is unclear. We used latent change modeling to investigate this issue in a sample of very old adults (aged 81-103 years) assessed twice with a retest interval of 2.3years. Using diffusion-tensor imaging, we probed white matter microstructure by quantifying mean fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity of six major white matter tracts. Measures of perceptual speed, episodic memory, letter fluency, category fluency, and semantic memory were collected. Across time, alterations of white matter microstructure in the corticospinal tract were associated with decreases of perceptual speed. This association remained significant after statistically controlling for changes in white matter microstructure in the entire brain, in the other demarcated tracts, and in the other cognitive abilities. Changes in brain volume also did not account for the association. We conclude that white matter microstructure is a potent correlate of changes in sensorimotor aspects of behavior in very old age, but that it is unclear whether its impact extends to higher-order cognition.
    NeuroImage 08/2014; · 6.25 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 31, 2014