Article

Preserved hippocampus activation in normal aging as revealed by fMRI.

Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Sweden.
Hippocampus (Impact Factor: 5.49). 07/2011; 21(7):753-66. DOI: 10.1002/hipo.20794
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The hippocampus is deteriorated in various pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and such deterioration has been linked to memory impairment. By contrast, the structural and functional effects of normal aging on the hippocampus is a matter of debate, with some findings suggesting deterioration and others providing evidence of preservation. This constitutes a crucial question since many investigations on AD are based on the assumption that the deterioration of the hippocampus is the breaking point between normal and pathological aging. A growing number of fMRI studies specifically aimed at investigating hippocampal engagement in various cognitive tasks, notably memory tasks, but the results have been inconclusive. Here, we optimized the episodic face-name paired-associates task in order to test the functioning of the hippocampus in normal aging. Critically, we found no difference in the activation of the hippocampus between the young and a group of older participants. Analysis of individual patterns of activation substantiated this impression. Collectively, these findings provide evidence of preserved hippocampal functioning in normal aging.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
88 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human memory is a highly heritable polygenic trait with complex inheritance patterns. To study the genetics of memory and memory-related diseases, hippocampal functioning has served as an intermediate phenotype. The importance of investigating gene-gene effects on complex phenotypes has been emphasized, but most imaging studies still focus on single polymorphisms. APOE ε4 and BDNF Met, two of the most studied gene variants for variability in memory performance and neuropsychiatric disorders, have both separately been related to poorer episodic memory and altered hippocampal functioning. Here, we investigated the combined effect of APOE and BDNF on hippocampal activation (N=151). No non-additive interaction effects were seen. Instead, the results revealed decreased activation in bilateral hippocampus and parahippocampus as a function of the number of APOE ε4 and BDNF Met alleles present (neither, one, or both). The combined effect was stronger than either of the individual effects, and both gene variables explained significant proportions of variance in BOLD signal change. Thus, there was an additive gene-gene effect of APOE and BDNF on medial temporal lobe (MTL) activation, showing that a larger proportion of variance in brain activation attributed to genetics can be explained by considering more than one gene variant. This effect might be relevant for the understanding of normal variability in memory function as well as memory-related disorders associated with APOE and BDNF.
    NeuroImage 12/2013; · 6.25 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Episodic memory decline is a hallmark of normal cognitive aging. Here, we report the first event-related fMRI study to directly investigate age differences in the neural reactivation of qualitatively rich perceptual details during recollection. Younger and older adults studied pictures of complex scenes at different presentation durations along with descriptive verbal labels, and these labels subsequently were used during fMRI scanning to cue picture recollections of varying perceptual detail. As expected from prior behavioral work, the two groups subjectively rated their recollections as containing similar amounts of perceptual detail, despite objectively measured recollection impairment in older adults. In both age groups, comparisons of retrieval trials that varied in recollected detail revealed robust activity in brain regions previously linked to recollection, including hippocampus and both medial and lateral regions of the prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex. Critically, this analysis also revealed recollection-related activity in visual processing regions that were active in an independent picture-perception task, and these regions showed age-related reductions in activity during recollection that cannot be attributed to age differences in response criteria. These fMRI findings provide new evidence that aging reduces the absolute quantity of perceptual details that are reactivated from memory, and they help to explain why aging reduces the reliability of subjective memory judgments.
    NeuroImage 05/2014; · 6.25 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a non-invasive technique that has come into common use to examine neural network function in normal and impaired cognitive states. Using this promising type of analysis, researchers have identified the presence of anatomically distributed regions operating as large-scale neural networks, which are observed both during the performance of associative memory tasks and in the resting state. The assembly of these anatomically distinct regions into functional ensembles and their choreographed activation and deactivation sets the stage for complex behaviors such as the formation and retrieval of associative memories. We review progress in the use of task-related and task-free MRI to elucidate the changes in neural activity in normal older individuals, patients with mild cognitive impairment, and those with Alzheimer's disease, focusing on the altered activity of the default mode network and medial temporal lobe. We place task-free fMRI studies into the larger context of more traditional, task-based fMRI studies of human memory, which have firmly established the critical role of the medial temporal lobe in associative encoding. Lastly, we discuss the data from our group and others that suggests task-free MRI and task-based fMRI may prove useful as non-invasive biomarkers in studying the progression of memory failure over the course of Alzheimer's disease.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 08/2012; 31:S155-67. · 4.17 Impact Factor

Full-text

View
44 Downloads
Available from
May 23, 2014