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.

    • "Current understanding of normal brain aging is mainly based on relatively " young " elderly, yielding a nonlinear and heterogeneous pattern of brain loss (Fjell et al., 2014;Fox and Schott, 2004;Hedman et al., 2012). Most of the longitudinal (Driscoll et al., 2009;Fjell et al., 2013;Raz et al., 2005;Storsve et al., 2014) and cross-sectional (Fjell et al., 2009;Raz et al., 2004;Walhovd et al., 2011) studies agree on a " fronto-temporal " pattern from 70 years and onwards in healthy subjects, i.e. greatest age-related brain loss being in frontal cortices and the medial temporal lobe. Accelerated age slopes of normal brain aging, from longitudinal observations, are mostly seen in hippocampus and entorhinal cortex (Fjell et al., 2012;Raz et al., 2005;Raz et al., 2010;Scahill et al., 2003), and some report in the occipital (Storsve et al., 2014) and orbitofrontal cortices (Driscoll et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Successful brain aging in the oldest old (≥90 years) is under-explored. This study examined cross-sectional brain morphological differences from eighth to eleventh decades of life in non-demented individuals by high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging. 277 non-demented community dwelling participants (71-103 years) from Sydney Memory and Ageing Study and Sydney Centenarian Study comprised the sample, including a subsample of 160 cognitively high-functioning elders. Relationships between age and MRI-derived measurements were studied using general linear models; and structural profiles of the ≥90 years were delineated. In full sample and the sub-sample, significant linear negative relationship of grey matter with age was found, with the greatest age effects in the medial temporal lobe and parietal and occipital cortices. This pattern was further confirmed by comparing directly the ≥90 years to the 71-89 years groups. Significant quadratic age effects on total white matter and white matter hyperintensities were observed. Our study demonstrated heterogeneous differences across brain regions between the oldest old and young old, with an emphasis on hippocampus, temporo-posterior cortex and white matter hyperintensities.
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    • "Such studies will help elucidate the potentially progressive brain changes that occur in later decades of life. Longitudinal studies in middle-age to older adults, as well as cross-sectional lifespan studies, show non-linear structural brain changes (Sowell et al., 2003;Allen et al., 2005;Du et al., 2007;Curiati et al., 2009;Driscoll et al., 2009;Fjell et al., 2009bFjell et al., , 2014Raz et al., 2010;Thambisetty et al., 2010;Schuff et al., 2012;Ziegler et al., 2012;Pfefferbaum et al., 2013;Taki et al., 2013), suggesting age differences may be apparent within middle aged to older samples, rather than only being evident when comparing young and older adults. Examining age differences in both surface area and cortical thickness within the same sample is also important given evidence that age may differentially impact these measures of brain structure. "
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    ABSTRACT: Age is associated with reductions in surface area and cortical thickness, particularly in prefrontal regions. There is also evidence of greater thickness in some regions at older ages. Non-linear age effects in some studies suggest that age may continue to impact brain structure in later decades of life, but relatively few studies have examined the impact of age on brain structure within middle-aged to older adults. We investigated age differences in prefrontal surface area and cortical thickness in healthy adults between the ages of 51 and 81 years. Participants received a structural 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scan. Based on a priori hypotheses, primary analyses focused on surface area and cortical thickness in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and orbitofrontal cortex. We also performed exploratory vertex-wise analyses of surface area and cortical thickness across the entire cortex. We found that older age was associated with smaller surface area in the dorsolateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices but greater cortical thickness in the dorsolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. Vertex-wise analyses revealed smaller surface area in primarily frontal regions at older ages, but no age effects were found for cortical thickness. Results suggest age is associated with reduced surface area but greater cortical thickness in prefrontal regions during later decades of life, and highlight the differential effects age has on regional surface area and cortical thickness.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
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    • "The second study[8]has investigated the pattern of CTh in patients with PD and multiple ICDs, revealing cortical thinning in many regions involved in reward pathways in ICDþ patients compared to ICD-and HCs. The discrepancies between the two studies may stem from several clinical variables: 1) the statistically significant age difference in their study between PD patients and HCs, a crucial point, since it has been shown[10]that CTh decreased with aging most significantly within the same areas identified in this study; 2) the disease duration and LEDD were significantly higher in ICDþ compared to ICD-patients in their study. Therefore, it is not possible to completely rule out the possibility that these clinical differences may have influenced the corticometric results. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: To investigate gray matter (GM) and cortical thickness (CTh) changes in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) with and without Impulse Control Disorders (ICDs). Methods: Fifteen patients with PD with ICDs (ICD+), 15 patients with PD without ICDs (ICD-) and 24 age and sex-matched healthy controls (HCs) were enrolled in the study. Patients were screened for ICDs by the Minnesota Impulsive Disorders Interview (MIDI) and underwent an extensive neuropsychological evaluation. Whole brain structural imaging was performed on a 3T GE MR scanner. Surface-based investigation of CTh was carried out by using Freesurfer Software. We also used voxel-based morphometry to investigate the pattern of GM atrophy. Results: The voxel-wise analysis of the regional differences in CTh revealed that ICD+ patients showed a statistically significant (p<0.01 FDR) thicker cortex when compared to both ICD- patients and HCs in the anterior cingulate (ACC) and orbitofrontal (OFC) cortices. Moreover, cortical thickness abnormalities were positively correlated with ICD severity (p<0.05 FDR). VBM data did not reveal any statistically significant differences in local GM. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that ICD+ patients have an increased CTh in limbic regions when compared with ICD- patients at the same disease stage and with an equal daily levodopa equivalent dose. These corticometric changes may play a role in the lack of inhibition of compulsive behaviors. The presence of such structural abnormalities may result from a synergistic effect of dopaminergic therapy in patients with a pre-existing vulnerability to develop an abnormal behavioral response to external stimuli.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Parkinsonism & Related Disorders
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