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Local brain atrophy accounts for functional activity differences in normal aging
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2012 (English)In: Neurobiology of Aging, ISSN 0197-4580, E-ISSN 1558-1497, Vol. 33, no 3, 623.e1- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Functional brain imaging studies of normal aging typically show age-related under-and overactivations during episodic memory tasks. Older individuals also undergo nonuniform gray matter volume (GMv) loss. Thus, age differences in functional brain activity could at least in part result from local atrophy. We conducted a series of voxel-based blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD)-GMv analyses to highlight whether age-related under-and overrecruitment was accounted for by GMv changes. Occipital GMv loss accounted for underrecruitment at encoding. Efficiency reduction of sensory-perceptual mechanisms underpinned by these areas may partly be due to local atrophy. At retrieval, local GMv loss accounted for age-related overactivation of left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, but not of left dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. Local atrophy also accounted for age-related overactivation in left lateral parietal cortex. Activity in these frontoparietal regions correlated with performance in the older group. Atrophy in the overrecruited regions was modest in comparison with other regions as shown by a between-group voxel-based morphometry comparison. Collectively, these findings link age-related structural differences to age-related functional under-as well as overrecruitment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 33, no 3, 623.e1- p.
Keyword [en]
Activation, Atrophy, Compensation, Episodic memory, Frontal lobe, Functional magnetic resonance imaging, Normal aging, Multimodal neuroimaging, Occipital lobe, Parietal lobe, Preservation, Structural magnetic resonance imaging, Voxel-based morphometry
National Category
Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences Geriatrics Neurology Psychology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-76971DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2011.02.021ISI: 000299786000033OAI: diva2:534184


Available from: 2012-06-15 Created: 2012-05-28 Last updated: 2013-01-07Bibliographically approved

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Persson, Jonas
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Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI)Department of Psychology
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Neurobiology of Aging
Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health SciencesGeriatricsNeurologyPsychology

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