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Longitudinal structure – function correlates in elderly reveal MTL dysfunction with cognitive decline
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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2012 (English)In: Cerebral Cortex, ISSN 1047-3211, E-ISSN 1460-2199, Vol. 22, no 10, 2297-2304 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

By integrating behavioral measures and imaging data, previous investigations have explored the relationship between biological markers of aging and cognitive functions. Evidence from functional and structural neuroimaging has revealed that hippocampal volume and activation patterns in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) may predict cognitive performance in old age. Most past demonstrations of age-related differences in brain structure–function were based on cross-sectional comparisons. Here, the relationship between 6-year intraindividual change in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signal and change in memory performance over 2 decades was examined. Correlations between intraindividual change in fMRI signal during episodic encoding and change in memory performance measured outside of scanning were used as an estimate for relating brain–behavior changes. The results revealed a positive relationship between activation change in the hippocampus (HC) and change in memory performance, reflecting reduced hippocampal activation in participants with declining performance. Using a similar analytic approach as for the functional data, we found that individuals with declining performance had reduced HC volume compared with individuals with intact performance. These observations provide a strong link between cognitive change in older adults and MTL structure and function and thus provide insights into brain correlates of individual variability in aging trajectories.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 22, no 10, 2297-2304 p.
Keyword [en]
fMRI, aging, memory, hippocampus, longitudinal
National Category
Psychology Neurosciences Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-80902DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhr306ISI: 000308530500008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-80902DiVA: diva2:558198
Available from: 2012-10-02 Created: 2012-10-02 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Brain characteristics of memory decline and stability in aging: Contributions from longitudinal observations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Brain characteristics of memory decline and stability in aging: Contributions from longitudinal observations
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Aging is typically associated with declining mental abilities, most prominent for some forms of memory. There are, however, large inter-individual differences within the older population. Some people experience rapid decline whereas others seem almost spared from any adverse effects of aging. This thesis examined the neural underpinnings of such individual differences by using longitudinal observations of episodic memory change across 15-20 years, combined with structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. Study I found significant correlations between volume and activity of the hippocampus (HC), and memory change over a 6-year period. That is, individuals with decline in HC function also had declining memory. In contrast, Study II showed that successfully aged individuals, who maintained high memory scores over 15-20 years, had preserved HC function compared to age-matched elderly with average memory change. The successful agers had HC activity levels comparable to those of young individuals, as well as higher frontal activity. Study III revealed that individual differences in memory ability and brain activity of elderly reflect both differential age-related changes, and individual differences in memory ability that are present already in midlife, when age effects are minimal. Specifically, memory scores obtained 15-20 years earlier reliably predicted brain activity in memory-relevant regions such as the frontal cortex and HC. This observation challenges results from previous cross-sectional aging studies that did not consider individual differences in cognitive ability from youth. Collectively the three studies implicate HC and frontal cortex function behind heterogeneity in cognitive aging, both substantiating and qualifying previous results from cross-sectional studies. More generally, the findings highlight the importance of longitudinal estimates of cognitive change for fully understanding the mechanisms of neurocognitive aging.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2013. 114 p.
Keyword
aging, episodic memory, individual differences, longitudinal assessment, magnetic resonance imaging, hippocampus, frontal cortex
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-93026 (URN)978-91-7447-734-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-10-04, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2013-09-12 Created: 2013-08-28 Last updated: 2013-09-12Bibliographically approved

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Persson, JonasPudas, SaraNilsson, Lars-Göran
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