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  • 1.
    Bellander, Martin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Eschen, Anne
    Lövdén, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Martin, Mike
    Bäckman, Lars
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Brehmer, Yvonne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Germany.
    No Evidence for Improved Associative Memory Performance Following Process-Based Associative Memory Training in Older Adults2017In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 8, article id 326Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Studies attempting to improve episodic memory performance with strategy instructions and training have had limited success in older adults: their training gains are limited in comparison to those of younger adults and do not generalize to untrained tasks and contexts. This limited success has been partly attributed to age-related impairments in associative binding of information into coherent episodes. We therefore investigated potential training and transfer effects of process-based associative memory training (i.e., repeated practice). Thirty-nine older adults (M-age = 68.8) underwent 6 weeks of either adaptive associative memory training or item recognition training. Both groups improved performance in item memory, spatial memory (object-context binding) and reasoning. A disproportionate effect of associative memory training was only observed for item memory, whereas no training-related performance changes were observed for associative memory. Self-reported strategies showed no signs of spontaneous development of memory-enhancing associative memory strategies. Hence, the results do not support the hypothesis that process-based associative memory training leads to higher associative memory performance in older adults.

  • 2. Ebner, Natalie C.
    et al.
    Horta, Marilyn
    Lin, Tian
    Feifel, David
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Cohen, Ronald A.
    Oxytocin modulates meta-mood as a function of age and sex2015In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 7, article id 175Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Attending to and understanding one's own feelings are components of meta mood and constitute important socio-affective skills across the entire lifespan. Growing evidence suggests a modulatory role of the neuropeptide oxytocin on various socio-affective processes. Going beyond previous work that almost exclusively examined young men and perceptions of emotions in others, the current study investigated effects of intranasal oxytocin on meta-mood in young and older men and women. In a double-blind between-group design, participants were randomly assigned to self-administer either intranasal oxytocin or a placebo before responding to items from the Trait Meta Mood Scale (TMMS) about attention to feelings and clarity of feelings. In contrast to older women, oxytocin relative to placebo increased attention to feelings in older men. Oxytocin relative to placebo enhanced meta-mood in young female participants but reduced it in older female participants. This pattern of findings supports an age- and sex-differential modulatory function of the neuropeptide oxytocin on meta-mood, possibly associated with neurobiological differences with age and sex.

  • 3. More, Jamileth
    et al.
    Galusso, Nadia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Neurochemistry.
    Veloso, Pablo
    Montecinos, Luis
    Pablo Finkelstein, José
    Sanchez, Gina
    Bull, Ricardo
    Luis Valdés, Jose
    Hidalgo, Cecilia
    Paula-Lima, Andrea
    N-Acetylcysteine Prevents the Spatial Memory Deficits and the Redox-Dependent RyR2 Decrease Displayed by an Alzheimer's Disease Rat Model2018In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 10, article id 399Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We have previously reported that primary hippocampal neurons exposed to synaptotoxic amyloid beta oligomers (A beta Os), which are likely causative agents of Alzheimer's disease (AD), exhibit abnormal Ca2+ signals, mitochondrial dysfunction and defective structural plasticity. Additionally, A beta Os-exposed neurons exhibit a decrease in the protein content of type-2 ryanodine receptor (RyR2) Ca2+ channels, which exert critical roles in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and spatial memory processes. The antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) prevents these deleterious effects of A beta Os in vitro. The main contribution of the present work is to show that A beta Os injections directly into the hippocampus, by engaging oxidation-mediated reversible pathways significantly decreased RyR2 protein content but increased single RyR2 channel activation by Ca2+ and caused considerable spatial memory deficits. A beta Os injections into the CA3 hippocampal region impaired rat performance in the Oasis maze spatial memory task, decreased hippocampal glutathione levels and overall content of plasticity-related proteins (c-Fos, Arc, and RyR2) and increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation. In contrast, in hippocampus-derived mitochondria-associated membranes (MAM) A beta Os injections increased RyR2 levels. Rats fed with NAC for 3-weeks prior to A beta Os injections displayed comparable redox potential, RyR2 and Arc protein contents, similar ERK1/2 phosphorylation and RyR2 single channel activation by Ca2+ as saline-injected (control) rats. NAC-fed rats subsequently injected with A beta Os displayed the same behavior in the spatial memory task as control rats. Based on the present in vivo results, we propose that redox-sensitive neuronal RyR2 channels partake in the mechanism underlying A beta Os-induced memory disruption in rodents.

  • 4. Müller, Karolina
    et al.
    Edvall, Niklas K.
    Idrizbegovic, Esma
    Huhn, Robert
    Cima, Rilana
    Persson, Viktor
    Leineweber, Constanze
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Westerlund, Hugo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Langguth, Berthold
    Schlee, Winfried
    Canlon, Barbara
    Cederroth, Christopher R.
    Validation of Online Versions of Tinnitus Questionnaires Translated into Swedish2016In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 8, article id 272Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Due to the lack of objective measures for assessing tinnitus, its clinical evaluation largely relies on the use of questionnaires and psychoacoustic tests. A global assessment of tinnitus burden would largely benefit from holistic approaches that not only incorporate measures of tinnitus but also take into account associated fears, emotional aspects (stress, anxiety, and depression), and quality of life. In Sweden, only a few instruments are available for assessing tinnitus, and the existing tools lack validation. Therefore, we translated a set of questionnaires into Swedish and evaluated their reliability and validity in a group of tinnitus subjects. Methods: We translated the English versions of the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI), the Fear of Tinnitus Questionnaire (FTQ), the Tinnitus Catastrophizing Scale (TCS), the Perceived Stress Questionnaire (PSQ-30), and the Tinnitus Sample Case History Questionnaire (TSCHQ) into Swedish. These translations were delivered via the internet with the already existing Swedish versions of the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Hyperacusis Questionnaire (HQ), and the World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire (WHOQoL-BREF). Psychometric properties were evaluated by means of internal consistency [Cronbach's alpha (α)] and test-retest reliability across a 9-week interval [Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC), Cohen's kappa] in order to establish construct as well as clinical validity using a sample of 260 subjects from a population-based cohort. Results: Internal consistency was acceptable for all questionnaires (α > 0.7) with the exception of the "social relationships" subscale of the WHOQoL-BREF. Test-retest reliability was generally acceptable (ICC > 0.70, Cohens kappa > 0.60) for the tinnitus-related questionnaires, except for the TFI "sense of control" subscale and 15 items of the TSCHQ. Spearmen rank correlations showed that almost all questionnaires on tinnitus are significantly related, indicating that these questionnaires measure different aspects of the same construct. The data supported good clinical validity of the tinnitus-related questionnaires. Conclusion: Our results suggest that most Swedish adaptations of the questionnaires are suitable for clinical and research settings and should facilitate the assessment of treatment outcomes using a more holistic approach by including measures of tinnitus fears, emotional burden, and quality of life.

  • 5.
    Nilsson, Jonna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lebedev, Alexander V.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lövdén, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    No Significant Effect of Prefrontal tDCS on Working Memory Performance in Older Adults2015In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 7, article id 230Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been put forward as a non pharmacological alternative for alleviating cognitive decline in old age. Although results have shown some promise, little is known about the optimal stimulation parameters for modulation in the cognitive domain. In this study, the effects of tDCS over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dIPFC) on working memory performance were investigated in thirty older adults. An N-back task assessed working memory before, during and after anodal tDCS at a current strength of 1 mA and 2 mA, in addition to sham stimulation. The study used a single-blind, cross-over design. The results revealed no significant effect of tDCS on accuracy or response times during or after stimulation, for any of the current strengths. These results suggest that a single session of tDCS over the dIPFC is unlikely to improve working memory, as assessed by an N-back task, in old age.

  • 6.
    Persson, Ninni
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Lavebratt, Catharina
    Sundström, Anna
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Pulse Pressure magnifies the effect of COMT Val158Met on 15 Year Episodic Memory Trajectories2016In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 8, article id 34Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigated whether a physiological marker of cardiovascular health, pulse pressure (PP), and age magnified the effect of the functional COMT Val158Met (rs4680) polymorphism on 15-years cognitive trajectories [episodic memory (EM), visuospatial ability, and semantic memory] using data from 1585 non-demented adults from the Betula study. A multiple-group latent growth curve model was specified to gauge individual differences in change, and average trends therein. The allelic variants showed negligible differences across the cognitive markers in average trends. The older portion of the sample selectively age-magnified the effects of Val158Met on EM changes, resulting in greater decline in Val compared to homozygote Met carriers. This effect was attenuated by statistical control for PP. Further, PP moderated the effects of COMT on 15-years EM trajectories, resulting in greater decline in Val carriers, even after accounting for the confounding effects of sex, education, cardiovascular diseases (diabetes, stroke, and hypertension), and chronological age, controlled for practice gains. The effect was still present after excluding individuals with a history of cardiovascular diseases. The effects of cognitive change were not moderated by any other covariates. This report underscores the importance of addressing synergistic effects in normal cognitive aging, as the addition thereof may place healthy individuals at greater risk for memory decline.

  • 7. Schmiedek, Florian
    et al.
    Lövdén, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lindenberger, Ulman
    Hundred Days of Cognitive Training Enhance Broad Cognitive Abilities in Adulthood: Findings from the COGITO Study2010In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 2, p. 1-10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We examined whether positive transfer of cognitive training, which so far has been observed for individual tests only, also generalizes to cognitive abilities, thereby carrying greater promise for improving everyday intellectual competence in adulthood and old age. In the COGITO Study, 101 younger and 103 older adults practiced six tests of perceptual speed (PS), three tests of working memory (WM), and three tests of episodic memory (EM) for over 100 daily 1-h sessions. Transfer assessment included multiple tests of PS, WM, EM, and reasoning. In both age groups, reliable positive transfer was found not only for individual tests but also for cognitive abilities, represented as latent factors. Furthermore, the pattern of correlations between latent change factors of practiced and latent change factors of transfer tasks indicates systematic relations at the level of broad abilities, making the interpretation of effects as resulting from unspecific increases in motivation or self-concept less likely.

  • 8.
    Szymkowicz, Sarah M.
    et al.
    University of Florida.
    Persson, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lin, Tian
    University of Florida.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Ebner, Natalie C.
    University of Florida.
    Hippocampal Brain Volume Is Associated with Faster Facial Emotion Identification in Older Adults: Preliminary Results2016In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 8, article id 203Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Quick correct identification of facial emotions is highly relevant for successful social interactions. Research suggests that older, compared to young, adults experience increased difficulty with face and emotion processing skills. While functional neuroimaging studies suggest age differences in neural processing of faces and emotions, evidence about age-associated structural brain changes and their involvement in face and emotion processing is scarce. Using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), this study investigated the extent to which volumes of frontal and temporal brain structures were related to reaction time in accurate identification of facial emotions in 30 young and 30 older adults. Volumetric segmentation was performed using FreeSurfer and gray matter volumes from frontal and temporal regions were extracted. Analysis of covariances (ANCOVAs) models with response time (RT) as the dependent variable and age group and regional volume, and their interaction, as independent variables were conducted, controlling for total intracranial volume (ICV). Results indicated that, in older adults, larger hippocampal volumes were associated with faster correct facial emotion identification. These preliminary observations suggest that greater volume in brain regions associated with face and emotion processing contributes to improved facial emotion identification performance in aging.

  • 9. Wang, Yongxiang
    et al.
    Du, Yifeng
    Li, Juan
    Qiu, Chengxuan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Shandong University, China.
    Lifespan Intellectual Factors, Genetic Susceptibility, and Cognitive Phenotypes in Aging: Implications for Interventions2019In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 11, article id 129Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Along with rapid global population aging, the age-related cognitive disorders such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia have posed a serious threat to public health, health care system, and sustainable economic and societal development of all countries. In this narrative review, we seek to summarize the major epidemiological studies from the life-course perspective that investigate the influence of genetic susceptibility [e.g., apolipoprotein (APOE) epsilon 4 allele] and intellectual or psychosocial factors (e.g., educational attainments and leisure activities) as well as their interactions on cognitive phenotypes in aging. Numerous population-based studies have suggested that early-life educational attainments and socioeconomic status, midlife work complexity and social engagements, late-life leisure activities (social, physical, and mentally-stimulating activities), certain personality traits (e.g., high neuroticism and low conscientiousness), and depression significantly affect late-life cognitive phenotypes. Furthermore, certain intellectual or psychosocial factors (e. g., leisure activities and depression) may interact with genetic susceptibility (e.g., APOE epsilon 4 allele) to affect the phenotypes of cognitive aging such that risk or beneficial effects of these factors on cognitive function may vary by carrying the susceptibility genes. Current evidence from the randomized controlled trials that support the cognitive benefits of cognitive training among cognitive healthy older adults remains limited. The cognitive reserve hypothesis has been proposed to partly explain the beneficial effects of lifetime intellectual and psychosocial factors on late-life cognitive function. This implies that, from a life-course perspective, preventive intervention strategies targeting multiple modifiable intellectual and psychosocial factors could interfere with clinical expression of cognitive disorders in old age and delay the onset of dementia syndrome, and thus, may help achieve healthy brain aging.

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