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Widespread age-related differences in the human brain microstructure revealed by quantitative magnetic resonance imaging


Callaghan, Martina F; Freund, Patrick; Draganski, Bogdan; Anderson, Elaine; Cappelletti, Marinella; Chowdhury, Rumana; Diedrichsen, Joern; Fitzgerald, Thomas H B; Smittenaar, Peter; Helms, Gunther; Lutti, Antoine; Weiskopf, Nikolaus (2014). Widespread age-related differences in the human brain microstructure revealed by quantitative magnetic resonance imaging. Neurobiology of Aging, 35(8):1862-1872.

Abstract

A pressing need exists to disentangle age-related changes from pathologic neurodegeneration. This study aims to characterize the spatial pattern and age-related differences of biologically relevant measures in vivo over the course of normal aging. Quantitative multiparameter maps that provide neuroimaging biomarkers for myelination and iron levels, parameters sensitive to aging, were acquired from 138 healthy volunteers (age range: 19-75 years). Whole-brain voxel-wise analysis revealed a global pattern of age-related degeneration. Significant demyelination occurred principally in the white matter. The observed age-related differences in myelination were anatomically specific. In line with invasive histologic reports, higher age-related differences were seen in the genu of the corpus callosum than the splenium. Iron levels were significantly increased in the basal ganglia, red nucleus, and extensive cortical regions but decreased along the superior occipitofrontal fascicle and optic radiation. This whole-brain pattern of age-associated microstructural differences in the asymptomatic population provides insight into the neurobiology of aging. The results help build a quantitative baseline from which to examine and draw a dividing line between healthy aging and pathologic neurodegeneration.

Abstract

A pressing need exists to disentangle age-related changes from pathologic neurodegeneration. This study aims to characterize the spatial pattern and age-related differences of biologically relevant measures in vivo over the course of normal aging. Quantitative multiparameter maps that provide neuroimaging biomarkers for myelination and iron levels, parameters sensitive to aging, were acquired from 138 healthy volunteers (age range: 19-75 years). Whole-brain voxel-wise analysis revealed a global pattern of age-related degeneration. Significant demyelination occurred principally in the white matter. The observed age-related differences in myelination were anatomically specific. In line with invasive histologic reports, higher age-related differences were seen in the genu of the corpus callosum than the splenium. Iron levels were significantly increased in the basal ganglia, red nucleus, and extensive cortical regions but decreased along the superior occipitofrontal fascicle and optic radiation. This whole-brain pattern of age-associated microstructural differences in the asymptomatic population provides insight into the neurobiology of aging. The results help build a quantitative baseline from which to examine and draw a dividing line between healthy aging and pathologic neurodegeneration.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:February 2014
Deposited On:14 Apr 2014 15:42
Last Modified:05 Aug 2017 12:34
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0197-4580
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.02.008
PubMed ID:24656835

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