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Generalizing Longitudinal Age Effects on Brain Structure - A Two-Study Comparison Approach


Jockwitz, Christiane; Mérillat, Susan; Liem, Franziskus; Oschwald, Jessica; Amunts, Katrin; Jäncke, Lutz; Caspers, Svenja (2021). Generalizing Longitudinal Age Effects on Brain Structure - A Two-Study Comparison Approach. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 15:635687.

Abstract

Cross-sectional studies indicate that normal aging is accompanied by decreases in brain structure. Longitudinal studies, however, are relatively rare and inconsistent regarding their outcomes. Particularly the heterogeneity of methods, sample characteristics and the high inter-individual variability in older adults prevent the deduction of general trends. Therefore, the current study aimed to compare longitudinal age-related changes in brain structure (measured through cortical thickness) in two large independent samples of healthy older adults (n = 161 each); the Longitudinal Healthy Aging Brain (LHAB) database project at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and 1000BRAINS at the Research Center Juelich, Germany. Annual percentage changes in the two samples revealed stable to slight decreases in cortical thickness over time. After correction for major covariates, i.e., baseline age, sex, education, and image quality, sample differences were only marginally present. Results suggest that general trends across time might be generalizable over independent samples, assuming the same methodology is used, and similar sample characteristics are present.

Abstract

Cross-sectional studies indicate that normal aging is accompanied by decreases in brain structure. Longitudinal studies, however, are relatively rare and inconsistent regarding their outcomes. Particularly the heterogeneity of methods, sample characteristics and the high inter-individual variability in older adults prevent the deduction of general trends. Therefore, the current study aimed to compare longitudinal age-related changes in brain structure (measured through cortical thickness) in two large independent samples of healthy older adults (n = 161 each); the Longitudinal Healthy Aging Brain (LHAB) database project at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and 1000BRAINS at the Research Center Juelich, Germany. Annual percentage changes in the two samples revealed stable to slight decreases in cortical thickness over time. After correction for major covariates, i.e., baseline age, sex, education, and image quality, sample differences were only marginally present. Results suggest that general trends across time might be generalizable over independent samples, assuming the same methodology is used, and similar sample characteristics are present.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Life Sciences > Neurology
Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Life Sciences > Behavioral Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:2021
Deposited On:18 May 2021 12:58
Last Modified:01 Jul 2021 18:11
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1662-5161
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2021.635687
PubMed ID:33935669

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