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Age-related Decline in White Matter Tract Integrity and Cognitive Performance: A DTI Tractography and Structural Equation Modeling Study

Institution:
1Geriatric Mental Health Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
2Department of Neuroscience, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
3Cognitive Neurology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
4Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Publisher:
Elsevier Science
Publication Date:
Jan-2012
Journal:
Neurobiol Aging
Volume Number:
33
Issue Number:
1
Pages:
21-34
Citation:
Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Jan;33(1):21-34.
PubMed ID:
20363050
PMCID:
PMC2945445
Keywords:
Aging, Anisotropy, Cognition, Diffusion tensor imaging, White matter
Appears in Collections:
NA-MIC, PNL, SLICER
Sponsors:
P50 MH008272/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
K05 MH070047/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 MH050740/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 MH074794/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
U54 EB005149/EB/NIBIB NIH HHS/United States
U54 GM072977/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS/United States
Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Canada
Generated Citation:
Voineskos A.N., Rajji T.K., Lobaugh N.J., Miranda D., Shenton M.E., Kennedy J.L., Pollock B.G., Mulsant B.H. Age-related Decline in White Matter Tract Integrity and Cognitive Performance: A DTI Tractography and Structural Equation Modeling Study. Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Jan;33(1):21-34. PMID: 20363050. PMCID: PMC2945445.
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Age-related decline in microstructural integrity of certain white matter tracts may explain cognitive decline associated with normal aging. Whole brain tractography and a clustering segmentation in 48 healthy individuals across the adult lifespan were used to examine: interhemispheric (corpus callosum), intrahemispheric association (cingulum, uncinate, arcuate, inferior longitudinal, inferior occipitofrontal), and projection (corticospinal) fibers. Principal components analysis reduced cognitive tests into 6 meaningful factors: (1) memory and executive function; (2) visuomotor dexterity; (3) motor speed; (4) attention and working memory; (5) set-shifting/flexibility; and (6) visuospatial construction. Using theory-based structural equation modeling, relationships among age, white matter tract integrity, and cognitive performance were investigated. Parsimonious model fit demonstrated relationships where decline in white matter integrity may explain age-related decline in cognitive performance: inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) with visuomotor dexterity; the inferior occipitofrontal fasciculus with visuospatial construction; and posterior fibers (i.e., splenium) of the corpus callosum with memory and executive function. Our findings suggest that decline in the microstructural integrity of white matter fibers can account for cognitive decline in normal aging.

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