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Sample records for aging brain function

  1. Aging and functional brain networks

    SciTech Connect

    Tomasi D.; Tomasi, D.; Volkow, N.D.

    2011-07-11

    Aging is associated with changes in human brain anatomy and function and cognitive decline. Recent studies suggest the aging decline of major functional connectivity hubs in the 'default-mode' network (DMN). Aging effects on other networks, however, are largely unknown. We hypothesized that aging would be associated with a decline of short- and long-range functional connectivity density (FCD) hubs in the DMN. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated resting-state data sets corresponding to 913 healthy subjects from a public magnetic resonance imaging database using functional connectivity density mapping (FCDM), a voxelwise and data-driven approach, together with parallel computing. Aging was associated with pronounced long-range FCD decreases in DMN and dorsal attention network (DAN) and with increases in somatosensory and subcortical networks. Aging effects in these networks were stronger for long-range than for short-range FCD and were also detected at the level of the main functional hubs. Females had higher short- and long-range FCD in DMN and lower FCD in the somatosensory network than males, but the gender by age interaction effects were not significant for any of the networks or hubs. These findings suggest that long-range connections may be more vulnerable to aging effects than short-range connections and that, in addition to the DMN, the DAN is also sensitive to aging effects, which could underlie the deterioration of attention processes that occurs with aging.

  2. Functional interrelationship of brain aging and delirium.

    PubMed

    Rapazzini, Piero

    2016-02-01

    Theories on the development of delirium are complementary rather than competing and they may relate to each other. Here, we highlight that similar alterations in functional brain connectivity underlie both the observed age-related deficits and episodes of delirium. The default mode network (DMN) is a group of brain regions showing a greater level of activity at rest than during attention-based tasks. These regions include the posteromedial-anteromedial cortices and temporoparietal junctions. Evidence suggests that awareness is subserved through higher order neurons associated with the DMN. By using functional MRI disruption of DMN, connectivity and weaker task-induced deactivations of these regions are observed both in age-related cognitive impairment and during episodes of delirium. We can assume that an acute up-regulation of inhibitory tone within the brain acts to further disrupt network connectivity in vulnerable patients, who are predisposed by a reduced baseline connectivity, and triggers the delirium. PMID:25998952

  3. Aging. Aging-induced type I interferon signaling at the choroid plexus negatively affects brain function

    PubMed Central

    Baruch, Kuti; Deczkowska, Aleksandra; David, Eyal; Castellano, Joseph M.; Miller, Omer; Kertser, Alexander; Berkutzki, Tamara; Barnett-Itzhaki, Zohar; Bezalel, Dana; Wyss-Coray, Tony; Amit, Ido; Schwartz, Michal

    2016-01-01

    Age-associated cognitive decline is affected by factors produced inside and outside the brain. We found in aged mice and humans, that the choroid plexus (CP), an epithelial interface between the brain and the circulation, shows a type I interferon (IFN-I)-dependent expression profile, often associated with anti-viral responses. This signature was induced by brain-derived signals present in the cerebrospinal fluid of aged mice. Blocking IFN-I signaling within the brain of cognitively-impaired aged mice, using IFN-I receptor neutralizing antibody, led to partial restoration of cognitive function and hippocampal neurogenesis, and reestablished IFN-II-dependent CP activity, lost in aging. Our data identify an aging-induced IFN-I signature at the CP, and demonstrate its negative influence on brain function, thereby suggesting a potential target for therapeutic intervention for age-related cognitive decline. PMID:25147279

  4. Aging Brain, Aging Mind.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Selkoe, Dennis J.

    1992-01-01

    Discusses the aging process related to physical changes of the human neural structure involved in learning, memory, and reasoning. Presents evidence that indicates such alterations do not necessarily signal the decline in cognitive function. Vignettes provide images of brain structures involved in learning, memory, and reasoning; hippocampal…

  5. Gene Risk Factors for Age-Related Brain Disorders May Affect Immune System Function

    MedlinePlus

    ... for age-related brain disorders may affect immune system function June 17, 2014 Scientists have discovered gene ... factors for age-related neurological disorders to immune system functions, such as inflammation, offers new insights into ...

  6. Age and sex-related changes in rat brain mitochondrial function.

    PubMed

    Guevara, Rocío; Gianotti, Magdalena; Roca, Pilar; Oliver, Jordi

    2011-01-01

    Aging is responsible for the decline in the function of mitochondria and their increase in size and number--adaptive mechanism to restore mitochondrial function. Estrogens increase mitochondrial function, especially in female rats. The aim of this study was to determine the age-related changes in rat brain mitochondrial function focusing on sex differences. Cellular and mitochondrial protein and DNA content, mitochondrial oxidative and phosphorylative function in male and female rat brain from four different age groups (6, 12, 18 and 24 months old) were analyzed. Mitochondria protein/DNA content decreased with aging shifting toward lesser mitochondrial functional capacity and the mitochondria number increased. A sex dimorphism was determined, with female rat brain showing mitochondria with greater functional capacity than males. These sex differences gradually increased during aging. PMID:21471708

  7. Brain plasticity and functional losses in the aged: scientific bases for a novel intervention.

    PubMed

    Mahncke, Henry W; Bronstone, Amy; Merzenich, Michael M

    2006-01-01

    Aging is associated with progressive losses in function across multiple systems, including sensation, cognition, memory, motor control, and affect. The traditional view has been that functional decline in aging is unavoidable because it is a direct consequence of brain machinery wearing down over time. In recent years, an alternative perspective has emerged, which elaborates on this traditional view of age-related functional decline. This new viewpoint--based upon decades of research in neuroscience, experimental psychology, and other related fields--argues that as people age, brain plasticity processes with negative consequences begin to dominate brain functioning. Four core factors--reduced schedules of brain activity, noisy processing, weakened neuromodulatory control, and negative learning--interact to create a self-reinforcing downward spiral of degraded brain function in older adults. This downward spiral might begin from reduced brain activity due to behavioral change, from a loss in brain function driven by aging brain machinery, or more likely from both. In aggregate, these interrelated factors promote plastic changes in the brain that result in age-related functional decline. This new viewpoint on the root causes of functional decline immediately suggests a remedial approach. Studies of adult brain plasticity have shown that substantial improvement in function and/or recovery from losses in sensation, cognition, memory, motor control, and affect should be possible, using appropriately designed behavioral training paradigms. Driving brain plasticity with positive outcomes requires engaging older adults in demanding sensory, cognitive, and motor activities on an intensive basis, in a behavioral context designed to re-engage and strengthen the neuromodulatory systems that control learning in adults, with the goal of increasing the fidelity, reliability, and power of cortical representations. Such a training program would serve a substantial unmet need in

  8. Fluid intelligence and brain functional organization in aging yoga and meditation practitioners

    PubMed Central

    Gard, Tim; Taquet, Maxime; Dixit, Rohan; Hölzel, Britta K.; de Montjoye, Yves-Alexandre; Brach, Narayan; Salat, David H.; Dickerson, Bradford C.; Gray, Jeremy R.; Lazar, Sara W.

    2014-01-01

    Numerous studies have documented the normal age-related decline of neural structure, function, and cognitive performance. Preliminary evidence suggests that meditation may reduce decline in specific cognitive domains and in brain structure. Here we extended this research by investigating the relation between age and fluid intelligence and resting state brain functional network architecture using graph theory, in middle-aged yoga and meditation practitioners, and matched controls. Fluid intelligence declined slower in yoga practitioners and meditators combined than in controls. Resting state functional networks of yoga practitioners and meditators combined were more integrated and more resilient to damage than those of controls. Furthermore, mindfulness was positively correlated with fluid intelligence, resilience, and global network efficiency. These findings reveal the possibility to increase resilience and to slow the decline of fluid intelligence and brain functional architecture and suggest that mindfulness plays a mechanistic role in this preservation. PMID:24795629

  9. Structural architecture supports functional organization in the human aging brain at a regionwise and network level.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Joelle; Ritter, Petra; Shen, Kelly; Rothmeier, Simon; Schirner, Michael; McIntosh, Anthony R

    2016-07-01

    Functional interactions in the brain are constrained by the underlying anatomical architecture, and structural and functional networks share network features such as modularity. Accordingly, age-related changes of structural connectivity (SC) may be paralleled by changes in functional connectivity (FC). We provide a detailed qualitative and quantitative characterization of the SC-FC coupling in human aging as inferred from resting-state blood oxygen-level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion-weighted imaging in a sample of 47 adults with an age range of 18-82. We revealed that SC and FC decrease with age across most parts of the brain and there is a distinct age-dependency of regionwise SC-FC coupling and network-level SC-FC relations. A specific pattern of SC-FC coupling predicts age more reliably than does regionwise SC or FC alone (r = 0.73, 95% CI = [0.7093, 0.8522]). Hence, our data propose that regionwise SC-FC coupling can be used to characterize brain changes in aging. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2645-2661, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27041212

  10. Motor Control and Aging: Links to Age-Related Brain Structural, Functional, and Biochemical Effects

    PubMed Central

    Seidler, Rachael D.; Bernard, Jessica A.; Burutolu, Taritonye B.; Fling, Brett W.; Gordon, Mark T.; Gwin, Joseph T.; Kwak, Youngbin; Lipps, David B.

    2009-01-01

    Although connections between cognitive deficits and age-associated brain differences have been elucidated, relationships with motor performance are less well understood. Here, we broadly review age-related brain differences and motor deficits in older adults in addition to cognition-action theories. Age-related atrophy of the motor cortical regions and corpus callosum may precipitate or coincide with motor declines such as balance and gait deficits, coordination deficits, and movement slowing. Correspondingly, degeneration of neurotransmitter systems—primarily the dopaminergic system—may contribute to age-related gross and fine motor declines, as well as to higher cognitive deficits. In general, older adults exhibit involvement of more widespread brain regions for motor control than young adults, particularly the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia networks. Unfortunately these same regions are the most vulnerable to age-related effects, resulting in an imbalance of “supply and demand”. Existing exercise, pharmaceutical, and motor training interventions may ameliorate motor deficits in older adults. PMID:19850077

  11. A Novel Brain Network Construction Method for Exploring Age-Related Functional Reorganization.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Wang, Miao; Li, Yapeng; Huang, Yue; Chen, Xi

    2016-01-01

    The human brain undergoes complex reorganization and changes during aging. Using graph theory, scientists can find differences in topological properties of functional brain networks between young and elderly adults. However, these differences are sometimes significant and sometimes not. Several studies have even identified disparate differences in topological properties during normal aging or in age-related diseases. One possible reason for this issue is that existing brain network construction methods cannot fully extract the "intrinsic edges" to prevent useful signals from being buried into noises. This paper proposes a new subnetwork voting (SNV) method with sliding window to construct functional brain networks for young and elderly adults. Differences in the topological properties of brain networks constructed from the classic and SNV methods were consistent. Statistical analysis showed that the SNV method can identify much more statistically significant differences between groups than the classic method. Moreover, support vector machine was utilized to classify young and elderly adults; its accuracy, based on the SNV method, reached 89.3%, significantly higher than that with classic method. Therefore, the SNV method can improve consistency within a group and highlight differences between groups, which can be valuable for the exploration and auxiliary diagnosis of aging and age-related diseases. PMID:27057155

  12. A Novel Brain Network Construction Method for Exploring Age-Related Functional Reorganization

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wei; Wang, Miao; Li, Yapeng; Huang, Yue; Chen, Xi

    2016-01-01

    The human brain undergoes complex reorganization and changes during aging. Using graph theory, scientists can find differences in topological properties of functional brain networks between young and elderly adults. However, these differences are sometimes significant and sometimes not. Several studies have even identified disparate differences in topological properties during normal aging or in age-related diseases. One possible reason for this issue is that existing brain network construction methods cannot fully extract the “intrinsic edges” to prevent useful signals from being buried into noises. This paper proposes a new subnetwork voting (SNV) method with sliding window to construct functional brain networks for young and elderly adults. Differences in the topological properties of brain networks constructed from the classic and SNV methods were consistent. Statistical analysis showed that the SNV method can identify much more statistically significant differences between groups than the classic method. Moreover, support vector machine was utilized to classify young and elderly adults; its accuracy, based on the SNV method, reached 89.3%, significantly higher than that with classic method. Therefore, the SNV method can improve consistency within a group and highlight differences between groups, which can be valuable for the exploration and auxiliary diagnosis of aging and age-related diseases. PMID:27057155

  13. Functional Brain Connectivity using fMRI in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Emily L.; Thompson, Paul M.

    2014-01-01

    Normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease cause profound changes in the brain’s structure and function. AD in particular is accompanied by widespread cortical neuronal loss, and loss of connections between brain systems. This degeneration of neural pathways disrupts the functional coherence of brain activation. Recent innovations in brain imaging have detected characteristic disruptions in functional networks. Here we review studies examining changes in functional connectivity, measured through fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), starting with healthy aging and then Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We cover studies that employ the three primary methods to analyze functional connectivity – seed-based, ICA (independent components analysis), and graph theory. At the end we include a brief discussion of other methodologies, such as EEG (electroencephalography), MEG (magnetoencephalography), and PET (positron emission tomography). We also describe multi-modal studies that combine rsfMRI (resting state fMRI) with PET imaging, as well as studies examining the effects of medications. Overall, connectivity and network integrity appear to decrease in healthy aging, but this decrease is accelerated in AD, with specific systems hit hardest, such as the default mode network (DMN). Functional connectivity is a relatively new topic of research, but it holds great promise in revealing how brain network dynamics change across the lifespan and in disease. PMID:24562737

  14. Aging Effects on Whole-Brain Functional Connectivity in Adults Free of Cognitive and Psychiatric Disorders.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Luiz Kobuti; Regina, Ana Carolina Brocanello; Kovacevic, Natasa; Martin, Maria da Graça Morais; Santos, Pedro Paim; Carneiro, Camila de Godoi; Kerr, Daniel Shikanai; Amaro, Edson; McIntosh, Anthony Randal; Busatto, Geraldo F

    2016-09-01

    Aging is associated with decreased resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) within the default mode network (DMN), but most functional imaging studies have restricted the analysis to specific brain regions or networks, a strategy not appropriate to describe system-wide changes. Moreover, few investigations have employed operational psychiatric interviewing procedures to select participants; this is an important limitation since mental disorders are prevalent and underdiagnosed and can be associated with RSFC abnormalities. In this study, resting-state fMRI was acquired from 59 adults free of cognitive and psychiatric disorders according to standardized criteria and based on extensive neuropsychological and clinical assessments. We tested for associations between age and whole-brain RSFC using Partial Least Squares, a multivariate technique. We found that normal aging is not only characterized by decreased RSFC within the DMN but also by ubiquitous increases in internetwork positive correlations and focal internetwork losses of anticorrelations (involving mainly connections between the DMN and the attentional networks). Our results reinforce the notion that the aging brain undergoes a dedifferentiation processes with loss of functional diversity. These findings advance the characterization of healthy aging effects on RSFC and highlight the importance of adopting a broad, system-wide perspective to analyze brain connectivity. PMID:26315689

  15. Structural and functional rejuvenation of the aged brain by an approved anti-asthmatic drug

    PubMed Central

    Marschallinger, Julia; Schäffner, Iris; Klein, Barbara; Gelfert, Renate; Rivera, Francisco J.; Illes, Sebastian; Grassner, Lukas; Janssen, Maximilian; Rotheneichner, Peter; Schmuckermair, Claudia; Coras, Roland; Boccazzi, Marta; Chishty, Mansoor; Lagler, Florian B.; Renic, Marija; Bauer, Hans-Christian; Singewald, Nicolas; Blümcke, Ingmar; Bogdahn, Ulrich; Couillard-Despres, Sebastien; Lie, D. Chichung; Abbracchio, Maria P.; Aigner, Ludwig

    2015-01-01

    As human life expectancy has improved rapidly in industrialized societies, age-related cognitive impairment presents an increasing challenge. Targeting histopathological processes that correlate with age-related cognitive declines, such as neuroinflammation, low levels of neurogenesis, disrupted blood–brain barrier and altered neuronal activity, might lead to structural and functional rejuvenation of the aged brain. Here we show that a 6-week treatment of young (4 months) and old (20 months) rats with montelukast, a marketed anti-asthmatic drug antagonizing leukotriene receptors, reduces neuroinflammation, elevates hippocampal neurogenesis and improves learning and memory in old animals. By using gene knockdown and knockout approaches, we demonstrate that the effect is mediated through inhibition of the GPR17 receptor. This work illustrates that inhibition of leukotriene receptor signalling might represent a safe and druggable target to restore cognitive functions in old individuals and paves the way for future clinical translation of leukotriene receptor inhibition for the treatment of dementias. PMID:26506265

  16. Structural and functional rejuvenation of the aged brain by an approved anti-asthmatic drug.

    PubMed

    Marschallinger, Julia; Schäffner, Iris; Klein, Barbara; Gelfert, Renate; Rivera, Francisco J; Illes, Sebastian; Grassner, Lukas; Janssen, Maximilian; Rotheneichner, Peter; Schmuckermair, Claudia; Coras, Roland; Boccazzi, Marta; Chishty, Mansoor; Lagler, Florian B; Renic, Marija; Bauer, Hans-Christian; Singewald, Nicolas; Blümcke, Ingmar; Bogdahn, Ulrich; Couillard-Despres, Sebastien; Lie, D Chichung; Abbracchio, Maria P; Aigner, Ludwig

    2015-01-01

    As human life expectancy has improved rapidly in industrialized societies, age-related cognitive impairment presents an increasing challenge. Targeting histopathological processes that correlate with age-related cognitive declines, such as neuroinflammation, low levels of neurogenesis, disrupted blood-brain barrier and altered neuronal activity, might lead to structural and functional rejuvenation of the aged brain. Here we show that a 6-week treatment of young (4 months) and old (20 months) rats with montelukast, a marketed anti-asthmatic drug antagonizing leukotriene receptors, reduces neuroinflammation, elevates hippocampal neurogenesis and improves learning and memory in old animals. By using gene knockdown and knockout approaches, we demonstrate that the effect is mediated through inhibition of the GPR17 receptor. This work illustrates that inhibition of leukotriene receptor signalling might represent a safe and druggable target to restore cognitive functions in old individuals and paves the way for future clinical translation of leukotriene receptor inhibition for the treatment of dementias. PMID:26506265

  17. FTO Genotype and Aging: Pleiotropic Longitudinal Effects on Adiposity, Brain function, Impulsivity and Diet

    PubMed Central

    Chuang, Yi-Fang; Tanaka, Toshiko; Beason-Held, Lori L.; An, Yang; Terracciano, Antonio; Sutin, Angelina R.; Kraut, Michael; Singleton, Andrew B.; Resnick, Susan M.; Thambisetty, Madhav

    2014-01-01

    While overweight and obesity are associated with poor health outcomes in the elderly, the biological bases of obesity-related behaviors during aging are poorly understood. Common variants in the FTO gene are associated with adiposity in children and younger adults as well as with adverse mental health in older individuals. However, it is unclear whether FTO influences longitudinal trajectories of adiposity and other intermediate phenotypes relevant to mental health during aging. We examined whether a commonly carried obesity risk variant in the FTO gene (rs1421085 single nucleotide polymorphism) influences adiposity and is associated with changes in brain function in participants within the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), one of the longest-running longitudinal aging studies in the United States. Our results show that obesity-related risk allele carriers of FTO gene show dose-dependent increments in body mass index during aging. Moreover, the obesity-related risk allele is associated with reduced medial prefrontal cortical function during aging. Consistent with reduced brain function in regions intrinsic to impulse control and taste responsiveness, risk allele carriers of FTO exhibit dose-dependent increments in both impulsivity and intake of fatty foods. We propose that a common neural mechanism may underlie obesity-associated impulsivity and increased consumption of high calorie foods during aging. PMID:24863145

  18. Effects of brain amyloid deposition and reduced glucose metabolism on the default mode of brain function in normal aging.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, Mitsuru; Hirosawa, Tetsu; Yokokura, Masamichi; Yagi, Shunsuke; Mori, Norio; Yoshikawa, Etsuji; Yoshihara, Yujiro; Sugihara, Genichi; Takebayashi, Kiyokazu; Iwata, Yasuhide; Suzuki, Katsuaki; Nakamura, Kazuhiko; Ueki, Takatoshi; Minabe, Yoshio; Ouchi, Yasuomi

    2011-08-01

    Brain β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition during normal aging is highlighted as an initial pathogenetic event in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Many recent brain imaging studies have focused on areas deactivated during cognitive tasks [the default mode network (DMN), i.e., medial frontal gyrus/anterior cingulate cortex and precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex], where the strength of functional coordination was more or less affected by cerebral Aβ deposits. In the present positron emission tomography study, to investigate whether regional glucose metabolic alterations and Aβ deposits seen in nondemented elderly human subjects (n = 22) are of pathophysiological importance in changes of brain hemodynamic coordination in DMN during normal aging, we measured cerebral glucose metabolism with [(18)F]FDG, Aβ deposits with [(11)C]PIB, and regional cerebral blood flow during control and working memory tasks by H(2)(15)O on the same day. Data were analyzed using both region of interest and statistical parametric mapping. Our results indicated that the amount of Aβ deposits was negatively correlated with hemodynamic similarity between medial frontal and medial posterior regions, and the lower similarity was associated with poorer working memory performance. In contrast, brain glucose metabolism was not related to this medial hemodynamic similarity. These findings suggest that traceable Aβ deposition, but not glucose hypometabolism, in the brain plays an important role in occurrence of neuronal discoordination in DMN along with poor working memory in healthy elderly people. PMID:21813680

  19. Financial Literacy is Associated with Medial Brain Region Functional Connectivity in Old Age

    PubMed Central

    Han, S. Duke; Boyle, Patricia A.; Yu, Lei; Fleischman, Debra A.; Arfanakis, Konstantinos; Leurgans, Sue; Bennett, David A.

    2014-01-01

    Financial literacy refers to the ability to access and utilize financial information in ways that promote better outcomes. In old age, financial literacy has been associated with a wide range of positive characteristics; however, the neural correlates remain unclear. Recent work has suggested greater co-activity between anterior-posterior medial brain regions is associated with better brain functioning. We hypothesized financial literacy would be associated with this pattern. We assessed whole-brain functional connectivity to a posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) seed region of interest in 138 participants of the Rush Memory and Aging Project. Results revealed financial literacy was associated with greater functional connectivity between the PCC and three regions: the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), the left postcentral gyrus, and the right precuneus. Results also revealed financial literacy was associated negatively with functional connectivity between the PCC and left caudate. Post-hoc analyses showed the PCC-vmPFC relationship accounted for the most variance in a regression model adjusted for all four significant functional connectivity relationships, demographic factors, and global cognition. These findings provide information on the neural mechanisms associated with financial literacy in old age. PMID:24893911

  20. Gut Microbiota: A Modulator of Brain Plasticity and Cognitive Function in Ageing

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Katherine; Thuret, Sandrine

    2015-01-01

    Gut microbiota have recently been a topic of great interest in the field of microbiology, particularly their role in normal physiology and its influence on human health in disease. A large body of research has supported the presence of a pathway of communication between the gut and the brain, modulated by gut microbiota, giving rise to the term “microbiota-gut-brain” axis. It is now thought that, through this pathway, microbiota can affect behaviour and modulate brain plasticity and cognitive function in ageing. This review summarizes the evidence supporting the existence of such a connection and possible mechanisms of action whereby microbiota can influence the function of the central nervous system. Since normalisation of gut flora has been shown to prevent changes in behaviour, we further postulate on possible therapeutic targets to intervene with cognitive decline in ageing. The research poses various limitations, for example uncertainty about how this data translates to broad human populations. Nonetheless, the microbiota-gut-brain axis is an exciting field worthy of further investigation, particularly with regards to its implications on the ageing population. PMID:27417803

  1. Effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor on dopaminergic function and motor behavior during aging

    PubMed Central

    Boger, Heather A.; Mannangatti, Padmanabhan; Samuvel, Devadoss J.; Saylor, Alicia J.; Bender, Tara S.; McGinty, Jacqueline F.; Fortress, Ashley M.; Zaman, Vandana; Huang, Peng; Middaugh, Lawrence D.; Randall, Patrick K.; Jayanthi, Lankupalle D.; Rohrer, Baerbel; Helke, Kristi L.; Granholm, Ann-Charlotte; Ramamoorthy, Sammanda

    2010-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is critical in synaptic plasticity and in the survival and function of midbrain dopamine neurons. In the present study, we assessed the effects of a partial genetic deletion of BDNF on motor function and dopamine (DA) neurotransmitter measures by comparing (Bdnf+/−) with wildtype mice (WT) at different ages. Bdnf+/ and WT mice had similar body weights until 12 months of age; however, at 21 months, Bdnf+/− mice were significantly heavier than WT mice. Horizontal and vertical motor activity was reduced for Bdnf+/− compared to WT mice; but was not influenced by Age. Performance on an accelerating rotarod declined with age for both genotypes and was exacerbated for Bdnf+/− mice. Body weight did not correlate with any of the three behavioral measures studied. DA neurotransmitter markers indicated no genotypic difference in striatal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine transporter (DAT), or vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) immunoreactivity at any age. However, DA transport via DAT (starting at 12 months) and VMAT2 (starting at 3 months) as well as KCl-stimulated DA release were reduced in Bdnf+/− mice and declined with age suggesting an increasingly important role for BDNF in the release and uptake of DA with the aging process. These findings suggest that a BDNF expression deficit becomes more critical to dopaminergic dynamics and related behavioral activities with increasing age. PMID:20860702

  2. Where the brain grows old: decline in anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal function with normal aging.

    PubMed

    Pardo, José V; Lee, Joel T; Sheikh, Sohail A; Surerus-Johnson, Christa; Shah, Hemant; Munch, Kristin R; Carlis, John V; Lewis, Scott M; Kuskowski, Michael A; Dysken, Maurice W

    2007-04-15

    Even healthy adults worry about declines in mental efficiency with aging. Subjective changes in mental flexibility, self-regulation, processing speed, and memory are often cited. We show here that focal decreases in brain activity occur with normal aging as measured with fluorodeoxyglucose and positron emission tomography. The largest declines localize to a medial network including the anterior cingulate/medial prefrontal cortex, dorsomedial thalamus, and sugenual cingulate/basal forebrain. Declining metabolism in this network correlates with declining cognitive function. The medial prefrontal metabolic changes with aging are similar in magnitude to the hypometabolism found in Mild Cognitive Impairment or Alzheimer's disease. These results converge with data from healthy elderly indicating dysfunction in the anterior attention system. The interaction of attention in the anterior cingulate cortex with memory in the medial temporal lobe may explain the global impairment that defines dementia. Despite the implications for an aging population, the neurophysiologic mechanisms of these metabolic decreases remain unknown. PMID:17321756

  3. Age-related changes in modular organization of human brain functional networks.

    PubMed

    Meunier, David; Achard, Sophie; Morcom, Alexa; Bullmore, Ed

    2009-02-01

    Graph theory allows us to quantify any complex system, e.g., in social sciences, biology or technology, that can be abstractly described as a set of nodes and links. Here we derived human brain functional networks from fMRI measurements of endogenous, low frequency, correlated oscillations in 90 cortical and subcortical regions for two groups of healthy (young and older) participants. We investigated the modular structure of these networks and tested the hypothesis that normal brain aging might be associated with changes in modularity of sparse networks. Newman's modularity metric was maximised and topological roles were assigned to brain regions depending on their specific contributions to intra- and inter-modular connectivity. Both young and older brain networks demonstrated significantly non-random modularity. The young brain network was decomposed into 3 major modules: central and posterior modules, which comprised mainly nodes with few inter-modular connections, and a dorsal fronto-cingulo-parietal module, which comprised mainly nodes with extensive inter-modular connections. The mean network in the older group also included posterior, superior central and dorsal fronto-striato-thalamic modules but the number of intermodular connections to frontal modular regions was significantly reduced, whereas the number of connector nodes in posterior and central modules was increased. PMID:19027073

  4. Revitalizing the aged brain.

    PubMed

    Desai, Abhilash K

    2011-05-01

    Optimal cognitive and emotional function is vital to independence, productivity, and quality of life. Cognitive impairment without dementia may be seen in 16% to 33% of adults older than 65 years, and is associated with significant emotional distress. Cognitive and emotional well-being are inextricably linked. This article qualifies revitalizing the aged brain, discusses neuroplasticity, and suggests practical neuroplasticity-based strategies to improve the cognitive and emotional well-being of older adults. PMID:21549872

  5. The relationship of brain structure to age and executive functioning in adolescent disruptive behavior disorder.

    PubMed

    Hummer, Tom A; Wang, Yang; Kronenberger, William G; Dunn, David W; Mathews, Vincent P

    2015-03-30

    Characterizing brain maturation in adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs) may provide insight into the progression of their behavioral deficits. Therefore, this study examined how age and executive functioning were related to structural neural characteristics in DBD. Thirty-three individuals (aged 13-17) with a DBD, along with a matched control sample, completed neuropsychological testing and underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure gray matter volume and microstructural white matter properties. Voxel-based morphometry quantified gray matter volume, and diffusion tensor imaging measured fractional anisotropy (FA) in white matter tracts. In the anterior cingulate, gray matter volume decreased with age in healthy controls but showed no such change in the DBD sample. In the corpus callosum and superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), FA increased with age in the control sample significantly more than in the DBD sample. Executive functioning, particularly working memory, was associated with SLF FA bilaterally. However, the relationship of SLF FA to working memory performance was weaker in the DBD sample. These data suggest that youth with DBD have altered brain development compared with typically developing youth. The abnormal maturation of the anterior cingulate and frontoparietal tracts during adolescence may contribute to the persistence of behavioral deficits in teens with a DBD. PMID:25533028

  6. Variability of magnetoencephalographic sensor sensitivity measures as a function of age, brain volume and cortical area

    PubMed Central

    Irimia, Andrei; Erhart, Matthew J.; Brown, Timothy T.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To assess the feasibility and appropriateness of magnetoencephalography (MEG) for both adult and pediatric studies, as well as for the developmental comparison of these factors across a wide range of ages. Methods For 45 subjects with ages from 1 to 24 years (infants, toddlers, school-age children and young adults), lead fields (LFs) of MEG sensors are computed using anatomically realistic boundary element models (BEMs) and individually-reconstructed cortical surfaces. Novel metrics are introduced to quantify MEG sensor focality. Results The variability of MEG focality is graphed as a function of brain volume and cortical area. Statistically significant differences in total cerebral volume, cortical area, MEG global sensitivity and LF focality are found between age groups. Conclusions Because MEG focality and sensitivity differ substantially across the age groups studied, the cortical LF maps explored here can provide important insights for the examination and interpretation of MEG signals from early childhood to young adulthood. Significance This is the first study to (1) investigate the relationship between MEG cortical LFs and brain volume as well as cortical area across development, and (2) compare LFs between subjects with different head sizes using detailed cortical reconstructions. PMID:24589347

  7. Visual Field Function in School-Aged Children with Spastic Unilateral Cerebral Palsy Related to Different Patterns of Brain Damage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacobson, Lena; Rydberg, Agneta; Eliasson, Ann-Christin; Kits, Annika; Flodmark, Olof

    2010-01-01

    Aim: To relate visual field function to brain morphology in children with unilateral cerebral palsy (CP). Method: Visual field function was assessed using the confrontation technique and Goldmann perimetry in 29 children (15 males, 14 females; age range 7-17y, median age 11y) with unilateral CP classified at Gross Motor Function Classification…

  8. Topological Organization of Functional Brain Networks in Healthy Children: Differences in Relation to Age, Sex, and Intelligence

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Kai; Taki, Yasuyuki; Sato, Kazunori; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Sassa, Yuko; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Thyreau, Benjamin; He, Yong; Evans, Alan C.; Li, Xiaobo; Kawashima, Ryuta; Fukuda, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated developmental changes of functional brain networks derived from functional connectivity using graph theoretical analysis, which has been rapidly translated to studies of brain network organization. However, little is known about sex- and IQ-related differences in the topological organization of functional brain networks during development. In this study, resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) was used to map the functional brain networks in 51 healthy children. We then investigated the effects of age, sex, and IQ on economic small-world properties and regional nodal properties of the functional brain networks. At a global level of whole networks, we found significant age-related increases in the small-worldness and local efficiency, significant higher values of the global efficiency in boys compared with girls, and no significant IQ-related difference. Age-related increases in the regional nodal properties were found predominately in the frontal brain regions, whereas the parietal, temporal, and occipital brain regions showed age-related decreases. Significant sex-related differences in the regional nodal properties were found in various brain regions, primarily related to the default mode, language, and vision systems. Positive correlations between IQ and the regional nodal properties were found in several brain regions related to the attention system, whereas negative correlations were found in various brain regions primarily involved in the default mode, emotion, and language systems. Together, our findings of the network topology of the functional brain networks in healthy children and its relationship with age, sex, and IQ bring new insights into the understanding of brain maturation and cognitive development during childhood and adolescence. PMID:23390528

  9. Relationships between brain metabolism decrease in normal aging and changes in structural and functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Chételat, Gaël; Landeau, Brigitte; Salmon, Eric; Yakushev, Igor; Bahri, Mohamed Ali; Mézenge, Florence; Perrotin, Audrey; Bastin, Christine; Manrique, Alain; Scheurich, Armin; Scheckenberger, Mathias; Desgranges, Béatrice; Eustache, Francis; Fellgiebel, Andreas

    2013-08-01

    Normal aging is characterized by brain glucose metabolism decline predominantly in the prefrontal cortex. The goal of the present study was to assess whether this change was associated with age-related alteration of white matter (WM) structural integrity and/or functional connectivity. FDG-PET data from 40 young and 57 elderly healthy participants from two research centers (n=49/48 in Center 1/2) were analyzed. WM volume from T1-weighted MRI (Center 1), fractional anisotropy from diffusion-tensor imaging (Center 2), and resting-state fMRI data (Center 1) were also obtained. Group comparisons were performed within each imaging modality. Then, positive correlations were assessed, within the elderly, between metabolism in the most affected region and the other neuroimaging modalities. Metabolism decline in the elderly predominated in the left inferior frontal junction (LIFJ). LIFJ hypometabolism was significantly associated with macrostructural and microstructural WM disturbances in long association fronto-temporo-occipital fibers, while no relationship was found with functional connectivity. The findings offer new perspectives to understand normal aging processes and open avenues for future studies to explore causality between age-related metabolism and connectivity changes. PMID:23518010

  10. The relevance of aging-related changes in brain function to rehabilitation in aging-related disease

    PubMed Central

    Crosson, Bruce; McGregor, Keith M.; Nocera, Joe R.; Drucker, Jonathan H.; Tran, Stella M.; Butler, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    The effects of aging on rehabilitation of aging-related diseases are rarely a design consideration in rehabilitation research. In this brief review we present strong coincidental evidence from these two fields suggesting that deficits in aging-related disease or injury are compounded by the interaction between aging-related brain changes and disease-related brain changes. Specifically, we hypothesize that some aphasia, motor, and neglect treatments using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in stroke patients may address the aging side of this interaction. The importance of testing this hypothesis and addressing the larger aging by aging-related disease interaction is discussed. Underlying mechanisms in aging that most likely are relevant to rehabilitation of aging-related diseases also are covered. PMID:26074807

  11. Cognitive activity, cognitive function, and brain diffusion characteristics in old age.

    PubMed

    Arfanakis, Konstantinos; Wilson, Robert S; Barth, Christopher M; Capuano, Ana W; Vasireddi, Anil; Zhang, Shengwei; Fleischman, Debra A; Bennett, David A

    2016-06-01

    The objective of this work was to test the hypotheses that a) more frequent cognitive activity in late life is associated with higher brain diffusion anisotropy and lower trace of the diffusion tensor, and b) brain diffusion characteristics partially mediate the association of late life cognitive activity with cognition. As part of a longitudinal cohort study, 379 older people without dementia rated their frequency of participation in cognitive activities, completed a battery of cognitive function tests, and underwent diffusion tensor imaging. We used tract-based spatial statistics to test the association between late life cognitive activity and brain diffusion characteristics. Clusters with statistically significant findings defined regions of interest in which we tested the hypothesis that diffusion characteristics partially mediate the association of late life cognitive activity with cognition. More frequent cognitive activity in late life was associated with higher level of global cognition after adjustment for age, sex, education, and indicators of early life cognitive enrichment (p = 0.001). More frequent cognitive activity was also related to higher fractional anisotropy in the left superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculi, left fornix, and corpus callosum, and lower trace in the thalamus (p < 0.05, FWE-corrected). After controlling for fractional anisotropy or trace from these regions, the regression coefficient for the association of late life cognitive activity with cognition was reduced by as much as 26 %. These findings suggest that the association of late life cognitive activity with cognition may be partially mediated by brain diffusion characteristics. PMID:25982658

  12. Aging, Brain Size, and IQ.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bigler, Erin D.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Whether cross-sectional rates of decline for brain volume and the Performance Intellectual Quotient of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised were equivalent over the years 16 to 65 was studied with 196 volunteers. Results indicate remarkably similar rates of decline in perceptual-motor functions and aging brain volume loss. (SLD)

  13. Neurogenesis in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Galvan, Veronica; Jin, Kunlin

    2007-01-01

    Neurogenesis, or the birth of new neural cells, was thought to occur only in the developing nervous system and a fixed neuronal population in the adult brain was believed to be necessary to maintain the functional stability of adult brain circuitry. However, recent studies have demonstrated that neurogenesis does indeed continue into and throughout adult life in discrete regions of the central nervous systems (CNS) of all mammals, including humans. Although neurogenesis may contribute to the ability of the adult brain to function normally and be induced in response to cerebral diseases for self-repair, this nevertheless declines with advancing age. Understanding the basic biology of neural stem cells and the molecular and cellular regulation mechanisms of neurogenesis in young and aged brain will allow us to modulate cell replacement processes in the adult brain for the maintenance of healthy brain tissues and for repair of disease states in the elderly. PMID:18225461

  14. Ageing and the brain.

    PubMed

    Peters, R

    2006-02-01

    Ageing causes changes to the brain size, vasculature, and cognition. The brain shrinks with increasing age and there are changes at all levels from molecules to morphology. Incidence of stroke, white matter lesions, and dementia also rise with age, as does level of memory impairment and there are changes in levels of neurotransmitters and hormones. Protective factors that reduce cardiovascular risk, namely regular exercise, a healthy diet, and low to moderate alcohol intake, seem to aid the ageing brain as does increased cognitive effort in the form of education or occupational attainment. A healthy life both physically and mentally may be the best defence against the changes of an ageing brain. Additional measures to prevent cardiovascular disease may also be important. PMID:16461469

  15. Brain structure and function related to cognitive reserve variables in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Solé-Padullés, Cristina; Bartrés-Faz, David; Junqué, Carme; Vendrell, Pere; Rami, Lorena; Clemente, Imma C; Bosch, Beatriu; Villar, Amparo; Bargalló, Núria; Jurado, M Angeles; Barrios, Maite; Molinuevo, Jose Luis

    2009-07-01

    Cognitive reserve (CR) is the brain's capacity to cope with cerebral damage to minimize clinical manifestations. The 'passive model' considers head or brain measures as anatomical substrates of CR, whereas the 'active model' emphasizes the use of brain networks effectively. Sixteen healthy subjects, 12 amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 16 cases with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) were included to investigate the relationships between proxies of CR and cerebral measures considered in the 'passive' and 'active' models. CR proxies were inferred premorbid IQ (WAIS Vocabulary test), 'education-occupation', a questionnaire of intellectual and social activities and a composite CR measure. MRI-derived whole-brain volumes and brain activity by functional MRI during a visual encoding task were obtained. Among healthy elders, higher CR was related to larger brains and reduced activity during cognitive processing, suggesting more effective use of cerebral networks. In contrast, higher CR was associated with reduced brain volumes in MCI and AD and increased brain function in the latter, indicating more advanced neuropathology but that active compensatory mechanisms are still at work in higher CR patients. The right superior temporal gyrus (BA 22) and the left superior parietal lobe (BA 7) showed greatest significant differences in direction of slope with CR and activation between controls and AD cases. Finally, a regression analysis revealed that fMRI patterns were more closely related to CR proxies than brain volumes. Overall, inverse relationships for healthy and pathological aging groups emerged between brain structure and function and CR variables. PMID:18053618

  16. Effects of Long-Term Rice Bran Extract Supplementation on Survival, Cognition and Brain Mitochondrial Function in Aged NMRI Mice.

    PubMed

    Hagl, Stephanie; Asseburg, Heike; Heinrich, Martina; Sus, Nadine; Blumrich, Eva-Maria; Dringen, Ralf; Frank, Jan; Eckert, Gunter P

    2016-09-01

    Aging represents a major risk factor for the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease (AD). As mitochondrial dysfunction plays an important role in brain aging and occurs early in the development of AD, the prevention of mitochondrial dysfunction might help to slow brain aging and the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Rice bran extract (RBE) contains high concentrations of vitamin E congeners and γ-oryzanol. We have previously shown that RBE increased mitochondrial function and protected from mitochondrial dysfunction in vitro and in short-term in vivo feeding studies. To mimic the use of RBE as food additive, we have now investigated the effects of a long-term (6 months) feeding of RBE on survival, behavior and brain mitochondrial function in aged NMRI mice. RBE administration significantly increased survival and performance of aged NMRI mice in the passive avoidance and Y-maze test. Brain mitochondrial dysfunction found in aged mice was ameliorated after RBE administration. Furthermore, data from mRNA and protein expression studies revealed an up-regulation of mitochondrial proteins in RBE-fed mice, suggesting an increase in mitochondrial content which is mediated by a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC1α)-dependent mechanism. Our findings suggest that a long-term treatment with a nutraceutical containing RBE could be useful for slowing down brain aging and thereby delaying or even preventing AD. PMID:27350374

  17. Somatostatinergic systems: an update on brain functions in normal and pathological aging

    PubMed Central

    Martel, Guillaume; Dutar, Patrick; Epelbaum, Jacques; Viollet, Cécile

    2012-01-01

    Somatostatin is highly expressed in mammalian brain and is involved in many brain functions such as motor activity, sleep, sensory, and cognitive processes. Five somatostatin receptors have been described: sst1, sst2 (A and B), sst3, sst4, and sst5, all belonging to the G-protein-coupled receptor family. During the recent years, numerous studies contributed to clarify the role of somatostatin systems, especially long-range somatostatinergic interneurons, in several functions they have been previously involved in. New advances have also been made on the alterations of somatostatinergic systems in several brain diseases and on the potential therapeutic target they represent in these pathologies. PMID:23230430

  18. EEG Resting-State Brain Topological Reorganization as a Function of Age

    PubMed Central

    Petti, Manuela; Toppi, Jlenia; Mattia, Donatella; Astolfi, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Resting state connectivity has been increasingly studied to investigate the effects of aging on the brain. A reduced organization in the communication between brain areas was demonstrated by combining a variety of different imaging technologies (fMRI, EEG, and MEG) and graph theory. In this paper, we propose a methodology to get new insights into resting state connectivity and its variations with age, by combining advanced techniques of effective connectivity estimation, graph theoretical approach, and classification by SVM method. We analyzed high density EEG signals recorded at rest from 71 healthy subjects (age: 20–63 years). Weighted and directed connectivity was computed by means of Partial Directed Coherence based on a General Linear Kalman filter approach. To keep the information collected by the estimator, weighted and directed graph indices were extracted from the resulting networks. A relation between brain network properties and age of the subject was found, indicating a tendency of the network to randomly organize increasing with age. This result is also confirmed dividing the whole population into two subgroups according to the age (young and middle-aged adults): significant differences exist in terms of network organization measures. Classification of the subjects by means of such indices returns an accuracy greater than 80%. PMID:27006652

  19. EEG Resting-State Brain Topological Reorganization as a Function of Age.

    PubMed

    Petti, Manuela; Toppi, Jlenia; Babiloni, Fabio; Cincotti, Febo; Mattia, Donatella; Astolfi, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Resting state connectivity has been increasingly studied to investigate the effects of aging on the brain. A reduced organization in the communication between brain areas was demonstrated by combining a variety of different imaging technologies (fMRI, EEG, and MEG) and graph theory. In this paper, we propose a methodology to get new insights into resting state connectivity and its variations with age, by combining advanced techniques of effective connectivity estimation, graph theoretical approach, and classification by SVM method. We analyzed high density EEG signals recorded at rest from 71 healthy subjects (age: 20-63 years). Weighted and directed connectivity was computed by means of Partial Directed Coherence based on a General Linear Kalman filter approach. To keep the information collected by the estimator, weighted and directed graph indices were extracted from the resulting networks. A relation between brain network properties and age of the subject was found, indicating a tendency of the network to randomly organize increasing with age. This result is also confirmed dividing the whole population into two subgroups according to the age (young and middle-aged adults): significant differences exist in terms of network organization measures. Classification of the subjects by means of such indices returns an accuracy greater than 80%. PMID:27006652

  20. Dietary Fish Oil Modestly Attenuates the Effect of Age on Diastolic Function but Has No Effect on Memory or Brain Inflammation in Aged Rats

    PubMed Central

    Sergeant, Susan; McQuail, Joseph A.; Riddle, David R.; Chilton, Floyd H.; Ortmeier, Steven B.; Jessup, Jewell A.

    2011-01-01

    Fish oil (FO) mediates a number of cardioprotective benefits in patients with cardiovascular disease. In the absence of cardiovascular disease, however, the effects of FO on cardiac structure and function are not clear. In addition, it is not known if an effective dosing strategy for attenuating age-related cardiac dysfunction is also effective at limiting cognitive dysfunction. Therefore, we determined if 4 months of FO supplementation in aged rats would lessen age-related cardiac dysfunction while concomitantly preventing the cognitive decline that is normally observed in this population. The results indicate that FO initiated late in life modifies diastolic function in a small but positive way by attenuating the age-related increases in filling pressure, posterior wall thickness, and interstitial collagen without mitigating age-related deficits in memory or increases in brain inflammation. These data raise the possibility that FO supplementation for purposes of cardiac and brain protection may need to occur earlier in the life span. PMID:21393424

  1. Integrated Analysis and Visualization of Group Differences in Structural and Functional Brain Connectivity: Applications in Typical Ageing and Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Langen, Carolyn D; White, Tonya; Ikram, M Arfan; Vernooij, Meike W; Niessen, Wiro J

    2015-01-01

    Structural and functional brain connectivity are increasingly used to identify and analyze group differences in studies of brain disease. This study presents methods to analyze uni- and bi-modal brain connectivity and evaluate their ability to identify differences. Novel visualizations of significantly different connections comparing multiple metrics are presented. On the global level, "bi-modal comparison plots" show the distribution of uni- and bi-modal group differences and the relationship between structure and function. Differences between brain lobes are visualized using "worm plots". Group differences in connections are examined with an existing visualization, the "connectogram". These visualizations were evaluated in two proof-of-concept studies: (1) middle-aged versus elderly subjects; and (2) patients with schizophrenia versus controls. Each included two measures derived from diffusion weighted images and two from functional magnetic resonance images. The structural measures were minimum cost path between two anatomical regions according to the "Statistical Analysis of Minimum cost path based Structural Connectivity" method and the average fractional anisotropy along the fiber. The functional measures were Pearson's correlation and partial correlation of mean regional time series. The relationship between structure and function was similar in both studies. Uni-modal group differences varied greatly between connectivity types. Group differences were identified in both studies globally, within brain lobes and between regions. In the aging study, minimum cost path was highly effective in identifying group differences on all levels; fractional anisotropy and mean correlation showed smaller differences on the brain lobe and regional levels. In the schizophrenia study, minimum cost path and fractional anisotropy showed differences on the global level and within brain lobes; mean correlation showed small differences on the lobe level. Only fractional anisotropy

  2. Integrated Analysis and Visualization of Group Differences in Structural and Functional Brain Connectivity: Applications in Typical Ageing and Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Langen, Carolyn D.; Ikram, M. Arfan; Vernooij, Meike W.

    2015-01-01

    Structural and functional brain connectivity are increasingly used to identify and analyze group differences in studies of brain disease. This study presents methods to analyze uni- and bi-modal brain connectivity and evaluate their ability to identify differences. Novel visualizations of significantly different connections comparing multiple metrics are presented. On the global level, “bi-modal comparison plots” show the distribution of uni- and bi-modal group differences and the relationship between structure and function. Differences between brain lobes are visualized using “worm plots”. Group differences in connections are examined with an existing visualization, the “connectogram”. These visualizations were evaluated in two proof-of-concept studies: (1) middle-aged versus elderly subjects; and (2) patients with schizophrenia versus controls. Each included two measures derived from diffusion weighted images and two from functional magnetic resonance images. The structural measures were minimum cost path between two anatomical regions according to the “Statistical Analysis of Minimum cost path based Structural Connectivity” method and the average fractional anisotropy along the fiber. The functional measures were Pearson’s correlation and partial correlation of mean regional time series. The relationship between structure and function was similar in both studies. Uni-modal group differences varied greatly between connectivity types. Group differences were identified in both studies globally, within brain lobes and between regions. In the aging study, minimum cost path was highly effective in identifying group differences on all levels; fractional anisotropy and mean correlation showed smaller differences on the brain lobe and regional levels. In the schizophrenia study, minimum cost path and fractional anisotropy showed differences on the global level and within brain lobes; mean correlation showed small differences on the lobe level. Only

  3. Cognitive function and brain structure after recurrent mild traumatic brain injuries in young-to-middle-aged adults

    PubMed Central

    List, Jonathan; Ott, Stefanie; Bukowski, Martin; Lindenberg, Robert; Flöel, Agnes

    2015-01-01

    Recurrent mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) are regarded as an independent risk factor for developing dementia in later life. We here aimed to evaluate associations between recurrent mTBIs, cognition, and gray matter volume and microstructure as revealed by structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the chronic phase after mTBIs in young adulthood. We enrolled 20 young-to-middle-aged subjects, who reported two or more sports-related mTBIs, with the last mTBI > 6 months prior to study enrolment (mTBI group), and 21 age-, sex- and education matched controls with no history of mTBI (control group). All participants received comprehensive neuropsychological testing, and high resolution T1-weighted and diffusion tensor MRI in order to assess cortical thickness (CT) and microstructure, hippocampal volume, and ventricle size. Compared to the control group, subjects of the mTBI group presented with lower CT within the right temporal lobe and left insula using an a priori region of interest approach. Higher number of mTBIs was associated with lower CT in bilateral insula, right middle temporal gyrus and right entorhinal area. Our results suggest persistent detrimental effects of recurrent mTBIs on CT already in young-to-middle-aged adults. If additional structural deterioration occurs during aging, subtle neuropsychological decline may progress to clinically overt dementia earlier than in age-matched controls, a hypothesis to be assessed in future prospective trials. PMID:26052275

  4. Preserving Brain Function in Aging: The Anti-glycative Potential of Berry Fruit.

    PubMed

    Thangthaeng, Nopporn; Poulose, Shibu M; Miller, Marshall G; Shukitt-Hale, Barbara

    2016-09-01

    Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are naturally occurring macromolecules that are formed in vivo by the non-enzymatic modification of proteins, lipids, or nucleic acids by sugar, even in the absence of hyperglycemia. In the diet, AGEs are found in animal products, and additional AGEs are produced when those foods are cooked at high temperatures. Studies have linked AGEs to various age-related physiological changes, including wrinkles, diabetic complications, and neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer's disease. Dietary berry fruits have been shown to reduce the severity or slow the progression of many physiological changes and disease pathologies that accompany aging. Emerging evidence has shown that the phytochemicals found in berry fruits exhibit anti-glycative activity. In this review, we briefly summarize the current evidence supporting the neuroprotective anti-glycative activity of berry fruits and their potential to preserve cognitive function during aging. PMID:27166828

  5. Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation temporarily reverses age-associated cognitive decline and functional brain activity changes.

    PubMed

    Meinzer, Marcus; Lindenberg, Robert; Antonenko, Daria; Flaisch, Tobias; Flöel, Agnes

    2013-07-24

    The rising proportion of elderly people worldwide will yield an increased incidence of age-associated cognitive impairments, imposing major burdens on societies. Consequently, growing interest emerged to evaluate new strategies to delay or counteract cognitive decline in aging. Here, we assessed immediate effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (atDCS) on cognition and previously described detrimental changes in brain activity attributable to aging. Twenty healthy elderly adults were assessed in a crossover sham-controlled design using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and concurrent transcranial DCS administered to the left inferior frontal gyrus. Effects on performance and task-related brain activity were evaluated during overt semantic word generation, a task that is negatively affected by advanced age. Task-absent resting-state fMRI (RS-fMRI) assessed atDCS-induced changes at the network level independent of performance. Twenty matched younger adults served as controls. During sham stimulation, task-related fMRI demonstrated that enhanced bilateral prefrontal activity in older adults was associated with reduced performance. RS-fMRI revealed enhanced anterior and reduced posterior functional brain connectivity. atDCS significantly improved performance in older adults up to the level of younger controls; significantly reduced task-related hyperactivity in bilateral prefrontal cortices, the anterior cingulate gyrus, and the precuneus; and induced a more "youth-like" connectivity pattern during RS-fMRI. Our results provide converging evidence from behavioral analysis and two independent functional imaging paradigms that a single session of atDCS can temporarily reverse nonbeneficial effects of aging on cognition and brain activity and connectivity. These findings may translate into novel treatments to ameliorate cognitive decline in normal aging in the future. PMID:23884951

  6. Lipid-laden cells differentially distributed in the aging brain are functionally active and correspond to distinct phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Shimabukuro, Marilia Kimie; Langhi, Larissa Gutman Paranhos; Cordeiro, Ingrid; Brito, José M; Batista, Claudia Maria de Castro; Mattson, Mark P; Mello Coelho, Valeria de

    2016-01-01

    We characterized cerebral Oil Red O-positive lipid-laden cells (LLC) of aging mice evaluating their distribution, morphology, density, functional activities and inflammatory phenotype. We identified LLC in meningeal, cortical and neurogenic brain regions. The density of cerebral LLC increased with age. LLC presenting small lipid droplets were visualized adjacent to blood vessels or deeper in the brain cortical and striatal parenchyma of aging mice. LLC with larger droplets were asymmetrically distributed in the cerebral ventricle walls, mainly located in the lateral wall. We also found that LLC in the subventricular region co-expressed beclin-1 or LC3, markers for autophagosome or autophagolysosome formation, and perilipin (PLIN), a lipid droplet-associated protein, suggesting lipophagic activity. Some cerebral LLC exhibited β galactosidase activity indicating a senescence phenotype. Moreover, we detected production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α in cortical PLIN(+) LLC. Some cortical NeuN(+) neurons, GFAP(+) glia limitans astrocytes, Iba-1(+) microglia and S100β(+) ependymal cells expressed PLIN in the aging brain. Our findings suggest that cerebral LLC exhibit distinct cellular phenotypes and may participate in the age-associated neuroinflammatory processes. PMID:27029648

  7. Lipid-laden cells differentially distributed in the aging brain are functionally active and correspond to distinct phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Shimabukuro, Marilia Kimie; Langhi, Larissa Gutman Paranhos; Cordeiro, Ingrid; Brito, José M.; Batista, Claudia Maria de Castro; Mattson, Mark P.; de Mello Coelho, Valeria

    2016-01-01

    We characterized cerebral Oil Red O-positive lipid-laden cells (LLC) of aging mice evaluating their distribution, morphology, density, functional activities and inflammatory phenotype. We identified LLC in meningeal, cortical and neurogenic brain regions. The density of cerebral LLC increased with age. LLC presenting small lipid droplets were visualized adjacent to blood vessels or deeper in the brain cortical and striatal parenchyma of aging mice. LLC with larger droplets were asymmetrically distributed in the cerebral ventricle walls, mainly located in the lateral wall. We also found that LLC in the subventricular region co-expressed beclin-1 or LC3, markers for autophagosome or autophagolysosome formation, and perilipin (PLIN), a lipid droplet-associated protein, suggesting lipophagic activity. Some cerebral LLC exhibited β galactosidase activity indicating a senescence phenotype. Moreover, we detected production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α in cortical PLIN+ LLC. Some cortical NeuN+ neurons, GFAP+ glia limitans astrocytes, Iba-1+ microglia and S100β+ ependymal cells expressed PLIN in the aging brain. Our findings suggest that cerebral LLC exhibit distinct cellular phenotypes and may participate in the age-associated neuroinflammatory processes. PMID:27029648

  8. Functional connectivity in the developing brain: A longitudinal study from 4 to 9 months of age

    PubMed Central

    Damaraju, E.; Caprihan, A.; Lowe, J.R.; Allen, E.A.; Calhoun, V.D.; Phillips, J.P.

    2013-01-01

    We characterize the development of intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs) from 4 to 9 months of age with resting state magnetic resonance imaging performed on sleeping infants without sedative medication. Data is analyzed with independent component analysis (ICA). Using both low (30 components) and high (100 components) ICA model order decompositions, we find that the functional network connectivity (FNC) map is largely similar at both 4 and 9 months. However at 9 months the connectivity strength decreases within local networks and increases between more distant networks. The connectivity within the default-mode network, which contains both local and more distant nodes, also increases in strength with age. The low frequency power spectrum increases with age only in the posterior cingulate cortex and posterior default mode network. These findings are consistent with a general developmental pattern of increasing longer distance functional connectivity over the first year of life and raise questions regarding the developmental importance of the posterior cingulate at this age. PMID:23994454

  9. Sex on the brain! Associations between sexual activity and cognitive function in older age

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Hayley; Jenks, Rebecca A.

    2016-01-01

    Background: the relationship between cognition and sexual activity in healthy older adults is under-researched. A limited amount of research in this area has shown that sexual activity is associated with better cognition in older men. The current study explores the possible mediating factors in this association in men and women, and attempts to provide an explanation in terms of physiological influences on cognitive function. Methods: using newly available data from Wave 6 of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, the current study explored associations between sexual activity and cognition in adults aged 50–89 (n = 6,833). Two different tests of cognitive function were analysed: number sequencing, which broadly relates to executive function, and word recall, which broadly relates to memory. Results: after adjusting for age, education, wealth, physical activity, depression, cohabiting, self-rated health, loneliness and quality of life, there were significant associations between sexual activity and number sequencing and recall in men. However, in women there was a significant association between sexual activity and recall, but not number sequencing. Conclusions: possible mediators of these associations (e.g. neurotransmitters) are discussed. The cross-sectional nature of the analysis is limiting, but provides a promising avenue for future explorations and longitudinal studies. The findings have implications for the promotion of sexual counselling in healthcare settings, where maintaining a healthy sex life in older age could be instrumental in improving cognitive function and well-being. PMID:26826237

  10. Age of Acquisition Effects on the Functional Organization of Language in the Adult Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayberry, Rachel I.; Chen, Jen-Kai; Witcher, Pamela; Klein, Denise

    2011-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we neuroimaged deaf adults as they performed two linguistic tasks with sentences in American Sign Language, grammatical judgment and phonemic-hand judgment. Participants' age-onset of sign language acquisition ranged from birth to 14 years; length of sign language experience was substantial and…

  11. Middle age onset short-term intermittent fasting dietary restriction prevents brain function impairments in male Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Singh, Rumani; Manchanda, Shaffi; Kaur, Taranjeet; Kumar, Sushil; Lakhanpal, Dinesh; Lakhman, Sukhwinder S; Kaur, Gurcharan

    2015-12-01

    Intermittent fasting dietary restriction (IF-DR) is recently reported to be an effective intervention to retard age associated disease load and to promote healthy aging. Since sustaining long term caloric restriction regimen is not practically feasible in humans, so use of alternate approach such as late onset short term IF-DR regimen which is reported to trigger similar biological pathways is gaining scientific interest. The current study was designed to investigate the effect of IF-DR regimen implemented for 12 weeks in middle age rats on their motor coordination skills and protein and DNA damage in different brain regions. Further, the effect of IF-DR regimen was also studied on expression of energy regulators, cell survival pathways and synaptic plasticity marker proteins. Our data demonstrate that there was an improvement in motor coordination and learning response with decline in protein oxidative damage and recovery in expression of energy regulating neuropeptides. We further observed significant downregulation in nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and cytochrome c (Cyt c) levels and moderate upregulation of mortalin and synaptophysin expression. The present data may provide an insight on how a modest level of short term IF-DR, imposed in middle age, can slow down or prevent the age-associated impairment of brain functions and promote healthy aging by involving multiple regulatory pathways aimed at maintaining energy homeostasis. PMID:26318578

  12. Brain imaging and brain function

    SciTech Connect

    Sokoloff, L.

    1985-01-01

    This book is a survey of the applications of imaging studies of regional cerebral blood flow and metabolism to the investigation of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Contributors review imaging techniques and strategies for measuring regional cerebral blood flow and metabolism, for mapping functional neural systems, and for imaging normal brain functions. They then examine the applications of brain imaging techniques to the study of such neurological and psychiatric disorders as: cerebral ischemia; convulsive disorders; cerebral tumors; Huntington's disease; Alzheimer's disease; depression and other mood disorders. A state-of-the-art report on magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and central nervous system rounds out the book's coverage.

  13. Mammalian Target of Rapamycin: Its Role in Early Neural Development and in Adult and Aged Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Garza-Lombó, Carla; Gonsebatt, María E

    2016-01-01

    The kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) integrates signals triggered by energy, stress, oxygen levels, and growth factors. It regulates ribosome biogenesis, mRNA translation, nutrient metabolism, and autophagy. mTOR participates in various functions of the brain, such as synaptic plasticity, adult neurogenesis, memory, and learning. mTOR is present during early neural development and participates in axon and dendrite development, neuron differentiation, and gliogenesis, among other processes. Furthermore, mTOR has been shown to modulate lifespan in multiple organisms. This protein is an important energy sensor that is present throughout our lifetime its role must be precisely described in order to develop therapeutic strategies and prevent diseases of the central nervous system. The aim of this review is to present our current understanding of the functions of mTOR in neural development, the adult brain and aging. PMID:27378854

  14. Mammalian Target of Rapamycin: Its Role in Early Neural Development and in Adult and Aged Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Garza-Lombó, Carla; Gonsebatt, María E.

    2016-01-01

    The kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) integrates signals triggered by energy, stress, oxygen levels, and growth factors. It regulates ribosome biogenesis, mRNA translation, nutrient metabolism, and autophagy. mTOR participates in various functions of the brain, such as synaptic plasticity, adult neurogenesis, memory, and learning. mTOR is present during early neural development and participates in axon and dendrite development, neuron differentiation, and gliogenesis, among other processes. Furthermore, mTOR has been shown to modulate lifespan in multiple organisms. This protein is an important energy sensor that is present throughout our lifetime its role must be precisely described in order to develop therapeutic strategies and prevent diseases of the central nervous system. The aim of this review is to present our current understanding of the functions of mTOR in neural development, the adult brain and aging. PMID:27378854

  15. Altered relationships between age and functional brain activation in adolescents at clinical high risk for psychosis.

    PubMed

    Karlsgodt, Katherine H; van Erp, Theo G M; Bearden, Carrie E; Cannon, Tyrone D

    2014-01-30

    Schizophrenia is considered a neurodevelopmental disorder, but whether the adolescent period, proximal to onset, is associated with aberrant development in individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis is incompletely understood. While abnormal gray and white matter development has been observed, alterations in functional neuroimaging (fMRI) parameters during adolescence as related to conversion to psychosis have not yet been investigated. Twenty CHR individuals and 19 typically developing controls (TDC), (ages 14-21), were recruited from the Center for Assessment and Prevention of Prodromal States (CAPPS) at UCLA. Participants performed a Sternberg-style verbal working memory (WMem) task during fMRI and data were analyzed using a cross-sectional design to test the hypothesis that there is a deviant developmental trajectory in WMem associated neural circuitry in those at risk for psychosis. Eight of the CHR adolescents converted to psychosis within 2 years of initial assessment. A voxel-wise regression examining the relationship between age and activation revealed a significant group-by-age interaction. TDC showed a negative association between age and functional activation in the WMem circuitry while CHR adolescents showed a positive association. Moreover, CHR patients who later converted to overt psychosis showed a distinct pattern of abnormal age-associated activation in the frontal cortex relative to controls, while non-converters showed a more diffuse posterior pattern. Finding that age related variation in baseline patterns of neural activity differentiate individuals who subsequently convert to psychosis from healthy subjects suggests that these differences are likely to be clinically relevant. PMID:24144510

  16. Cognitive reserve is associated with the functional organization of the brain in healthy aging: a MEG study.

    PubMed

    López, María E; Aurtenetxe, Sara; Pereda, Ernesto; Cuesta, Pablo; Castellanos, Nazareth P; Bruña, Ricardo; Niso, Guiomar; Maestú, Fernando; Bajo, Ricardo

    2014-01-01

    The proportion of elderly people in the population has increased rapidly in the last century and consequently "healthy aging" is expected to become a critical area of research in neuroscience. Evidence reveals how healthy aging depends on three main behavioral factors: social lifestyle, cognitive activity, and physical activity. In this study, we focused on the role of cognitive activity, concentrating specifically on educational and occupational attainment factors, which were considered two of the main pillars of cognitive reserve (CR). Twenty-one subjects with similar rates of social lifestyle, physical and cognitive activity were selected from a sample of 55 healthy adults. These subjects were divided into two groups according to their level of CR; one group comprised subjects with high CR (9 members) and the other one contained those with low CR (12 members). To evaluate the cortical brain connectivity network, all participants were recorded by Magnetoencephalography (MEG) while they performed a memory task (modified version of the Sternberg's Task). We then applied two algorithms [Phase Locking Value (PLV) and Phase Lag Index (PLI)] to study the dynamics of functional connectivity. In response to the same task, the subjects with lower CR presented higher functional connectivity than those with higher CR. These results may indicate that participants with low CR needed a greater "effort" than those with high CR to achieve the same level of cognitive performance. Therefore, we conclude that CR contributes to the modulation of the functional connectivity patterns of the aging brain. PMID:24982632

  17. Cognitive reserve is associated with the functional organization of the brain in healthy aging: a MEG study

    PubMed Central

    López, María E.; Aurtenetxe, Sara; Pereda, Ernesto; Cuesta, Pablo; Castellanos, Nazareth P.; Bruña, Ricardo; Niso, Guiomar; Maestú, Fernando; Bajo, Ricardo

    2014-01-01

    The proportion of elderly people in the population has increased rapidly in the last century and consequently “healthy aging” is expected to become a critical area of research in neuroscience. Evidence reveals how healthy aging depends on three main behavioral factors: social lifestyle, cognitive activity, and physical activity. In this study, we focused on the role of cognitive activity, concentrating specifically on educational and occupational attainment factors, which were considered two of the main pillars of cognitive reserve (CR). Twenty-one subjects with similar rates of social lifestyle, physical and cognitive activity were selected from a sample of 55 healthy adults. These subjects were divided into two groups according to their level of CR; one group comprised subjects with high CR (9 members) and the other one contained those with low CR (12 members). To evaluate the cortical brain connectivity network, all participants were recorded by Magnetoencephalography (MEG) while they performed a memory task (modified version of the Sternberg's Task). We then applied two algorithms [Phase Locking Value (PLV) and Phase Lag Index (PLI)] to study the dynamics of functional connectivity. In response to the same task, the subjects with lower CR presented higher functional connectivity than those with higher CR. These results may indicate that participants with low CR needed a greater “effort” than those with high CR to achieve the same level of cognitive performance. Therefore, we conclude that CR contributes to the modulation of the functional connectivity patterns of the aging brain. PMID:24982632

  18. Effect of white matter disease on functional connections in the aging brain.

    PubMed Central

    Leuchter, A F; Dunkin, J J; Lufkin, R B; Anzai, Y; Cook, I A; Newton, T F

    1994-01-01

    Periventricular white matter hyperintensities (PVHs) seen on T2 weighted MRI studies are common in elderly people and often represent demyelination of fibres. Damage to these fibres could lead to functional disconnection between brain regions. Electroencephalographic coherence, a measure of shared electrical activity between regions, was examined to determine if there was evidence for such disconnection. Twenty two subjects with clinically diagnosed dementia of the Alzheimer's type, 16 with multi-infarct dementia, and 18 normal controls were studied. It was hypothesised that coherence between areas presumably linked by fibres that traverse the periventricular region would be decreased in subjects with PVHs, and that PVHs would have a stronger association with decreased coherence than clinical diagnosis. It was also hypothesised that coherence between areas presumably connected by long corticocortical tracts that are neuroanatomically separated from the ventricles would be low in patients with Alzheimer's disease because of pyramidal cell death in this group, but would not be affected by the presence of PVHs. Patients with PVHs in fact had lower coherence than those without PVHs in the pre-Rolandic and post-Rolandic areas, where connecting fibres traverse the periventricular region. There was no effect of PVHs, however, on coherence between areas separated by the Rolandic fissure that were connected by long corticocortical tracts; this coherence was lowest among the patients with Alzheimer's disease. These patterns of association suggest that coherence may detect different types of neurophysiological "disconnection," and may be sensitive to selective damage to different fibre pathways. Images PMID:7964810

  19. Functional and structural brain modifications induced by oculomotor training in patients with age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Rosengarth, Katharina; Keck, Ingo; Brandl-Rühle, Sabine; Frolo, Jozef; Hufendiek, Karsten; Greenlee, Mark W.; Plank, Tina

    2013-01-01

    Patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are reliant on their peripheral visual field. Oculomotor training can help them to find the best area on intact peripheral retina and to efficiently stabilize eccentric fixation. In this study, nine patients with AMD were trained over a period of 6 months using oculomotor training protocols to improve fixation stability. They were followed over an additional period of 6 months, where they completed an auditory memory training as a sham training. In this cross-over design five patients started with the sham training and four with the oculomotor training. Seven healthy age-matched subjects, who did not take part in any training procedure, served as controls. During the 6 months of training the AMD subjects and the control group took part in three functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sessions to assess training-related changes in the brain function and structure. The sham-training phase was accompanied by two more fMRI measurements, resulting in five MRI sessions at intervals of 3 months for all participants. Despite substantial variability in the training effects, on average, AMD patients benefited from the training measurements as indexed by significant improvements in their fixation stability, visual acuity, and reading speed. The patients showed a significant positive correlation between brain activation changes and improvements in fixation stability in the visual cortex during training. These correlations were less pronounced on the long-term after training had ceased. We also found a significant increase in gray and white matter in the posterior cerebellum after training in the patient group. Our results show that functional and structural brain changes can be associated, at least on the short-term, with benefits of oculomotor and/or reading training in patients with central scotomata resulting from AMD. PMID:23882237

  20. Age-Related Differences in Functional Nodes of the Brain Cortex – A High Model Order Group ICA Study

    PubMed Central

    Littow, Harri; Elseoud, Ahmed Abou; Haapea, Marianne; Isohanni, Matti; Moilanen, Irma; Mankinen, Katariina; Nikkinen, Juha; Rahko, Jukka; Rantala, Heikki; Remes, Jukka; Starck, Tuomo; Tervonen, Osmo; Veijola, Juha; Beckmann, Christian; Kiviniemi, Vesa J.

    2010-01-01

    Functional MRI measured with blood oxygen dependent (BOLD) contrast in the absence of intermittent tasks reflects spontaneous activity of so-called resting state networks (RSN) of the brain. Group level independent component analysis (ICA) of BOLD data can separate the human brain cortex into 42 independent RSNs. In this study we evaluated age-related effects from primary motor and sensory, and, higher level control RSNs. One hundred sixty-eight healthy subjects were scanned and divided into three groups: 55 adolescents (ADO, 13.2 ± 2.4 years), 59 young adults (YA, 22.2 ± 0.6 years), and 54 older adults (OA, 42.7 ± 0.5 years), all with normal IQ. High model order group probabilistic ICA components (70) were calculated and dual-regression analysis was used to compare 21 RSN's spatial differences between groups. The power spectra were derived from individual ICA mixing matrix time series of the group analyses for frequency domain analysis. We show that primary sensory and motor networks tend to alter more in younger age groups, whereas associative and higher level cognitive networks consolidate and re-arrange until older adulthood. The change has a common trend: both spatial extent and the low frequency power of the RSN's reduce with increasing age. We interpret these result as a sign of normal pruning via focusing of activity to less distributed local hubs. PMID:20953235

  1. Effect of Alzheimer Disease Risk on Brain Function During Self-Appraisal in Healthy Middle-Aged Adults

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Sterling C.; Ries, Michele L.; Hess, Timothy M.; Carlsson, Cynthia M.; Gleason, Carey E.; Alexander, Andrew L.; Rowley, Howard A.; Asthana, Sanjay; Sager, Mark A.

    2009-01-01

    Context Recently asymptomatic middle-aged adult children of patients with Alzheimer Disease (AD) were found to exhibit fMRI deficits in the mesial temporal lobe during an encoding task. Whether this effect will be observed on other fMRI tasks is not yet known. This study examines the neural substrates of self-appraisal in people at risk for AD. Accurate appraisal of deficits is a problem for many AD patients, and prior fMRI studies of healthy young adults indicates that brain areas vulnerable to AD such as the anterior mesial temporal lobe and posterior cingulate are involved during self appraisal tasks. Objective To determine whether parental family history of AD (FH) or the ε4 allele of the Apolipoprotein E gene (APOE4) exert independent effects on brain function during self-appraisal. Design Cross-sectional factorial design in which APOE4 status (present/absent) was one factor, and FH status was the other. All participants received cognitive testing, genotyping and an fMRI task that required subjective self-appraisal (SA) decisions regarding trait adjective words in comparison to semantic decisions about the same words. Setting An academic medical center with a research-dedicated 3.0 Tesla MRI facility. Participants Cognitively normal middle-aged adults (N=110): 51 +FH; 59 −FH. Outcome measure Blood oxygen-dependent contrast measured with T2* weighted echo-planar imaging. Results FH and APOE4 status interacted in the posterior cingulate as well as left superior and medial frontal regions. There were main effects of FH (−FH > +FH) in left hippocampus, and ventral posterior cingulate. There were no main effects of APOE. Conclusion These results suggest that a parental history of AD may influence brain function during subjective self-appraisal in regions commonly affected by AD. Although these participants were asymptomatic and middle-aged, the findings suggest there may be subtle alterations in brain function attributable to AD risk factors. PMID:17909128

  2. Nutrients, Microglia Aging, and Brain Aging

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Zhou; Yu, Janchun; Zhu, Aiqin; Nakanishi, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    As the life expectancy continues to increase, the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) becomes a big major issue in the world. After cellular activation upon systemic inflammation, microglia, the resident immune cells in the brain, start to release proinflammatory mediators to trigger neuroinflammation. We have found that chronic systemic inflammatory challenges induce differential age-dependent microglial responses, which are in line with the impairment of learning and memory, even in middle-aged animals. We thus raise the concept of “microglia aging.” This concept is based on the fact that microglia are the key contributor to the acceleration of cognitive decline, which is the major sign of brain aging. On the other hand, inflammation induces oxidative stress and DNA damage, which leads to the overproduction of reactive oxygen species by the numerous types of cells, including macrophages and microglia. Oxidative stress-damaged cells successively produce larger amounts of inflammatory mediators to promote microglia aging. Nutrients are necessary for maintaining general health, including the health of brain. The intake of antioxidant nutrients reduces both systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation and thus reduces cognitive decline during aging. We herein review our microglia aging concept and discuss systemic inflammation and microglia aging. We propose that a nutritional approach to controlling microglia aging will open a new window for healthy brain aging. PMID:26941889

  3. Preserving brain function in aging: The anti-glycative potential of berry fruit

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are naturally occurring macromolecules that are formed in vivo by the non-enzymatic modification of proteins, lipids, or nucleic acids by sugar, even in the absence of hyperglycemia. In the diet, AGEs are found in animal products, and additional AGEs are produc...

  4. NIH Conference. Brain imaging: aging and dementia

    SciTech Connect

    Cutler, N.R.; Duara, R.; Creasey, H.; Grady, C.L.; Haxby, J.V.; Schapiro, M.B.; Rapoport, S.I.

    1984-09-01

    The brain imaging techniques of positron emission tomography using (18F)-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose, and computed tomography, together with neuropsychological tests, were used to examine overall brain function and anatomy in three study populations: healthy men at different ages, patients with presumptive Alzheimer's disease, and adults with Down's syndrome. Brain glucose use did not differ with age, whereas an age-related decrement in gray matter volume was found on computed tomographic assessment in healthy subjects. Memory deficits were found to precede significant reductions in brain glucose utilization in mild to moderate Alzheimer's dementia. Furthermore, differences between language and visuoconstructive impairments in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease were related to hemispheric asymmetry of brain metabolism. Brain glucose utilization was found to be significantly elevated in young adults with Down's syndrome, compared with controls. The importance of establishing strict criteria for selecting control subjects and patients is explained in relation to the findings.

  5. Load-related brain activation predicts spatial working memory performance in youth aged 9-12 and is associated with executive function at earlier ages.

    PubMed

    Huang, Anna S; Klein, Daniel N; Leung, Hoi-Chung

    2016-02-01

    Spatial working memory is a central cognitive process that matures through adolescence in conjunction with major changes in brain function and anatomy. Here we focused on late childhood and early adolescence to more closely examine the neural correlates of performance variability during this important transition period. Using a modified spatial 1-back task with two memory load conditions in an fMRI study, we examined the relationship between load-dependent neural responses and task performance in a sample of 39 youth aged 9-12 years. Our data revealed that between-subject differences in task performance was predicted by load-dependent deactivation in default network regions, including the ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). Although load-dependent increases in activation in prefrontal and posterior parietal regions were only weakly correlated with performance, increased prefrontal-parietal coupling was associated with better performance. Furthermore, behavioral measures of executive function from as early as age 3 predicted current load-dependent deactivation in vACC and PCC. These findings suggest that both task positive and task negative brain activation during spatial working memory contributed to successful task performance in late childhood/early adolescence. This may serve as a good model for studying executive control deficits in developmental disorders. PMID:26562059

  6. Functional Brain Imaging

    PubMed Central

    2006-01-01

    Executive Summary Objective The objective of this analysis is to review a spectrum of functional brain imaging technologies to identify whether there are any imaging modalities that are more effective than others for various brain pathology conditions. This evidence-based analysis reviews magnetoencephalography (MEG), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), positron emission tomography (PET), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for the diagnosis or surgical management of the following conditions: Alzheimer’s disease (AD), brain tumours, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative, neurologic condition characterized by cognitive impairment and memory loss. The Canadian Study on Health and Aging estimated that there will be 97,000 incident cases (about 60,000 women) of dementia (including AD) in Canada in 2006. In Ontario, there will be an estimated 950 new cases and 580 deaths due to brain cancer in 2006. Treatments for brain tumours include surgery and radiation therapy. However, one of the limitations of radiation therapy is that it damages tissue though necrosis and scarring. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may not distinguish between radiation effects and resistant tissue, creating a potential role for functional brain imaging. Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that provokes repetitive seizures. In Ontario, the rate of epilepsy is estimated to be 5 cases per 1,000 people. Most people with epilepsy are effectively managed with drug therapy; but about 50% do not respond to drug therapy. Surgical resection of the seizure foci may be considered in these patients, and functional brain imaging may play a role in localizing the seizure foci. Multiple sclerosis is a progressive, inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). The cause of MS is unknown; however, it is thought to be

  7. Effects of Physical Exercise Combined with Nutritional Supplements on Aging Brain Related Structures and Functions: A Systematic Review.

    PubMed

    Schättin, Alexandra; Baur, Kilian; Stutz, Jan; Wolf, Peter; de Bruin, Eling D

    2016-01-01

    Age-related decline in gray and white brain matter goes together with cognitive depletion. To influence cognitive functioning in elderly, several types of physical exercise and nutritional intervention have been performed. This paper systematically reviews the potential additive and complementary effects of nutrition/nutritional supplements and physical exercise on cognition. The search strategy was developed for EMBASE, Medline, PubMed, Cochrane, CINAHL, and PsycInfo databases and focused on the research question: "Is the combination of physical exercise with nutrition/nutritional supplementation more effective than nutrition/nutritional supplementation or physical exercise alone in effecting on brain structure, metabolism, and/or function?" Both mammalian and human studies were included. In humans, randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effects of nutrition/nutritional supplements and physical exercise on cognitive functioning and associated parameters in healthy elderly (>65 years) were included. The systematic search included English and German language literature without any limitation of publication date. The search strategy yielded a total of 3129 references of which 67 studies met the inclusion criteria; 43 human and 24 mammalian, mainly rodent, studies. Three out of 43 human studies investigated a nutrition/physical exercise combination and reported no additive effects. In rodent studies, additive effects were found for docosahexaenoic acid supplementation when combined with physical exercise. Although feasible combinations of physical exercise/nutritional supplements are available for influencing the brain, only a few studies evaluated which possible combinations of nutrition/nutritional supplementation and physical exercise might have an effect on brain structure, metabolism and/or function. The reason for no clear effects of combinatory approaches in humans might be explained by the misfit between the combinations of nutritional methods with

  8. Effects of Physical Exercise Combined with Nutritional Supplements on Aging Brain Related Structures and Functions: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Schättin, Alexandra; Baur, Kilian; Stutz, Jan; Wolf, Peter; de Bruin, Eling D.

    2016-01-01

    Age-related decline in gray and white brain matter goes together with cognitive depletion. To influence cognitive functioning in elderly, several types of physical exercise and nutritional intervention have been performed. This paper systematically reviews the potential additive and complementary effects of nutrition/nutritional supplements and physical exercise on cognition. The search strategy was developed for EMBASE, Medline, PubMed, Cochrane, CINAHL, and PsycInfo databases and focused on the research question: “Is the combination of physical exercise with nutrition/nutritional supplementation more effective than nutrition/nutritional supplementation or physical exercise alone in effecting on brain structure, metabolism, and/or function?” Both mammalian and human studies were included. In humans, randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effects of nutrition/nutritional supplements and physical exercise on cognitive functioning and associated parameters in healthy elderly (>65 years) were included. The systematic search included English and German language literature without any limitation of publication date. The search strategy yielded a total of 3129 references of which 67 studies met the inclusion criteria; 43 human and 24 mammalian, mainly rodent, studies. Three out of 43 human studies investigated a nutrition/physical exercise combination and reported no additive effects. In rodent studies, additive effects were found for docosahexaenoic acid supplementation when combined with physical exercise. Although feasible combinations of physical exercise/nutritional supplements are available for influencing the brain, only a few studies evaluated which possible combinations of nutrition/nutritional supplementation and physical exercise might have an effect on brain structure, metabolism and/or function. The reason for no clear effects of combinatory approaches in humans might be explained by the misfit between the combinations of nutritional methods

  9. Genes Related to Fatty Acid β-Oxidation Play a Role in the Functional Decline of the Drosophila Brain with Age

    PubMed Central

    Laranjeira, António; Schulz, Joachim; Dotti, Carlos G.

    2016-01-01

    In living organisms, ageing is widely considered to be the result of a multifaceted process consisting of the progressive accumulation of damage over time, having implications both in terms of function and survival. The study of ageing presents several challenges, from the different mechanisms implicated to the great diversity of systems affected over time. In the current study, we set out to identify genes involved in the functional decline of the brain with age and study its relevance in a tissue dependent manner using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. Here we report the age-dependent upregulation of genes involved in the metabolic process of fatty acid β-oxidation in the nervous tissue of female wild-type flies. Downregulation of CG10814, dHNF4 and lipid mobilizing genes bmm and dAkh rescues the functional decline of the brain with age, both at the cellular and behaviour level, while over-expression worsens performance. Our data proposes the occurrence of a metabolic alteration in the fly brain with age, whereby the process of β-oxidation of fatty acids experiences a genetic gain-of-function. This event proved to be one of the main causes contributing to the functional decline of the brain with age. PMID:27518101

  10. The function of the NMDA-receptor during normal brain aging.

    PubMed

    Müller, W E; Stoll, S; Scheuer, K; Meichelböck, A

    1994-01-01

    Age-related changes of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors have been found in cortical areas and in the hippocampus of many species. On the basis of a variety of experimental observations it has been suggested that the decrease of NMDA-receptor density might be one of the causative factors of the cognitive decline with aging. Based on these findings several strategies have been developed to improve cognition by compensating the NMDA-receptor deficits in aging. The most promising approaches are the indirect activation of glutamatergic neurotransmission by agonists of the glycine site or the restoration of the age-related deficit of receptor density by several nootropics. PMID:7897387

  11. The effect of education on regional brain metabolism and its functional connectivity in an aged population utilizing positron emission tomography.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jaeik; Chey, Jeanyung; Kim, Sang-Eun; Kim, Hoyoung

    2015-05-01

    Education involves learning new information and acquiring cognitive skills. These require various cognitive processes including learning, memory, and language. Since cognitive processes activate associated brain areas, we proposed that the brains of elderly people with longer education periods would show traces of repeated activation as increased synaptic connectivity and capillary in brain areas involved in learning, memory, and language. Utilizing positron emission topography (PET), this study examined the effect of education in the human brain utilizing the regional cerebral glucose metabolism rates (rCMRglcs). 26 elderly women with high-level education (HEG) and 26 with low-level education (LEG) were compared with regard to their regional brain activation and association between the regions. Further, graphical theoretical analysis using rCMRglcs was applied to examine differences in the functional network properties of the brain. The results showed that the HEG had higher rCMRglc in the ventral cerebral regions that are mainly involved in memory, language, and neurogenesis, while the LEG had higher rCMRglc in apical areas of the cerebrum mainly involved in motor and somatosensory functions. Functional connectivity investigated with graph theoretical analysis illustrated that the brain of the HEG compared to those of the LEG were overall more efficient, more resilient, and characterized by small-worldness. This may be one of the brain's mechanisms mediating the reserve effects found in people with higher education. PMID:25557900

  12. Online games training aging brains: limited transfer to cognitive control functions

    PubMed Central

    van Muijden, Jesse; Band, Guido P. H.; Hommel, Bernhard

    2011-01-01

    The prevalence of age-related cognitive decline will increase due to graying of the global population. The goal of the present study was to test whether playing online cognitive training games can improve cognitive control (CC) in healthy older adults. Fifty-four older adults (age 60–77) played five different cognitive training games online for 30 min a day over a period of seven weeks (game group). Another group of 20 older adults (age 61–73) instead answered quiz questions about documentaries online (documentary group). Transfer was assessed by means of a cognitive test battery administered before and after the intervention. The test battery included measures of working memory updating, set shifting, response inhibition, attention, and inductive reasoning. Compared with the documentary group, the game group showed larger improvement of inhibition (Stop-Signal task) and inductive reasoning (Raven-SPM), whereas the documentary group showed more improvement in selective attention (UFoV-3). These effects qualify as transfer effects, because response inhibition, inductive reasoning and selective attention were not targeted by the interventions. However, because seven other indicators of CC did not show benefits of game training and some of those that did suffered from potential baseline differences, the study as a whole provides only modest support for the potential of videogame training to improve CC in healthy older adults. PMID:22912609

  13. Group 1 Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Function and Its Regulation of Learning and Memory in the Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Ménard, Caroline; Quirion, Rémi

    2012-01-01

    Normal aging is generally characterized by a slow decline of cognitive abilities albeit with marked individual differences. Several animal models have been studied to explore the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon. The excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate and its receptors have been closely linked to spatial learning and hippocampus-dependent memory processes. For decades, ionotropic glutamate receptors have been known to play a critical role in synaptic plasticity, a form of adaptation regulating memory formation. Over the past 10 years, several groups have shown the importance of group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) in successful cognitive aging. These G-protein-coupled receptors are enriched in the hippocampal formation and interact physically with other proteins in the membrane including glutamate ionotropic receptors. Synaptic plasticity is crucial to maintain cognitive abilities and long-term depression (LTD) induced by group 1 mGluR activation, which has been linked to memory in the aging brain. The translation and synthesis of proteins by mGluR-LTD modulate ionotropic receptor trafficking and expression of immediate early genes related to cognition. Fragile X syndrome, a genetic form of autism characterized by memory deficits, has been associated to mGluR receptor malfunction and aberrant activation of its downstream signaling pathways. Dysfunction of mGluR could also be involved in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Indeed, beta-amyloid, the main component of insoluble senile plaques and one of the hallmarks of AD, occludes mGluR-dependent LTD leading to diminished functional synapses. This review highlights recent findings regarding mGluR signaling, related synaptic plasticity, and their potential involvement in normal aging and neurological disorders. PMID:23091460

  14. Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF)-I Modulates Endothelial Blood-Brain Barrier Function in Ischemic Middle-Aged Female Rats.

    PubMed

    Bake, Shameena; Okoreeh, Andre K; Alaniz, Robert C; Sohrabji, Farida

    2016-01-01

    In comparison with young females, middle-aged female rats sustain greater cerebral infarction and worse functional recovery after stroke. These poorer stroke outcomes in middle-aged females are associated with an age-related reduction in IGF-I levels. Poststroke IGF-I treatment decreases infarct volume in older females and lowers the expression of cytokines in the ischemic hemisphere. IGF-I also reduces transfer of Evans blue dye to the brain, suggesting that this peptide may also promote blood-brain barrier function. To test the hypothesis that IGF-I may act at the blood-brain barrier in ischemic stroke, 2 approaches were used. In the first approach, middle-aged female rats were subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion and treated with IGF-I after reperfusion. Mononuclear cells from the ischemic hemisphere were stained for CD4 or triple-labeled for CD4/CD25/FoxP3 and subjected to flow analyses. Both cohorts of cells were significantly reduced in IGF-I-treated animals compared with those in vehicle controls. Reduced trafficking of immune cells to the ischemic site suggests that blood-brain barrier integrity is better maintained in IGF-I-treated animals. The second approach directly tested the effect of IGF-I on barrier function of aging endothelial cells. Accordingly, brain microvascular endothelial cells from middle-aged female rats were cultured ex vivo and subjected to ischemic conditions (oxygen-glucose deprivation). IGF-I treatment significantly reduced the transfer of fluorescently labeled BSA across the endothelial monolayer as well as cellular internalization of fluorescein isothiocyanate-BSA compared with those in vehicle-treated cultures, Collectively, these data support the hypothesis that IGF-I improves blood-brain barrier function in middle-aged females. PMID:26556536

  15. Overrecruitment in the aging brain as a function of task demands: evidence for a compensatory view.

    PubMed

    Vallesi, Antonino; McIntosh, Anthony R; Stuss, Donald T

    2011-04-01

    This study used fMRI to investigate the neural effects of increasing cognitive demands in normal aging and their role for performance. Simple and complex go/no-go tasks were used with two versus eight colored letters as go stimuli, respectively. In both tasks, no-go stimuli could produce high conflict (same letter, different color) or low conflict (colored numbers) with go stimuli. Multivariate partial least square analysis of fMRI data showed that older adults overengaged a cohesive pattern of fronto-parietal regions with no-go stimuli under the specific combination of factors which progressively amplified task demands: high conflict no-go trials in the first phase of the complex task. This early neural overrecruitment was positively correlated with a lower error rate in the older group. Thus, the present data suggest that age-related extra-recruitment of neural resources can be beneficial for performance under taxing task conditions, such as when novel, weak, and complex rules have to be acquired. PMID:20350184

  16. Light-sensitive brain pathways and aging.

    PubMed

    Daneault, V; Dumont, M; Massé, É; Vandewalle, G; Carrier, J

    2016-01-01

    Notwithstanding its effects on the classical visual system allowing image formation, light acts upon several non-image-forming (NIF) functions including body temperature, hormonal secretions, sleep-wake cycle, alertness, and cognitive performance. Studies have shown that NIF functions are maximally sensitive to blue wavelengths (460-480 nm), in comparison to longer light wavelengths. Higher blue light sensitivity has been reported for melatonin suppression, pupillary constriction, vigilance, and performance improvement but also for modulation of cognitive brain functions. Studies investigating acute stimulating effects of light on brain activity during the execution of cognitive tasks have suggested that brain activations progress from subcortical regions involved in alertness, such as the thalamus, the hypothalamus, and the brainstem, before reaching cortical regions associated with the ongoing task. In the course of aging, lower blue light sensitivity of some NIF functions has been reported. Here, we first describe neural pathways underlying effects of light on NIF functions and we discuss eye and cerebral mechanisms associated with aging which may affect NIF light sensitivity. Thereafter, we report results of investigations on pupillary constriction and cognitive brain sensitivity to light in the course of aging. Whereas the impact of light on cognitive brain responses appears to decrease substantially, pupillary constriction seems to remain more intact over the lifespan. Altogether, these results demonstrate that aging research should take into account the diversity of the pathways underlying the effects of light on specific NIF functions which may explain their differences in light sensitivity. PMID:26980095

  17. The Locus Coeruleus: Essential for Maintaining Cognitive Function and the Aging Brain.

    PubMed

    Mather, Mara; Harley, Carolyn W

    2016-03-01

    Research on cognitive aging has focused on how decline in various cortical and hippocampal regions influence cognition. However, brainstem regions play essential modulatory roles, and new evidence suggests that, among these, the integrity of the locus coeruleus (LC)-norepinephrine (NE) system plays a key role in determining late-life cognitive abilities. The LC is especially vulnerable to toxins and infection and is often the first place Alzheimer's-related pathology appears, with most people showing at least some tau pathology by their mid-20s. On the other hand, NE released from the LC during arousing, mentally challenging, or novel situations helps to protect neurons from damage, which may help to explain how education and engaging careers prevent cognitive decline in later years. PMID:26895736

  18. Split Brain Functioning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cassel, Russell N.

    1978-01-01

    Summarizing recent research, this article defines the functions performed by the left and right sides of the human brain. Attention is given to the right side, or the nondominant side, of the brain and its potential in terms of perception of the environment, music, art, geometry, and the aesthetics. (JC)

  19. COPPER AND BRAIN FUNCTION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing evidence shows that brain development and function are impaired when the brain is deprived of copper either through dietary copper deficiency or through genetic defects in copper transport. A number of copper-dependent enzymes whose activities are lowered by copper deprivation form the ba...

  20. Does transcranial direct current stimulation enhance cognitive and motor functions in the ageing brain? A systematic review and meta- analysis.

    PubMed

    Summers, Jeffery J; Kang, Nyeonju; Cauraugh, James H

    2016-01-01

    The use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to enhance cognitive and motor functions has enjoyed a massive increase in popularity. Modifying neuroplasticity via non-invasive cortical stimulation has enormous potential to slow or even reverse declines in functions associated with ageing. The current meta-analysis evaluated the effects of tDCS on cognitive and motor performance in healthy older adults. Of the 81 studies identified, 25 qualified for inclusion. A random effects model meta-analysis revealed a significant overall standardized mean difference equal to 0.53 (SE=0.09; medium heterogeneity: I(2)=57.08%; and high fail-safe: N=448). Five analyses on moderator variables indicated significant tDCS beneficial effects: (a) on both cognitive and motor task performances, (b) across a wide-range of cognitive tasks, (c) on specific brain areas, (d) stimulation offline (before) or online (during) the cognitive and motor tasks. Although the meta-analysis revealed robust support for enhancing both cognitive and motor performance, we outline a number of caveats on the use of tDCS. PMID:26607412

  1. [The Influence of the Functioning of Brain Regulatory Systems onto the Voluntary Regulation of Cognitive Performance in Children. Report 2. Neuropsychological and Electrophysiological Assessment of Brain Regulatory Functions in Children Aged 10-12 with Learning Difficulties].

    PubMed

    Semenova, O A; Machinskaya, R I

    2015-01-01

    A total number of 172 children aged 10-12 were electrophysiologically and neuropsychologically assessed in order to analyze the influence of the functioning of brain regulatory systems onto the voluntary regulation of cognitive performance during the preteen years. EEG patterns associated with the nonoptimal functioning of brain regulatory systems, particularly fronto-thalamic, limbic and fronto-striatal structures were significantly more often observed in children with learning and behavioral difficulties, as compared to the control group. Neuropsychological assessment showed that the nonoptimal functioning of different brain regulatory systems specifically affect the voluntary regulation of cognitive performance. Children with EEG patterns of fronto-thalamic nonoptimal functioning demonstrated poor voluntary regulation such as impulsiveness and difficulties in continuing the same algorithms. Children with EEG patterns of limbic nonoptimal functioning showed a less pronounced executive dysfunction manifested only in poor switching between program units within a task. Children with EEG patterns of fronto-striatal nonoptimal functioning struggled with such executive dysfunctions as motor and tactile perseverations and emotional-motivational deviations such as poor motivation and communicative skills. PMID:26601407

  2. Lutein and Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Erdman, John W.; Smith, Joshua W.; Kuchan, Matthew J.; Mohn, Emily S.; Johnson, Elizabeth J.; Rubakhin, Stanislav S.; Wang, Lin; Sweedler, Jonathan V.; Neuringer, Martha

    2015-01-01

    Lutein is one of the most prevalent carotenoids in nature and in the human diet. Together with zeaxanthin, it is highly concentrated as macular pigment in the foveal retina of primates, attenuating blue light exposure, providing protection from photo-oxidation and enhancing visual performance. Recently, interest in lutein has expanded beyond the retina to its possible contributions to brain development and function. Only primates accumulate lutein within the brain, but little is known about its distribution or physiological role. Our team has begun to utilize the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) model to study the uptake and bio-localization of lutein in the brain. Our overall goal has been to assess the association of lutein localization with brain function. In this review, we will first cover the evolution of the non-human primate model for lutein and brain studies, discuss prior association studies of lutein with retina and brain function, and review approaches that can be used to localize brain lutein. We also describe our approach to the biosynthesis of 13C-lutein, which will allow investigation of lutein flux, localization, metabolism and pharmacokinetics. Lastly, we describe potential future research opportunities. PMID:26566524

  3. Metabolic drift in the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Ivanisevic, Julijana; Stauch, Kelly L; Petrascheck, Michael; Benton, H Paul; Epstein, Adrian A; Fang, Mingliang; Gorantla, Santhi; Tran, Minerva; Hoang, Linh; Kurczy, Michael E; Boska, Michael D; Gendelman, Howard E; Fox, Howard S; Siuzdak, Gary

    2016-05-01

    Brain function is highly dependent upon controlled energy metabolism whose loss heralds cognitive impairments. This is particularly notable in the aged individuals and in age-related neurodegenerative diseases. However, how metabolic homeostasis is disrupted in the aging brain is still poorly understood. Here we performed global, metabolomic and proteomic analyses across different anatomical regions of mouse brain at different stages of its adult lifespan. Interestingly, while severe proteomic imbalance was absent, global-untargeted metabolomics revealed an energymetabolic drift or significant imbalance in core metabolite levels in aged mouse brains. Metabolic imbalance was characterized by compromised cellular energy status (NAD decline, increased AMP/ATP, purine/pyrimidine accumulation) and significantly altered oxidative phosphorylation and nucleotide biosynthesis and degradation. The central energy metabolic drift suggests a failure of the cellular machinery to restore metabostasis (metabolite homeostasis) in the aged brain and therefore an inability to respond properly to external stimuli, likely driving the alterations in signaling activity and thus in neuronal function and communication. PMID:27182841

  4. Metabolic drift in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Ivanisevic, Julijana; Stauch, Kelly L.; Petrascheck, Michael; Benton, H. Paul; Epstein, Adrian A.; Fang, Mingliang; Gorantla, Santhi; Tran, Minerva; Hoang, Linh; Kurczy, Michael E.; Boska, Michael D.; Gendelman, Howard E.; Fox, Howard S.; Siuzdak, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Brain function is highly dependent upon controlled energy metabolism whose loss heralds cognitive impairments. This is particularly notable in the aged individuals and in age-related neurodegenerative diseases. However, how metabolic homeostasis is disrupted in the aging brain is still poorly understood. Here we performed global, metabolomic and proteomic analyses across different anatomical regions of mouse brain at different stages of its adult lifespan. Interestingly, while severe proteomic imbalance was absent, global-untargeted metabolomics revealed an energy metabolic drift or significant imbalance in core metabolite levels in aged mouse brains. Metabolic imbalance was characterized by compromised cellular energy status (NAD decline, increased AMP/ATP, purine/pyrimidine accumulation) and significantly altered oxidative phosphorylation and nucleotide biosynthesis and degradation. The central energy metabolic drift suggests a failure of the cellular machinery to restore metabostasis (metabolite homeostasis) in the aged brain and therefore an inability to respond properly to external stimuli, likely driving the alterations in signaling activity and thus in neuronal function and communication. PMID:27182841

  5. Early Brain Response to Low-Dose Radiation Exposure Involves Molecular Networks and Pathways Associated with Cognitive Functions, Advanced Aging and Alzheimer's Disease

    SciTech Connect

    Lowe, Xiu R; Bhattacharya, Sanchita; Marchetti, Francesco; Wyrobek, Andrew J.

    2008-06-06

    Understanding the cognitive and behavioral consequences of brain exposures to low-dose ionizing radiation has broad relevance for health risks from medical radiation diagnostic procedures, radiotherapy, environmental nuclear contamination, as well as earth orbit and space missions. Analyses of transcriptome profiles of murine brain tissue after whole-body radiation showed that low-dose exposures (10 cGy) induced genes not affected by high dose (2 Gy), and low-dose genes were associated with unique pathways and functions. The low-dose response had two major components: pathways that are consistently seen across tissues, and pathways that were brain tissue specific. Low-dose genes clustered into a saturated network (p < 10{sup -53}) containing mostly down-regulated genes involving ion channels, long-term potentiation and depression, vascular damage, etc. We identified 9 neural signaling pathways that showed a high degree of concordance in their transcriptional response in mouse brain tissue after low-dose radiation, in the aging human brain (unirradiated), and in brain tissue from patients with Alzheimer's disease. Mice exposed to high-dose radiation did not show these effects and associations. Our findings indicate that the molecular response of the mouse brain within a few hours after low-dose irradiation involves the down-regulation of neural pathways associated with cognitive dysfunctions that are also down regulated in normal human aging and Alzheimer's disease.

  6. Brain trace elements and aging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hebbrecht, Geert; Maenhaut, Willy; Reuck, Jacques De

    1999-04-01

    Degenerative mechanisms involved in the aging process of the brain are to a certain extent counteracted by repair mechanisms. In both degenerative and recovery processes, trace elements are involved. The present study focused on the role of two minor (i.e., K and Ca) and six trace elements (i.e., Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Se and Rb) in the aging process. The elements were determined by PIXE in cerebral cortex and white matter, basal ganglia, brainstem and cerebellar cortex of 18 postmortem human brains, from persons without a history of neurologic or psychiatric disease who deceased between the age of 7 and 79. This age range allowed us to study the relationship between elemental concentrations and age. The most prominent findings were a concentration decrease for K and Rb and a concentration increase for the elements Ca, Fe, Zn and Se. The study supports recent findings that Ca and Fe are involved in brain degenerative processes initiated by oxygen free radicals, whereas Zn and Se are involved in immunological reactions counteracting the aging process.

  7. Brain Hemispheric Functioning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roeper Review, 1981

    1981-01-01

    Four articles consider brain hemisphere functioning of gifted students as it relates to gifted programs; alternation of education methodologies; spatial ability as an element of intellectual gifted functioning; and the interaction between hemisphere specialization, imagery, creative imagination, and sex differentiation. (SB)

  8. Executive dysfunction, brain aging, and political leadership.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Mark; Franklin, David L; Post, Jerrold M

    2014-01-01

    Decision-making is an essential component of executive function, and a critical skill of political leadership. Neuroanatomic localization studies have established the prefrontal cortex as the critical brain site for executive function. In addition to the prefrontal cortex, white matter tracts as well as subcortical brain structures are crucial for optimal executive function. Executive function shows a significant decline beginning at age 60, and this is associated with age-related atrophy of prefrontal cortex, cerebral white matter disease, and cerebral microbleeds. Notably, age-related decline in executive function appears to be a relatively selective cognitive deterioration, generally sparing language and memory function. While an individual may appear to be functioning normally with regard to relatively obvious cognitive functions such as language and memory, that same individual may lack the capacity to integrate these cognitive functions to achieve normal decision-making. From a historical perspective, global decline in cognitive function of political leaders has been alternatively described as a catastrophic event, a slowly progressive deterioration, or a relatively episodic phenomenon. Selective loss of executive function in political leaders is less appreciated, but increased utilization of highly sensitive brain imaging techniques will likely bring greater appreciation to this phenomenon. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was an example of a political leader with a well-described neurodegenerative condition (cerebral amyloid angiopathy) that creates a neuropathological substrate for executive dysfunction. Based on the known neuroanatomical and neuropathological changes that occur with aging, we should probably assume that a significant proportion of political leaders over the age of 65 have impairment of executive function. PMID:25901887

  9. Cognitive Deficits, Changes in Synaptic Function, and Brain Pathology in a Mouse Model of Normal Aging1,2,3

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Tiffany; Hanson, Jesse E.; Alam, Nazia M.; Ngu, Hai; Lauffer, Benjamin E.; Lin, Han H.; Dominguez, Sara L.; Reeder, Jens; Tom, Jennifer; Steiner, Pascal; Foreman, Oded; Prusky, Glen T.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Age is the main risk factor for sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. Yet, cognitive decline in aged rodents has been less well studied, possibly due to concomitant changes in sensory or locomotor function that can complicate cognitive tests. We tested mice that were 3, 11, and 23 months old in cognitive, sensory, and motor measures, and postmortem measures of gliosis and neural activity (c-Fos). Hippocampal synaptic function was also examined. While age-related impairments were detectable in tests of spatial memory, greater age-dependent effects were observed in tests of associative learning [active avoidance (AA)]. Gross visual function was largely normal, but startle responses to acoustic stimuli decreased with increased age, possibly due to hearing impairments. Therefore, a novel AA variant in which light alone served as the conditioning stimuli was used. Age-related deficits were again observed. Mild changes in vision, as measured by optokinetic responses, were detected in 19- versus 4-month-old mice, but these were not correlated to AA performance. Thus, deficits in hearing or vision are unlikely to account for the observed deficits in cognitive measures. Increased gliosis was observed in the hippocampal formation at older ages. Age-related changes in neural function and plasticity were observed with decreased c-Fos in the dentate gyrus, and decreased synaptic strength and paired-pulse facilitation in CA1 slices. This work, which carefully outlines age-dependent impairments in cognitive and synaptic function, c-Fos activity, and gliosis during normal aging in the mouse, suggests robust translational measures that will facilitate further study of the biology of aging. PMID:26473169

  10. Aging and brain rejuvenation as systemic events

    PubMed Central

    Bouchard, Jill; Villeda, Saul A

    2015-01-01

    The effects of aging were traditionally thought to be immutable, particularly evident in the loss of plasticity and cognitive abilities occurring in the aged central nervous system (CNS). However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that extrinsic systemic manipulations such as exercise, caloric restriction, and changing blood composition by heterochronic parabiosis or young plasma administration can partially counteract this age-related loss of plasticity in the aged brain. In this review, we discuss the process of aging and rejuvenation as systemic events. We summarize genetic studies that demonstrate a surprising level of malleability in organismal lifespan, and highlight the potential for systemic manipulations to functionally reverse the effects of aging in the CNS. Based on mounting evidence, we propose that rejuvenating effects of systemic manipulations are mediated, in part, by blood-borne ‘pro-youthful’ factors. Thus, systemic manipulations promoting a younger blood composition provide effective strategies to rejuvenate the aged brain. As a consequence, we can now consider reactivating latent plasticity dormant in the aged CNS as a means to rejuvenate regenerative, synaptic, and cognitive functions late in life, with potential implications even for extending lifespan. PMID:25327899

  11. Association between Lifetime Physical Activity and Cognitive Functioning in Middle-Aged and Older Community Dwelling Adults: Results from the Brain in Motion Study.

    PubMed

    Gill, Stephanie J; Friedenreich, Christine M; Sajobi, Tolulope T; Longman, R Stewart; Drogos, Lauren L; Davenport, Margie H; Tyndall, Amanda V; Eskes, Gail A; Hogan, David B; Hill, Michael D; Parboosingh, Jillian S; Wilson, Ben J; Poulin, Marc J

    2015-11-01

    To determine if total lifetime physical activity (PA) is associated with better cognitive functioning with aging and if cerebrovascular function mediates this association. A sample of 226 (52.2% female) community dwelling middle-aged and older adults (66.5 ± 6.4 years) in the Brain in Motion Study, completed the Lifetime Total Physical Activity Questionnaire and underwent neuropsychological and cerebrovascular blood flow testing. Multiple robust linear regressions were used to model the associations between lifetime PA and global cognition after adjusting for age, sex, North American Adult Reading Test results (i.e., an estimate of premorbid intellectual ability), maximal aerobic capacity, body mass index and interactions between age, sex, and lifetime PA. Mediation analysis assessed the effect of cerebrovascular measures on the association between lifetime PA and global cognition. Post hoc analyses assessed past year PA and current fitness levels relation to global cognition and cerebrovascular measures. Better global cognitive performance was associated with higher lifetime PA (p=.045), recreational PA (p=.021), and vigorous intensity PA (p=.004), PA between the ages of 0 and 20 years (p=.036), and between the ages of 21 and 35 years (p.5), but partially mediated the relation between current fitness and global cognition. This study revealed significant associations between higher levels of PA (i.e., total lifetime, recreational, vigorous PA, and past year) and better cognitive function in later life. Current fitness levels relation to cognitive function may be partially mediated through current cerebrovascular function. PMID:26581793

  12. Functional Brain Activation Differences in School-Age Children with Speech Sound Errors: Speech and Print Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Preston, Jonathan L.; Felsenfeld, Susan; Frost, Stephen J.; Mencl, W. Einar; Fulbright, Robert K.; Grigorenko, Elena L.; Landi, Nicole; Seki, Ayumi; Pugh, Kenneth R.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To examine neural response to spoken and printed language in children with speech sound errors (SSE). Method: Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to compare processing of auditorily and visually presented words and pseudowords in 17 children with SSE, ages 8;6[years;months] through 10;10, with 17 matched controls. Results: When…

  13. Modulating Brain Oscillations to Drive Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Thut, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Do neuronal oscillations play a causal role in brain function? In a study in this issue of PLOS Biology, Helfrich and colleagues address this long-standing question by attempting to drive brain oscillations using transcranial electrical current stimulation. Remarkably, they were able to manipulate visual perception by forcing brain oscillations of the left and right visual hemispheres into synchrony using oscillatory currents over both hemispheres. Under this condition, human observers more often perceived an inherently ambiguous visual stimulus in one of its perceptual instantiations. These findings shed light on the mechanisms underlying neuronal computation. They show that it is the neuronal oscillations that drive the visual experience, not the experience driving the oscillations. And they indicate that synchronized oscillatory activity groups brain areas into functional networks. This points to new ways for controlled experimental and possibly also clinical interventions for the study and modulation of brain oscillations and associated functions. PMID:25549340

  14. Cognitive Skills and the Aging Brain: What to Expect.

    PubMed

    Howieson, Diane B

    2015-01-01

    Whether it's a special episode on the PBS series, "The Secret Life of the Brain" or an entire issue dedicated to the topic in the journal Science, a better understanding of the aging brain is viewed as a key to an improved quality of life in a world where people live longer. Despite dementia and other neurobiological disorders that are associated with aging, improved imaging has revealed that even into our seventies, our brains continue producing new neurons. Our author writes about how mental health functions react to the normal aging process, including why an aging brain may even form the basis for wisdom. PMID:27408669

  15. The Declining Infrastructure of the Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Great effort has been dedicated to mapping the functional architecture of the brain in health and disease. The neural centers that support cognition and behavior are the “hubs” defining the salient geographic landmarks of the cerebral topography. Similar to urban cartography, however, the functionality of these hubs is critically dependent on the infrastructure permitting the transfer of relevant information from site to site, and this infrastructure is susceptible to deterioration. The groundwork of the brain lies in the form of the complexly organized myelinated nerve fibers responsible for the inter-regional transmission of electrical impulses among distinct neural areas. Damage to the myelin sheath and reduction in the total number of nerve fibers with aging are thought to result in a degradation in the efficiency of communication among neural regions and to contribute to the decline of function in older adults. This article describes selected studies that are relevant to understanding the deterioration in structural connectivity of the aging brain with a focus on potential consequences to functional network activity. First, the neural substrates of connectivity and techniques used in the study of connectivity are described with a focus on neuroimaging methodologies. This is followed with discussion of the negative effects of age on connective integrity, and the possible mechanisms and neural and cognitive consequences of this progressive disconnection. Given the potential for natural repair of certain elements of the connective network, understanding the basis of age-associated decline in connectivity could have important implications with regard to the amelioration of neural dysfunction and the restoration of the infrastructure necessary for optimal function in older adults. PMID:22432418

  16. Exercise, cognitive function, and aging

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Increasing the lifespan of a population is often a marker of a country's success. With the percentage of the population over 65 yr of age expanding, managing the health and independence of this population is an ongoing concern. Advancing age is associated with a decrease in cognitive function that ultimately affects quality of life. Understanding potential adverse effects of aging on brain blood flow and cognition may help to determine effective strategies to mitigate these effects on the population. Exercise may be one strategy to prevent or delay cognitive decline. This review describes how aging is associated with cardiovascular disease risks, vascular dysfunction, and increasing Alzheimer's disease pathology. It will also discuss the possible effects of aging on cerebral vascular physiology, cerebral perfusion, and brain atrophy rates. Clinically, these changes will present as reduced cognitive function, neurodegeneration, and the onset of dementia. Regular exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function, and we hypothesize that this occurs through beneficial adaptations in vascular physiology and improved neurovascular coupling. This review highlights the potential interactions and ideas of how the age-associated variables may affect cognition and may be moderated by regular exercise. PMID:26031719

  17. Nutrition, brain aging, and neurodegeneration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The onset of age-related neurodegenerative diseases superimposed on a declining nervous system could enhance the motor and cognitive behavioral deficits that normally occur in senescence. It is likely that, in cases of severe deficits in memory or motor function, hospitalization and/or custodial car...

  18. [A study on functional plasticity of the brain in childhood. II. Speech development and intelligence after the damage of cerebral hemisphere under 1 year of age].

    PubMed

    Ichiba, N; Takigawa, H

    1992-11-01

    To investigate the functional plasticity of the brain in childhood, the speech development, the intelligence test and dichotic listening test were performed on 27 patients who had suffered from hemiplegia under 1 year of age. Among 13 patients with right hemiplegia, 7 to 24 years old, 11 patients showed a left ear dominance suggesting the lateralization of language in the right hemisphere. All 14 patients with left hemiplegia, 5 to 37 years old, showed a right ear dominance suggesting the lateralization of language in the left hemisphere. All 27 patients acquired speech function enough to converse with other people during daily life. There were no differences in speech development or intelligence scores between both groups of hemiplegia. Although there was no correlation between the speech development and the age of onset of hemiplegia, there was a correlation between the speech development and the intelligence score in both groups of hemiplegia. PMID:1419166

  19. A multi-ingredient dietary supplement abolishes large-scale brain cell loss, improves sensory function, and prevents neuronal atrophy in aging mice.

    PubMed

    Lemon, J A; Aksenov, V; Samigullina, R; Aksenov, S; Rodgers, W H; Rollo, C D; Boreham, D R

    2016-06-01

    Transgenic growth hormone mice (TGM) are a recognized model of accelerated aging with characteristics including chronic oxidative stress, reduced longevity, mitochondrial dysfunction, insulin resistance, muscle wasting, and elevated inflammatory processes. Growth hormone/IGF-1 activate the Target of Rapamycin known to promote aging. TGM particularly express severe cognitive decline. We previously reported that a multi-ingredient dietary supplement (MDS) designed to offset five mechanisms associated with aging extended longevity, ameliorated cognitive deterioration and significantly reduced age-related physical deterioration in both normal mice and TGM. Here we report that TGM lose more than 50% of cells in midbrain regions, including the cerebellum and olfactory bulb. This is comparable to severe Alzheimer's disease and likely explains their striking age-related cognitive impairment. We also demonstrate that the MDS completely abrogates this severe brain cell loss, reverses cognitive decline and augments sensory and motor function in aged mice. Additionally, histological examination of retinal structure revealed markers consistent with higher numbers of photoreceptor cells in aging and supplemented mice. We know of no other treatment with such efficacy, highlighting the potential for prevention or amelioration of human neuropathologies that are similarly associated with oxidative stress, inflammation and cellular dysfunction. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 57:382-404, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27199101

  20. Fiber tract-driven topographical mapping (FTTM) reveals microstructural relevance for interhemispheric visuomotor function in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Schulte, Tilman; Maddah, Mahnaz; Müller-Oehring, Eva M.; Rohlfing, Torsten; Pfefferbaum, Adolf; Sullivan, Edith V.

    2013-01-01

    We present a novel approach – DTI-based fiber tract-driven topographical mapping (FTTM) – to map and measure the influence of age on the integrity of interhemispheric fibers and challenge their selective functions with measures of interhemispheric integration of lateralized information. This approach enabled identification of spatially specific topographical maps of scalar diffusion measures and their relation to measures of visuomotor performance. Relative to younger adults, older adults showed lower fiber integrity indices in anterior than posterior callosal fibers. FTTM analysis identified a dissociation in the microstructural – function associates between age groups: in younger adults, genu fiber integrity correlated with interhemispheric transfer time, whereas in older adults, body fiber integrity was correlated with interhemispheric transfer time with topographical specificity along left-lateralized callosal fiber trajectories. Neural co-activation from redundant targets was evidenced by fMRI-derived bilateral extrastriate cortex activation in both groups, and a group difference emerged for a pontine activation cluster that was differently modulated by response hand in older than younger adults. Bilateral processing advantages in older but not younger adults further correlated with fiber integrity in transverse pontine fibers that branch into the right cerebellar cortex, thereby supporting a role for the pons in interhemispheric facilitation. In conclusion, in the face of compromised anterior callosal fibers, older adults appear to use alternative pathways to accomplish visuomotor interhemispheric information transfer and integration for lateralized processing. This shift from youthful associations may indicate recruitment of compensatory mechanisms involving medial corpus callosum fibers and subcortical pathways. PMID:23567886

  1. Platelet function and ageing.

    PubMed

    Jones, Chris I

    2016-08-01

    There are clear age-related changes in platelet count and function, driven by changes in hematopoietic tissue, the composition of the blood and vascular health. Platelet count remains relatively stable during middle age (25-60 years old) but falls in older people. The effect of age on platelet function is slightly less clear. The longstanding view is that platelet reactivity increases with age in an almost linear fashion. There are, however, serious limitations to the data supporting this dogma. We can conclude that platelet function increases during middle age, but little evidence exists on the changes in platelet responsiveness in old age (>75 years old). This change in platelet function is driven by differential mRNA and microRNA expression, an increase in oxidative stress and changes in platelet receptors. These age-related changes in platelets are particularly pertinent given that thrombotic disease and use of anti-platelet drugs is much more prevalent in the elderly population, yet the majority of platelet research is carried out in young to middle-aged (20-50 years old) human volunteers and young mice (2-6 months old). We know relatively little about exactly how platelets from people over 75 years old differ from those of middle-aged subjects, and we know even less about the mechanisms that drive these changes. Addressing these gaps in our knowledge will provide substantial understanding in how cell signalling changes during ageing and will enable the development of more precise anti-platelet therapies. PMID:27068925

  2. Zinc and the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Nuttall, Johnathan R; Oteiza, Patricia I

    2014-01-01

    Alterations in trace element homeostasis could be involved in the pathology of dementia, and in particular of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Zinc is a structural or functional component of many proteins, being involved in numerous and relevant physiological functions. Zinc homeostasis is affected in the elderly, and current evidence points to alterations in the cellular and systemic distribution of zinc in AD. Although the association of zinc and other metals with AD pathology remains unclear, therapeutic approaches designed to restore trace element homeostasis are being tested in clinical trials. Not only could zinc supplementation potentially benefit individuals with AD, but zinc supplementation also improves glycemic control in the elderly suffering from diabetes mellitus. However, the findings that select genetic polymorphisms may alter an individual's zinc intake requirements should be taken into consideration when planning zinc supplementation. This review will focus on current knowledge regarding pathological and protective mechanisms involving brain zinc in AD to highlight areas where future research may enable development of new and improved therapies. PMID:24366781

  3. Dolichol alters brain membrane functions

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, G.Y.; Sun, A.Y.; Schroeder, F.; Wood, G.; Strong, R.

    1986-03-05

    It has been well demonstrated that there is a direct correlation between increase in dolichol level in brain and aging. An abnormally high level of dolichol was found in brain tissue of patients with pathological aging disorders. The aim of this study is to examine the physiological significance of dolichol affecting membrane transport activity and phospholipid acyl group turnover. Dolichol added to synaptic plasma membranes resulted in a biphasic effect on (Na/sup +/, K/sup +/)-ATPase, i.e., an enhancement of activity at low concentrations (5 ..mu..g/125 mg protein) and an inhibition of activity at high concentrations (40-100 ..mu..g). To probe the membrane acyl group turnover, the incorporation of (/sup 14/C)-arachidonate into plasma membrane phospholipids was examined in the presence and absence of dolichol. Dolichol elicited an increase in the incorporation of label into phospholipids. However, the effects varied depending on whether BSA is present. In the absence of BSA, the increase in labeling of phosphatidylinositols is higher than that of phosphatidylcholines. These results suggest that dolichols, when inserted into membranes, may alter membrane functions.

  4. Functional Lateralization of the Brain.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dean, Raymond S.

    1984-01-01

    Research concerning lateralization of human brain functions is examined in light of the recent publication of the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children. Following a review of research methodologies and functions ascribed to the hemispheres of the brain, differences are portrayed as complementary and coexisting modes of cognitive processing.…

  5. Aging in the canine and feline brain.

    PubMed

    Vite, Charles H; Head, Elizabeth

    2014-11-01

    Aging dogs and cats show neurodegenerative features that are similar to human aging and Alzheimer disease. Neuropathologic changes with age may be linked to signs of cognitive dysfunction both in the laboratory and in a clinic setting. Less is known about cat brain aging and cognition and this represents an area for further study. Neurodegenerative diseases such as lysosomal storage diseases in dogs and cats also show similar features of human aging, suggesting some common underlying pathogenic mechanisms and also suggesting pathways that can be modified to promote healthy brain aging. PMID:25441628

  6. Influence of Age on Brain Edema Formation, Secondary Brain Damage and Inflammatory Response after Brain Trauma in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Timaru-Kast, Ralph; Luh, Clara; Gotthardt, Philipp; Huang, Changsheng; Schäfer, Michael K.; Engelhard, Kristin; Thal, Serge C.

    2012-01-01

    After traumatic brain injury (TBI) elderly patients suffer from higher mortality rate and worse functional outcome compared to young patients. However, experimental TBI research is primarily performed in young animals. Aim of the present study was to clarify whether age affects functional outcome, neuroinflammation and secondary brain damage after brain trauma in mice. Young (2 months) and old (21 months) male C57Bl6N mice were anesthetized and subjected to a controlled cortical impact injury (CCI) on the right parietal cortex. Animals of both ages were randomly assigned to 15 min, 24 h, and 72 h survival. At the end of the observation periods, contusion volume, brain water content, neurologic function, cerebral and systemic inflammation (CD3+ T cell migration, inflammatory cytokine expression in brain and lung, blood differential cell count) were determined. Old animals showed worse neurological function 72 h after CCI and a high mortality rate (19.2%) compared to young (0%). This did not correlate with histopathological damage, as contusion volumes were equal in both age groups. Although a more pronounced brain edema formation was detected in old mice 24 hours after TBI, lack of correlation between brain water content and neurological deficit indicated that brain edema formation is not solely responsible for age-dependent differences in neurological outcome. Brains of old naïve mice were about 8% smaller compared to young naïve brains, suggesting age-related brain atrophy with possible decline in plasticity. Onset of cerebral inflammation started earlier and primarily ipsilateral to damage in old mice, whereas in young mice inflammation was delayed and present in both hemispheres with a characteristic T cell migration pattern. Pulmonary interleukin 1β expression was up-regulated after cerebral injury only in young, not aged mice. The results therefore indicate that old animals are prone to functional deficits and strong ipsilateral cerebral inflammation

  7. Infant Brain Structures, Executive Function, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Problems at Preschool Age. A Prospective Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ghassabian, Akhgar; Herba, Catherine M.; Roza, Sabine J.; Govaert, Paul; Schenk, Jacqueline J.; Jaddoe, Vincent W.; Hofman, Albert; White, Tonya; Verhulst, Frank C.; Tiemeier, Henning

    2013-01-01

    Background: Neuroimaging findings have provided evidence for a relation between variations in brain structures and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, longitudinal neuroimaging studies are typically confined to children who have already been diagnosed with ADHD. In a population-based study, we aimed to characterize the…

  8. Effects of noninvasive brain stimulation on cognitive function in healthy aging and Alzheimer's disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Wan-Yu; Ku, Yixuan; Zanto, Theodore P; Gazzaley, Adam

    2015-08-01

    The study aimed to evaluate the effects of noninvasive brain stimulation on cognitive function in healthy older adults and patients with Alzheimer's disease. A comprehensive literature search was performed on noninvasive stimulation studies published from January 1990 to November 2014 in Pubmed and Web of Science. Fourteen articles with a total of 331 participants were identified as studies with healthy older adults, and the mean effect size and 95% confidence interval were estimated. A significant effect size of 0.42 was found for the cognitive outcome. Further subgroup analyses demonstrated more prominent effects for studies delivering the stimulation before the execution of the task and studies applying multiple sessions of stimulation. To assess the effects of stimulation on Alzheimer's disease patients, 11 studies with a total of 200 patients were included in the analysis. A significant effect size of 1.35 was found for the cognitive outcomes. Subgroup analyses indicated more pronounced effects for studies applying the stimulation during the execution of the task compared with studies delivering the stimulation before the execution of the task. Noninvasive brain stimulation has a positive effect on cognitive function in physiological and pathological aging. PMID:26022770

  9. Circadian clock and pathology of the ageing brain

    PubMed Central

    Kondratova, A.A.; Kondratov, R.V.

    2013-01-01

    Ageing leads to functional deterioration of many brain systems, including the circadian clock - an internal time-keeping system that generates 24 hr rhythms in physiology and behaviour. Numerous clinical studies have established a direct correlation between the severity of neurodegenerative disorders, sleep disturbances and weakening of circadian clock functions. The latest data from model organisms, gene expression studies and clinical trials imply that the dysfunction of the circadian clock may contribute to the progression of ageing and age-associated pathologies, suggesting a functional link between the circadian clock, and age-associated decline of brain functions. Potential molecular mechanisms underlying this link include the circadian control of brain metabolism, reactive oxygen species homeostasis, hormone secretion, autophagy and stem cell proliferation. PMID:22395806

  10. Blood-borne revitalization of the aged brain

    PubMed Central

    Castellano, Joseph M.; Kirby, Elizabeth D.; Wyss-Coray, Tony

    2016-01-01

    In the modern medical era, more diverse and effective treatment options have translated into increased life expectancy. With this increased lifespan comes increased age-associated disease and the dire need to understand the underlying causes so that therapies can be designed to mitigate the burden to health and the economy. Aging exacts a seemingly inevitable, multi-system deterioration of function that acts as a risk factor for a variety of age-related disorders, including those that devastate organs of limited regenerative potential such as the brain. Rather than studying the brain and mechanisms that govern its aging in isolation from other organ systems, an emerging approach is to understand the relatively unappreciated communication existing between the brain and the systemic environment. Revisiting classical methods of experimental physiology in animal models has uncovered surprising regenerative activity within young blood with translational implications for aging liver, muscle, brain and other organs. Surprisingly, soluble factors present in young or aged blood are sufficient to improve or impair cognitive function, respectively, suggesting an aging continuum of brain-relevant systemic factors. The age-associated plasma chemokine CCL11 has been shown to impair young brain function while GDF11 has been reported to increase the generation of neurons in aged mice. However, the identities of specific factors mediating memory-enhancing effects of young blood and their mechanisms of action remain enigmatic. Here we review recent brain rejuvenation studies in the broader context of systemic rejuvenation research. We discuss putative mechanisms for blood-borne brain rejuvenation while suggesting promising avenues for future research and development of therapies. PMID:26237737

  11. Blood-Borne Revitalization of the Aged Brain.

    PubMed

    Castellano, Joseph M; Kirby, Elizabeth D; Wyss-Coray, Tony

    2015-10-01

    In the modern medical era, more diverse and effective treatment options have translated to increased life expectancy. With this increased life span comes increased age-associated disease and the dire need to understand underlying causes so that therapies can be designed to mitigate the burden to health and the economy. Aging exacts a seemingly inevitable multisystem deterioration of function that acts as a risk factor for a variety of age-related disorders, including those that devastate organs of limited regenerative potential, such as the brain. Rather than studying the brain and mechanisms that govern its aging in isolation from other organ systems, an emerging approach is to understand the relatively unappreciated communication that exists between the brain and systemic environment. Revisiting classical methods of experimental physiology in animal models has uncovered surprising regenerative activity in young blood with translational implications for the aging liver, muscle, brain, and other organs. Soluble factors present in young or aged blood are sufficient to improve or impair cognitive function, respectively, suggesting an aging continuum of brain-relevant systemic factors. The age-associated plasma chemokine CCL11 has been shown to impair young brain function while GDF11 has been reported to increase the generation of neurons in aged mice. However, the identities of specific factors mediating memory-enhancing effects of young blood and their mechanisms of action are enigmatic. Here we review brain rejuvenation studies in the broader context of systemic rejuvenation research. We discuss putative mechanisms for blood-borne brain rejuvenation and suggest promising avenues for future research and development of therapies. PMID:26237737

  12. Structural Imaging Measures of Brain Aging

    PubMed Central

    Lockhart, Samuel N.

    2014-01-01

    During the course of normal aging, biological changes occur in the brain that are associated with changes in cognitive ability. This review presents data from neuroimaging studies of primarily “normal” or healthy brain aging. As such, we focus on research in unimpaired or nondemented older adults, but also include findings from lifespan studies that include younger and middle aged individuals as well as from populations with prodromal or clinically symptomatic disease such as cerebrovascular or Alzheimer’s disease. This review predominantly addresses structural MRI biomarkers, such as volumetric or thickness measures from anatomical images, and measures of white matter injury and integrity respectively from FLAIR or DTI, and includes complementary data from PET and cognitive or clinical testing as appropriate. The findings reveal highly consistent age-related differences in brain structure, particularly frontal lobe and medial temporal regions that are also accompanied by age-related differences in frontal and medial temporal lobe mediated cognitive abilities. Newer findings also suggest that degeneration of specific white matter tracts such as those passing through the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum may also be related to age-related differences in cognitive performance. Interpretation of these findings, however, must be tempered by the fact that comorbid diseases such as cerebrovascular and Alzheimer’s disease also increase in prevalence with advancing age. As such, this review discusses challenges related to interpretation of current theories of cognitive aging in light of the common occurrence of these later-life diseases. Understanding the differences between “Normal” and “Healthy” brain aging and identifying potential modifiable risk factors for brain aging is critical to inform potential treatments to stall or reverse the effects of brain aging and possibly extend cognitive health for our aging society. PMID:25146995

  13. Structural brain changes in aging: courses, causes and cognitive consequences.

    PubMed

    Fjell, Anders M; Walhovd, Kristine B

    2010-01-01

    The structure of the brain is constantly changing from birth throughout the lifetime, meaning that normal aging, free from dementia, is associated with structural brain changes. This paper reviews recent evidence from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies about age-related changes in the brain. The main conclusions are that (1) the brain shrinks in volume and the ventricular system expands in healthy aging. However, the pattern of changes is highly heterogeneous, with the largest changes seen in the frontal and temporal cortex, and in the putamen, thalamus, and accumbens. With modern approaches to analysis of MRI data, changes in cortical thickness and subcortical volume can be tracked over periods as short as one year, with annual reductions of between 0.5% and 1.0% in most brain areas. (2) The volumetric brain reductions in healthy aging are likely only to a minor extent related to neuronal loss. Rather, shrinkage of neurons, reductions of synaptic spines, and lower numbers of synapses probably account for the reductions in grey matter. In addition, the length of myelinated axons is greatly reduced, up to almost 50%. (3) Reductions in specific cognitive abilities--for instance processing speed, executive functions, and episodic memory--are seen in healthy aging. Such reductions are to a substantial degree mediated by neuroanatomical changes, meaning that between 25% and 100% of the differences between young and old participants in selected cognitive functions can be explained by group differences in structural brain characteristics. PMID:20879692

  14. Estrogen treatment affects brain functioning after menopause.

    PubMed

    Bayer, Ulrike; Hausmann, Markus

    2011-12-01

    Sex hormones have powerful neuromodulatory effects on functional brain organization and cognitive functioning. This paper reviews findings from studies investigating the influence of sex hormones in postmenopausal women with and without hormone therapy (HT). Functional brain organization was investigated using different behavioural tasks in postmenopausal women using either estrogen therapy or combined estrogen plus gestagen therapy and age- and IQ-matched postmenopausal women not taking HT. The results revealed HT-related modulations in specific aspects of functional brain organization including functional cerebral asymmetries and interhemispheric interaction. In contrast to younger women during the menstrual cycle, however, it seems that HT, and especially estrogen therapy, after menopause affects intrahemispheric processing rather than interhemispheric interaction. This might be explained by a faster and more pronounced age-related decline in intrahemispheric relative to interhemispheric functioning, which might be associated with higher sensitivity to HT. Taken together, the findings suggest that the female brain retains its plasticity even after reproductive age and remains susceptible to the effects of sex hormones throughout the lifetime, which might help to discover new clinical approaches in the hormonal treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. PMID:22120942

  15. Successful brain aging: plasticity, environmental enrichment, and lifestyle

    PubMed Central

    Mora, Francisco

    2013-01-01

    Aging is a physiological process that can develop without the appearance of concurrent diseases. However, very frequently, older people suffer from memory loss and an accelerated cognitive decline. Studies of the neurobiology of aging are beginning to decipher the mechanisms underlying not only the physiology of aging of the brain but also the mechanisms that make people more vulnerable to cognitive dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases. Today we know that the aging brain retains a considerable functional plasticity, and that this plasticity is positively promoted by genes activated by different lifestyle factors. In this article some of these lifestyle factors and their mechanisms of action are reviewed, including environmental enrichment and the importance of food intake and some nutrients. Aerobic physical exercise and reduction of chronic stress are also briefly reviewed. It is proposed that lifestyle factors are powerful instruments to promote healthy and successful aging of the brain and delay the appearance of age-related cognitive deficits in elderly people. PMID:23576888

  16. Life and death of neurons in the aging brain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, J. H.; Hof, P. R.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by extensive neuron death that leads to functional decline, but the neurobiological correlates of functional decline in normal aging are less well defined. For decades, it has been a commonly held notion that widespread neuron death in the neocortex and hippocampus is an inevitable concomitant of brain aging, but recent quantitative studies suggest that neuron death is restricted in normal aging and unlikely to account for age-related impairment of neocortical and hippocampal functions. In this article, the qualitative and quantitative differences between aging and Alzheimer's disease with respect to neuron loss are discussed, and age-related changes in functional and biochemical attributes of hippocampal circuits that might mediate functional decline in the absence of neuron death are explored. When these data are viewed comprehensively, it appears that the primary neurobiological substrates for functional impairment in aging differ in important ways from those in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

  17. Modeling the brain morphology distribution in the general aging population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huizinga, W.; Poot, D. H. J.; Roshchupkin, G.; Bron, E. E.; Ikram, M. A.; Vernooij, M. W.; Rueckert, D.; Niessen, W. J.; Klein, S.

    2016-03-01

    Both normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease cause morphological changes of the brain. To better distinguish between normal and abnormal cases, it is necessary to model changes in brain morphology owing to normal aging. To this end, we developed a method for analyzing and visualizing these changes for the entire brain morphology distribution in the general aging population. The method is applied to 1000 subjects from a large population imaging study in the elderly, from which 900 were used to train the model and 100 were used for testing. The results of the 100 test subjects show that the model generalizes to subjects outside the model population. Smooth percentile curves showing the brain morphology changes as a function of age and spatiotemporal atlases derived from the model population are publicly available via an interactive web application at agingbrain.bigr.nl.

  18. Age-related changes in brain metabolites and cognitive function in APP/PS1 transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shuang-qing; Cai, Qing; Shen, Yu-ying; Wang, Pei-jun; Teng, Gao-jun; Zhang, Wei; Zang, Feng-chao

    2012-11-01

    Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) and the Morris water maze (MWM) have played an important role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) research. The aim of this study was to determine whether (1)H-MRS and the MWM can detect for early AD in APP/PS1 transgenic (tg) mice. (1)H-MRS was performed in 20 tg mice and 15 wild-type mice at 3, 5 and 8 months of age. The concentration of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), glutamate (Glu), myo-inositol (mI), choline (Cho) and creatine (Cr) in the hippocampus were measured, and the NAA/Cr, Glu/Cr, mI/Cr and Cho/Cr ratios were quantified. Additionally, the spatial learning and memory of the mice were evaluated by MWM. The (1)H-MRS revealed that mI levels in tg mice were significantly higher at 3 months of age compared to wt mice, while the NAA and Glu levels in 5- and 8-month-old tg mice were significantly decreased (p<0.05). Additionally, significant cognitive changes only occurred at 8 months of age in APP/PS1 tg mice. These results indicated that metabolic changes preceded overt cognitive dysfunctions in early-stage AD, suggesting that (1)H-MRS is a more sensitive biomarker for assessing early AD. PMID:22828014

  19. How age of bilingual exposure can change the neural systems for language in the developing brain: a functional near infrared spectroscopy investigation of syntactic processing in monolingual and bilingual children.

    PubMed

    Jasinska, K K; Petitto, L A

    2013-10-01

    Is the developing bilingual brain fundamentally similar to the monolingual brain (e.g., neural resources supporting language and cognition)? Or, does early-life bilingual language experience change the brain? If so, how does age of first bilingual exposure impact neural activation for language? We compared how typically-developing bilingual and monolingual children (ages 7-10) and adults recruit brain areas during sentence processing using functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) brain imaging. Bilingual participants included early-exposed (bilingual exposure from birth) and later-exposed individuals (bilingual exposure between ages 4-6). Both bilingual children and adults showed greater neural activation in left-hemisphere classic language areas, and additionally, right-hemisphere homologues (Right Superior Temporal Gyrus, Right Inferior Frontal Gyrus). However, important differences were observed between early-exposed and later-exposed bilinguals in their earliest-exposed language. Early bilingual exposure imparts fundamental changes to classic language areas instead of alterations to brain regions governing higher cognitive executive functions. However, age of first bilingual exposure does matter. Later-exposed bilinguals showed greater recruitment of the prefrontal cortex relative to early-exposed bilinguals and monolinguals. The findings provide fascinating insight into the neural resources that facilitate bilingual language use and are discussed in terms of how early-life language experiences can modify the neural systems underlying human language processing. PMID:23974273

  20. Data for mitochondrial proteomic alterations in the aging mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Stauch, Kelly L.; Purnell, Phillip R.; Villeneuve, Lance M.; Fox, Howard S.

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondria are dynamic organelles critical for many cellular processes, including energy generation. Thus, mitochondrial dysfunction likely plays a role in the observed alterations in brain glucose metabolism during aging. Despite implications of mitochondrial alterations during brain aging, comprehensive quantitative proteomic studies remain limited. Therefore, to characterize the global age-associated mitochondrial proteomic changes in the brain, we analyzed mitochondria isolated from the brain of 5-, 12-, and 24-month old mice using quantitative mass spectrometry. We identified changes in the expression of proteins important for biological processes involved in the generation of precursor metabolites and energy through the breakdown of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. These results are significant because we identified age-associated proteomic changes suggestive of altered mitochondrial catabolic reactions during brain aging. The proteomic data described here can be found in the PRIDE Archive using the reference number PXD001370. A more comprehensive analysis of this data may be obtained from the article “Proteomic analysis and functional characterization of mouse brain mitochondria during aging reveal alterations in energy metabolism” in PROTEOMICS. PMID:26217775

  1. Lead poisoning and brain cell function

    SciTech Connect

    Goldstein, G.W. Kennedy Institute, Baltimore, MD )

    1990-11-01

    Exposure to excessive amounts of inorganic lead during the toddler years may produce lasting adverse effects upon brain function. Maximal ingestion of lead occurs at an age when major changes are occurring in the density of brain synaptic connections. The developmental reorganization of synapses is, in part, mediated by protein kinases, and these enzymes are particularly sensitive to stimulation by lead. By inappropriately activating specific protein kinases, lead poisoning may disrupt the development of neural networks without producing overt pathological alterations. The blood-brain barrier is another potential vulnerable site for the neurotoxic action of lead. protein kinases appear to regulate the development of brain capillaries and the expression of the blood-brain barrier properties. Stimulation of protein kinase by lead may disrupt barrier development and alter the precise regulation of the neuronal environment that is required for normal brain function. Together, these findings suggest that the sensitivity of protein kinases to lead may in part underlie the brain dysfunction observed in children poisoned by this toxicant.

  2. Nutritional Cognitive Neuroscience: Innovations for Healthy Brain Aging

    PubMed Central

    Zamroziewicz, Marta K.; Barbey, Aron K.

    2016-01-01

    Nutritional cognitive neuroscience is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research that seeks to understand nutrition's impact on cognition and brain health across the life span. Research in this burgeoning field demonstrates that many aspects of nutrition—from entire diets to specific nutrients—affect brain structure and function, and therefore have profound implications for understanding the nature of healthy brain aging. The aim of this Focused Review is to examine recent advances in nutritional cognitive neuroscience, with an emphasis on methods that enable discovery of nutrient biomarkers that predict healthy brain aging. We propose an integrative framework that calls for the synthesis of research in nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, incorporating: (i) methods for the precise characterization of nutritional health based on the analysis of nutrient biomarker patterns (NBPs), along with (ii) modern indices of brain health derived from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). By integrating cutting-edge techniques from nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, nutritional cognitive neuroscience will continue to advance our understanding of the beneficial effects of nutrition on the aging brain and establish effective nutritional interventions to promote healthy brain aging. PMID:27375409

  3. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    PubMed

    Biswal, Bharat B; Mennes, Maarten; Zuo, Xi-Nian; Gohel, Suril; Kelly, Clare; Smith, Steve M; Beckmann, Christian F; Adelstein, Jonathan S; Buckner, Randy L; Colcombe, Stan; Dogonowski, Anne-Marie; Ernst, Monique; Fair, Damien; Hampson, Michelle; Hoptman, Matthew J; Hyde, James S; Kiviniemi, Vesa J; Kötter, Rolf; Li, Shi-Jiang; Lin, Ching-Po; Lowe, Mark J; Mackay, Clare; Madden, David J; Madsen, Kristoffer H; Margulies, Daniel S; Mayberg, Helen S; McMahon, Katie; Monk, Christopher S; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Nagel, Bonnie J; Pekar, James J; Peltier, Scott J; Petersen, Steven E; Riedl, Valentin; Rombouts, Serge A R B; Rypma, Bart; Schlaggar, Bradley L; Schmidt, Sein; Seidler, Rachael D; Siegle, Greg J; Sorg, Christian; Teng, Gao-Jun; Veijola, Juha; Villringer, Arno; Walter, Martin; Wang, Lihong; Weng, Xu-Chu; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Williamson, Peter; Windischberger, Christian; Zang, Yu-Feng; Zhang, Hong-Ying; Castellanos, F Xavier; Milham, Michael P

    2010-03-01

    Although it is being successfully implemented for exploration of the genome, discovery science has eluded the functional neuroimaging community. The core challenge remains the development of common paradigms for interrogating the myriad functional systems in the brain without the constraints of a priori hypotheses. Resting-state functional MRI (R-fMRI) constitutes a candidate approach capable of addressing this challenge. Imaging the brain during rest reveals large-amplitude spontaneous low-frequency (<0.1 Hz) fluctuations in the fMRI signal that are temporally correlated across functionally related areas. Referred to as functional connectivity, these correlations yield detailed maps of complex neural systems, collectively constituting an individual's "functional connectome." Reproducibility across datasets and individuals suggests the functional connectome has a common architecture, yet each individual's functional connectome exhibits unique features, with stable, meaningful interindividual differences in connectivity patterns and strengths. Comprehensive mapping of the functional connectome, and its subsequent exploitation to discern genetic influences and brain-behavior relationships, will require multicenter collaborative datasets. Here we initiate this endeavor by gathering R-fMRI data from 1,414 volunteers collected independently at 35 international centers. We demonstrate a universal architecture of positive and negative functional connections, as well as consistent loci of inter-individual variability. Age and sex emerged as significant determinants. These results demonstrate that independent R-fMRI datasets can be aggregated and shared. High-throughput R-fMRI can provide quantitative phenotypes for molecular genetic studies and biomarkers of developmental and pathological processes in the brain. To initiate discovery science of brain function, the 1000 Functional Connectomes Project dataset is freely accessible at www.nitrc.org/projects/fcon_1000/. PMID

  4. Natriuretic Hormones in Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Hodes, Anastasia; Lichtstein, David

    2014-01-01

    Natriuretic hormones (NH) include three groups of compounds: the natriuretic peptides (ANP, BNP and CNP), the gastrointestinal peptides (guanylin and uroguanylin), and endogenous cardiac steroids. These substances induce the kidney to excrete sodium and therefore participate in the regulation of sodium and water homeostasis, blood volume, and blood pressure (BP). In addition to their peripheral functions, these hormones act as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators in the brain. In this review, the established information on the biosynthesis, release and function of NH is discussed, with particular focus on their role in brain function. The available literature on the expression patterns of each of the NH and their receptors in the brain is summarized, followed by the evidence for their roles in modulating brain function. Although numerous open questions exist regarding this issue, the available data support the notion that NH participate in the central regulation of BP, neuroprotection, satiety, and various psychiatric conditions, including anxiety, addiction, and depressive disorders. In addition, the interactions between the different NH in the periphery and the brain are discussed. PMID:25506340

  5. ShcC proteins: brain aging and beyond.

    PubMed

    Sagi, Orli; Budovsky, Arie; Wolfson, Marina; Fraifeld, Vadim E

    2015-01-01

    To date, most studies of Shc family of signaling adaptor proteins have been focused on the near-ubiquitously expressed ShcA, indicating its relevance to age-related diseases and longevity. Although the role of the neuronal ShcC protein is much less investigated, accumulated evidence suggests its importance for neuroprotection against such aging-associated conditions as brain ischemia and oxidative stress. Here, we summarize more than decade of studies on the ShcC expression and function in normal brain, age-related brain pathologies and immune disorders with a focus on the interactions of ShcC with signaling proteins/pathways, and the possible implications of these interactions for changes associated with aging. PMID:25462193

  6. O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine modification of proteins is activated in post-ischemic brains of young but not aged mice: Implications for impaired functional recovery from ischemic stress.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shuai; Sheng, Huaxin; Yu, Zhui; Paschen, Wulf; Yang, Wei

    2016-02-01

    To evaluate the effect of age on the response of brains to an ischemic challenge, we subjected young and aged mice to transient forebrain ischemia, and analyzed the heat shock response and unfolded protein response, ubiquitin conjugation and SUMO conjugation, and O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine modification of proteins (O-GlcNAcylation). The most prominent age-related difference was an inability of aged mice to activate O-GlcNAcylation. Considering many reports on the protective role of O-GlcNAcylation in various stress conditions including myocardial ischemia, this pathway could be a promising target for therapeutic intervention to improve functional recovery of aged patients following brain ischemia. PMID:26661187

  7. Progesterone Receptors: Form and Function in Brain

    PubMed Central

    Brinton, Roberta Diaz; Thompson, Richard F.; Foy, Michael R.; Baudry, Michel; Wang, JunMing; Finch, Caleb E; Morgan, Todd E.; Stanczyk, Frank Z.; Pike, Christian J.; Nilsen, Jon

    2008-01-01

    Emerging data indicate that progesterone has multiple non-reproductive functions in the central nervous system to regulate cognition, mood, inflammation, mitochondrial function, neurogenesis and regeneration, myelination and recovery from traumatic brain injury. Progesterone-regulated neural responses are mediated by an array of progesterone receptors (PR) that include the classic nuclear PRA and PRB receptors and splice variants of each, the seven transmembrane domain 7TMPRβ and the membrane-associated 25-Dx PR (PGRMC1). These PRs induce classic regulation of gene expression while also transducing signaling cascades that originate at the cell membrane and ultimately activate transcription factors. Remarkably, PRs are broadly expressed throughout the brain and can be detected in every neural cell type. The distribution of PRs beyond hypothalamic borders, suggests a much broader role of progesterone in regulating neural function. Despite the large body of evidence regarding progesterone regulation of reproductive behaviors and estrogen-inducible responses as well as effects of progesterone metabolite neurosteroids, much remains to be discovered regarding the functional outcomes resulting from activation of the complex array of PRs in brain by gonadally and / or glial derived progesterone. Moreover, the impact of clinically used progestogens and developing selective PR modulators for targeted outcomes in brain is a critical avenue of investigation as the non-reproductive functions of PRs have far-reaching implications for hormone therapy to maintain neurological health and function throughout menopausal aging. PMID:18374402

  8. The Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury on the Aging Brain.

    PubMed

    Young, Jacob S; Hobbs, Jonathan G; Bailes, Julian E

    2016-09-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has come to the forefront of both the scientific and popular culture. Specifically, sports-related concussions or mild TBI (mTBI) has become the center of scientific scrutiny with a large amount of research focusing on the long-term sequela of this type of injury. As the populace continues to age, the impact of TBI on the aging brain will become clearer. Currently, reports have come to light that link TBI to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, as well as certain psychiatric diseases. Whether these associations are causations, however, is yet to be determined. Other long-term sequelae, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), appear to be associated with repetitive injuries. Going forward, as we gain better understanding of the pathophysiological process involved in TBI and subclinical head traumas, and individual traits that influence susceptibility to neurocognitive diseases, a clearer, more comprehensive understanding of the connection between brain injury and resultant disease processes in the aging brain will become evident. PMID:27432348

  9. Neuropathological changes in aging brain.

    PubMed

    Xekardaki, Aikaterini; Kövari, Eniko; Gold, Gabriel; Papadimitropoulou, Adriana; Giacobini, Ezio; Herrmann, François; Giannakopoulos, Panteleimon; Bouras, Constantin

    2015-01-01

    Neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) include tangles (NFT) and beta amyloid (Aβ) plaques. Despite numerous neuropathological studies that assessed the relationship of cognitive decline with neuropathologic lesions, their correlation still remains unclear. NFTs and Aβ plaques have been widely implicated and described in normal aging. The number of NFTs in the CA1 and the entorhinal cortex seems to be more closely related to cognitive status, compared to the amyloid load whose role still remains controversial in the AD. In this review, we refer to our main studies performed in Geneva during the past two decades attempting to assess the correlation of pathology with clinical expression. The theory of cognitive reserve has been proposed for further understanding of interindividual differences in terms of compensation despite the presence of pathological lesions. The increasing prevalence of the AD, the limitations of actual treatments, as well as the high public cost reflect the imperative need for better therapeutic and early diagnosis strategies in the future. PMID:25416106

  10. Is reproductive ageing controlled by the brain?

    PubMed

    Gore, Andrea C

    2007-08-01

    Female reproductive function is controlled by complex interactions of the brain, pituitary gland and ovary. Each of these organs produces unique hormones, and each hormone acts upon the other organs to affect a response. Differentiating the causes and the consequences of reproductive senescence in mammals is thus a 'chicken and egg' puzzle. Surprisingly, recent evidence indicates a more important role for the brain in the initiation and transition to reproductive senescence. PMID:17620108

  11. Altered Proteins in the Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Elobeid, Adila; Libard, Sylwia; Leino, Marina; Popova, Svetlana N.

    2016-01-01

    We assessed the prevalence of common altered brain proteins in 296 cognitively unimpaired subjects ranging from age 50 to 102 years. The incidence and the stage of hyperphosphorylated-τ (HPτ), β-amyloid, α-synuclein (αS), and transactive response DNA (TDP) binding protein 43 (TDP43)-immunoreactivity (-IR) increased with age. HPτ-IR was observed in 98% of the subjects; the locus coeruleus was solely affected in 46%, and 79% of the subjects were in Braak stages a to II. β-Amyloid was seen in 47% of subjects and the Thal phase correlated with the HPτ Braak stage and age. Intermediate Alzheimer disease-related pathology (ADRP) was seen in 12%; 52% of the subjects with HPτ-IR fulfilled criteria for definite primary age-related tauopathy (PART). The incidence of concomitant pathology (αS, TDP43) did not differ between those with PART and those with ADRP but the former were younger. TDP43-IR was observed in 36%; the most frequently affected region was the medulla; αS-IR was observed in 19% of subjects. In 41% of the subjects from 80 to 89 years at death, 3 altered proteins were seen in the brain. Thus, altered proteins are common in the brains of cognitively unimpaired aged subjects; this should be considered while developing diagnostic biomarkers, particularly for identifying subjects at early stages of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26979082

  12. Altered Proteins in the Aging Brain.

    PubMed

    Elobeid, Adila; Libard, Sylwia; Leino, Marina; Popova, Svetlana N; Alafuzoff, Irina

    2016-04-01

    We assessed the prevalence of common altered brain proteins in 296 cognitively unimpaired subjects ranging from age 50 to 102 years. The incidence and the stage of hyperphosphorylated-τ (HPτ), β-amyloid, α-synuclein (αS), and transactive response DNA (TDP) binding protein 43 (TDP43)-immunoreactivity (-IR) increased with age. HPτ-IR was observed in 98% of the subjects; the locus coeruleus was solely affected in 46%, and 79% of the subjects were in Braak stages a to II. β-Amyloid was seen in 47% of subjects and the Thal phase correlated with the HPτ Braak stage and age. Intermediate Alzheimer disease-related pathology (ADRP) was seen in 12%; 52% of the subjects with HPτ-IR fulfilled criteria for definite primary age-related tauopathy (PART). The incidence of concomitant pathology (αS, TDP43) did not differ between those with PART and those with ADRP but the former were younger. TDP43-IR was observed in 36%; the most frequently affected region was the medulla; αS-IR was observed in 19% of subjects. In 41% of the subjects from 80 to 89 years at death, 3 altered proteins were seen in the brain. Thus, altered proteins are common in the brains of cognitively unimpaired aged subjects; this should be considered while developing diagnostic biomarkers, particularly for identifying subjects at early stages of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26979082

  13. Comparing Aging and Fitness Effects on Brain Anatomy.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Mark A; Low, Kathy A; Boyd, Rachel; Zimmerman, Benjamin; Gordon, Brian A; Tan, Chin H; Schneider-Garces, Nils; Sutton, Bradley P; Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) mitigates the brain's atrophy typically associated with aging, via a variety of beneficial mechanisms. One could argue that if CRF is generally counteracting the negative effects of aging, the same regions that display the greatest age-related volumetric loss should also show the largest beneficial effects of fitness. To test this hypothesis we examined structural MRI data from 54 healthy older adults (ages 55-87), to determine the overlap, across brain regions, of the profiles of age and fitness effects. Results showed that lower fitness and older age are associated with atrophy in several brain regions, replicating past studies. However, when the profiles of age and fitness effects were compared using a number of statistical approaches, the effects were not entirely overlapping. Interestingly, some of the regions that were most influenced by age were among those not influenced by fitness. Presumably, the age-related atrophy occurring in these regions is due to factors that are more impervious to the beneficial effects of fitness. Possible mechanisms supporting regional heterogeneity may include differential involvement in motor function, the presence of adult neurogenesis, and differential sensitivity to cerebrovascular, neurotrophic and metabolic factors. PMID:27445740

  14. A Preliminary Study of the Effects of an Arts Education Program on Executive Function, Behavior, and Brain Structure in a Sample of Nonclinical School-Aged Children.

    PubMed

    Park, Subin; Lee, Jong-Min; Baik, Young; Kim, Kihyun; Yun, Hyuk Jin; Kwon, Hunki; Jung, Yeon-Kyung; Kim, Bung-Nyun

    2015-11-01

    The authors examined the effects of arts education on cognition, behavior, and brain of children. Twenty-nine nonclinical children participated in a 15-week arts education program that was composed of either creative movement or musical arts. Children completed the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, clinical scales, and brain magnetic resonance imaging before and after the intervention. Following program completion, performances on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, the Children's Depression Inventory scores, and conduct disorder scores were significantly improved. Furthermore, cortical thickness in the left postcentral gyrus and superior parietal lobule were increased, and the mean diffusivity values in the right posterior corona radiate and superior longitudinal fasciculus were decreased. Positive correlations between changes in cognitive measurements and changes in cortical thickness were observed. This preliminary study suggests a positive effect of arts education on executive functions in association with brain changes. However, these findings must be interpreted with caution due to the noncomparative study design. PMID:25862737

  15. Advanced BrainAGE in older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Franke, Katja; Gaser, Christian; Manor, Brad; Novak, Vera

    2013-01-01

    Aging alters brain structure and function and diabetes mellitus (DM) may accelerate this process. This study investigated the effects of type 2 DM on individual brain aging as well as the relationships between individual brain aging, risk factors, and functional measures. To differentiate a pattern of brain atrophy that deviates from normal brain aging, we used the novel BrainAGE approach, which determines the complex multidimensional aging pattern within the whole brain by applying established kernel regression methods to anatomical brain magnetic resonance images (MRI). The "Brain Age Gap Estimation" (BrainAGE) score was then calculated as the difference between chronological age and estimated brain age. 185 subjects (98 with type 2 DM) completed an MRI at 3Tesla, laboratory and clinical assessments. Twenty-five subjects (12 with type 2 DM) also completed a follow-up visit after 3.8 ± 1.5 years. The estimated brain age of DM subjects was 4.6 ± 7.2 years greater than their chronological age (p = 0.0001), whereas within the control group, estimated brain age was similar to chronological age. As compared to baseline, the average BrainAGE scores of DM subjects increased by 0.2 years per follow-up year (p = 0.034), whereas the BrainAGE scores of controls did not change between baseline and follow-up. At baseline, across all subjects, higher BrainAGE scores were associated with greater smoking and alcohol consumption, higher tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) levels, lower verbal fluency scores and more severe deprepession. Within the DM group, higher BrainAGE scores were associated with longer diabetes duration (r = 0.31, p = 0.019) and increased fasting blood glucose levels (r = 0.34, p = 0.025). In conclusion, type 2 DM is independently associated with structural changes in the brain that reflect advanced aging. The BrainAGE approach may thus serve as a clinically relevant biomarker for the detection of abnormal patterns of brain aging associated with type 2 DM

  16. Increased sensitivity to transient global ischemia in aging rat brain.

    PubMed

    Xu, Kui; Sun, Xiaoyan; Puchowicz, Michelle A; LaManna, Joseph C

    2007-01-01

    Transient global brain ischemia induced by cardiac arrest and resuscitation (CAR) results in reperfusion injury associated with oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is known to produce delayed selective neuronal cell loss and impairment of brainstem function, leading to post-resuscitation mortality. Levels of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) modified protein adducts, a marker of oxidative stress, was found to be elevated after CAR in rat brain. In this study we investigated the effects of an antioxidant, alpha-phenyl-tert-butyl-nitrone (PBN) on the recovery following CAR in the aged rat brain. Male Fischer 344 rats (6, 12 and 24-month old) underwent 7-minute cardiac arrest before resuscitation. Brainstem function was assessed by hypoxic ventilatory response (HVR) and HNE-adducts were measured by western blot analysis. Our data showed that in the 24-month old rats, overall survival rate, hippocampal CAl neuronal counts and HVR were significantly reduced compared to the younger rats. With PBN treatment, the recovery was improved in the aged rat brain, which was consistent with reduced HNE adducts in brain following CAR. Our data suggest that aged rats are more vulnerable to oxidative stress insult and treatment with PBN improves the outcome following reperfusion injury. The mechanism of action is most likely through the scavenging of reactive oxygen species resulting in reduced lipid peroxidation. PMID:17727265

  17. Evolution of the Aging Brain Transcriptome and Synaptic Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Dakin, Kelly A.; Vann, James M.; Isaacs, Adrian; Geula, Chengiz; Wang, Jianbin; Pan, Ying; Gabuzda, Dana H.; Li, Cheng; Prolla, Tomas A.; Yankner, Bruce A.

    2008-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders of aging are characterized by clinical and pathological features that are relatively specific to humans. To obtain greater insight into how brain aging has evolved, we compared age-related gene expression changes in the cortex of humans, rhesus macaques, and mice on a genome-wide scale. A small subset of gene expression changes are conserved in all three species, including robust age-dependent upregulation of the neuroprotective gene apolipoprotein D (APOD) and downregulation of the synaptic cAMP signaling gene calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMK4). However, analysis of gene ontology and cell type localization shows that humans and rhesus macaques have diverged from mice due to a dramatic increase in age-dependent repression of neuronal genes. Many of these age-regulated neuronal genes are associated with synaptic function. Notably, genes associated with GABA-ergic inhibitory function are robustly age-downregulated in humans but not in mice at the level of both mRNA and protein. Gene downregulation was not associated with overall neuronal or synaptic loss. Thus, repression of neuronal gene expression is a prominent and recently evolved feature of brain aging in humans and rhesus macaques that may alter neural networks and contribute to age-related cognitive changes. PMID:18830410

  18. SPECT functional brain imaging. Technical considerations.

    PubMed

    Devous, M D

    1995-07-01

    The technical aspects of functional brain single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging, referring primarily to the most common SPECT brain function measure--regional cerebral blood flow--are reviewed. SPECT images of regional cerebral blood flow are influenced by a number of factors unrelated to pathology, including tomographic quality, radiopharmaceuticals, environmental conditions at the time of radiotracer administration, characteristics of the subject (e.g., age, sex), image presentation, and image processing techniques. Modern SPECT scans yield excellent image quality, and instrumentation continues to improve. The armamentarium of regional cerebral blood flow and receptor radiopharmaceuticals is rapidly expanding. Standards regarding the environment for patient imaging and image presentation are emerging. However, there is still much to learn about the circumstances for performances and evaluation of SPECT functional brain imaging. Challenge tests, primarily established in cerebrovascular disease (i.e., the acetazolamide test), offer great promise in defining the extent and nature of disease, as well as predicting therapeutic responses. Clearly, SPECT brain imaging is a powerful clinical and research tool. However, SPECT will only achieve its full potential in the management of patients with cerebral pathology through close cooperation among members of the nuclear medicine, neurology, psychiatry, neurosurgery, and internal medicine specialties. PMID:7626833

  19. The Dopaminergic System in the Aging Brain of Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    White, Katherine E.; Humphrey, Dickon M.; Hirth, Frank

    2010-01-01

    Drosophila models of Parkinson's disease are characterized by two principal phenotypes: the specific loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the aging brain and defects in motor behavior. However, an age-related analysis of these baseline parameters in wildtype Drosophila is lacking. Here we analyzed the DA system and motor behavior in aging Drosophila. DA neurons in the adult brain can be grouped into bilateral symmetric clusters, each comprising a stereotypical number of cells. Analysis of TH > mCD8::GFP and cell type-specific MARCM clones revealed that DA neurons show cluster-specific, stereotypical projection patterns with terminal arborization in target regions that represent distinct functional areas of the adult brain. Target areas include the mushroom bodies, involved in memory formation and motivation, and the central complex, involved in the control of motor behavior, indicating that similar to the mammalian brain, DA neurons in the fly brain are involved in the regulation of specific behaviors. Behavioral analysis revealed that Drosophila show an age-related decline in startle-induced locomotion and negative geotaxis. Motion tracking however, revealed that walking activity, and exploration behavior, but not centrophobism increase at late stages of life. Analysis of TH > Dcr2, mCD8::GFP revealed a specific effect of Dcr2 expression on walking activity but not on exploratory or centrophobic behavior, indicating that the siRNA pathway may modulate distinct DA behaviors in Drosophila. Moreover, DA neurons were maintained between early- and late life, as quantified by TH > mCD8::GFP and anti-TH labeling, indicating that adult onset, age-related degeneration of DA neurons does not occur in the aging brain of Drosophila. Taken together, our data establish baseline parameters in Drosophila for the study of Parkinson's disease as well as other disorders affecting DA neurons and movement control. PMID:21165178

  20. Brain pathologies in extreme old age.

    PubMed

    Neltner, Janna H; Abner, Erin L; Jicha, Gregory A; Schmitt, Frederick A; Patel, Ela; Poon, Leonard W; Marla, Gearing; Green, Robert C; Davey, Adam; Johnson, Mary Ann; Jazwinski, S Michal; Kim, Sangkyu; Davis, Daron; Woodard, John L; Kryscio, Richard J; Van Eldik, Linda J; Nelson, Peter T

    2016-01-01

    With an emphasis on evolving concepts in the field, we evaluated neuropathologic data from very old research volunteers whose brain autopsies were performed at the University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center, incorporating data from the Georgia Centenarian Study (n = 49 cases included), Nun Study (n = 17), and University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center (n = 11) cohorts. Average age of death was 102.0 (range: 98-107) years overall. Alzheimer's disease pathology was not universal (62% with "moderate" or "frequent" neuritic amyloid plaque densities), whereas frontotemporal lobar degeneration was absent. By contrast, some hippocampal neurofibrillary tangles (including primary age-related tauopathy) were observed in every case. Lewy body pathology was seen in 16.9% of subjects and hippocampal sclerosis of aging in 20.8%. We describe anatomic distributions of pigment-laden macrophages, expanded Virchow-Robin spaces, and arteriolosclerosis among Georgia Centenarians. Moderate or severe arteriolosclerosis pathology, throughout the brain, was associated with both hippocampal sclerosis of aging pathology and an ABCC9 gene variant. These results provide fresh insights into the complex cerebral multimorbidity, and a novel genetic risk factor, at the far end of the human aging spectrum. PMID:26597697

  1. Poststroke Cell Therapy of the Aged Brain

    PubMed Central

    Popa-Wagner, Aurel; Filfan, Madalina; Uzoni, Adriana; Pourgolafshan, Pouya; Buga, Ana-Maria

    2015-01-01

    During aging, many neurodegenerative disorders are associated with reduced neurogenesis and a decline in the proliferation of stem/progenitor cells. The development of the stem cell (SC), the regenerative therapy field, gained tremendous expectations in the diseases that suffer from the lack of treatment options. Stem cell based therapy is a promising approach to promote neuroregeneration after brain injury and can be potentiated when combined with supportive pharmacological drug treatment, especially in the aged. However, the mechanism of action for a particular grafted cell type, the optimal delivery route, doses, or time window of administration after lesion is still under debate. Today, it is proved that these protections are most likely due to modulatory mechanisms rather than the expected cell replacement. Our group proved that important differences appear in the aged brain compared with young one, that is, the accelerated progression of ischemic area, or the delayed initiation of neurological recovery. In this light, these age-related aspects should be carefully evaluated in the clinical translation of neurorestorative therapies. This review is focused on the current perspectives and suitable sources of stem cells (SCs), mechanisms of action, and the most efficient delivery routes in neurorestoration therapies in the poststroke aged environment. PMID:26347826

  2. Comparing α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor binding, amyloid-β deposition, and mitochondria complex-I function in living brain: A PET study in aged monkeys.

    PubMed

    Nishiyama, Shingo; Ohba, Hiroyuki; Kanazawa, Masakatsu; Kakiuchi, Takeharu; Tsukada, Hideo

    2015-10-01

    This study was aimed to assess the correlations among α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) binding, amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition, and mitochondrial complex I (MC-I) activity in the brain of aged monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Positron emission tomography (PET) measurements with [(11) C](R)-MeQAA, [(11) C]PIB, and [(18) F]BCPP-EF were conducted in monkeys in a conscious condition. [(11) C](R)-MeQAA binding was analyzed by a simplified reference tissue model to calculate nondisplaceable binding potential (BPND), [(11) C]PIB uptake was calculated by standard uptake value ratio (SUVR), and [(18) F]BCPP-EF binding was determined by Logan graphical analysis to calculate total distribution volume (VT) with arterial blood sampling. Higher brain uptake was determined in the thalamus, hippocampus, striatum, and cortical regions for [(11) C](R)-MeQAA, while being lower in the cerebellum. Significant age-related reduction of [(11) C](R)-MeQAA binding to α7-nAChR was determined only in the occipital cortex. The plot of Vt of [(18) F]BCPP-EF against BPND of [(11) C](R)-MeQAA indicated a significant negative correlation in the hippocampus and cortical regions in aged animals. Plotting of SUVR of [(11) C]PIB against BPND of [(11) C](R)-MeQAA showed a positive correlation. The in vivo binding of [(11) C](R)-MeQAA could reflect the upregulation of α7-nAChR induced by neurodegenerative damage determined by Aβ deposition as well as impaired MC-I activity in living brain. PMID:26234533

  3. The emotion paradox in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Mather, Mara

    2012-01-01

    This paper reviews age differences in emotion processing and how they may relate to age-related changes in the brain. Compared with younger adults, older adults react less to negative situations, ignore irrelevant negative stimuli better, and remember relatively more positive than negative information. Older adults’ ability to insulate their thoughts and emotional reactions from negative situations is likely due to a number of factors, such as being less influenced by interoceptive cues, selecting different emotion regulation strategies, having less age-related decline in prefrontal regions associated with emotional control than in other prefrontal regions, and engaging in emotion regulation strategies as a default mode in their everyday lives. Healthy older adults’ avoidance of processing negative stimuli may contribute to their well-maintained emotional well-being. However, when cardiovascular disease leads to additional prefrontal white matter damage, older adults have fewer cognitive control mechanisms available to regulate their emotions, making them more vulnerable to depression. In general, while age-related changes in the brain help shape emotional experience, shifts in preferred strategies and goal priorities are also important influences. PMID:22409159

  4. Attention, psychomotor functions and age.

    PubMed

    Kallus, Konrad Wolfgang; Schmitt, Jeroen A J; Benton, David

    2005-12-01

    Nutrition might play an important role to ameliorate or to buffer age-related declines in attention and psychomotor functions. The assessment of nutritional effects in aged subjects has to take into account that attention and psychomotor functions can be subdivided in different functions that are differentially affected by age. This paper gives an overview of changes in different facets of attention and psychomotor functions beyond fifty as well as assessment methods for attention and psychomotor performance. It also provides a review of models to explain the pattern of changes with increasing age, and discusses the problems of high performance variance and of age related confounding variables like health status. Two different approaches are discussed that analyse a performance profile and an experimentally oriented functional microanalysis of changes in performance with respect to the effects of nutrition on attention and psychomotor functions. Addressed are examples of missing age-related deficits or even age-related superiority. Caffeine and Ginseng are considered as examples to enhance performance in older persons. Results are in accordance with data on the positive role of physical fitness for mental performance in older persons. Performance of older persons can well be enhanced by functional food components or nutritional supplementation. The effects are comparable to the effects obtained in younger groups, while there is only weak evidence for specific compensatory effects in aged persons. Finally the role of nutrition for the processes of healthy aging is discussed. PMID:16331357

  5. Comparing Aging and Fitness Effects on Brain Anatomy

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Mark A.; Low, Kathy A.; Boyd, Rachel; Zimmerman, Benjamin; Gordon, Brian A.; Tan, Chin H.; Schneider-Garces, Nils; Sutton, Bradley P.; Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) mitigates the brain’s atrophy typically associated with aging, via a variety of beneficial mechanisms. One could argue that if CRF is generally counteracting the negative effects of aging, the same regions that display the greatest age-related volumetric loss should also show the largest beneficial effects of fitness. To test this hypothesis we examined structural MRI data from 54 healthy older adults (ages 55–87), to determine the overlap, across brain regions, of the profiles of age and fitness effects. Results showed that lower fitness and older age are associated with atrophy in several brain regions, replicating past studies. However, when the profiles of age and fitness effects were compared using a number of statistical approaches, the effects were not entirely overlapping. Interestingly, some of the regions that were most influenced by age were among those not influenced by fitness. Presumably, the age-related atrophy occurring in these regions is due to factors that are more impervious to the beneficial effects of fitness. Possible mechanisms supporting regional heterogeneity may include differential involvement in motor function, the presence of adult neurogenesis, and differential sensitivity to cerebrovascular, neurotrophic and metabolic factors. PMID:27445740

  6. Blueberries and the Aging Brain: Beyond Antioxidants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wild blueberries, native to North America, have been evaluated as having anti-aging properties for nerve cells and nerve cell functions such as neuromotor skills and memory. Aged animals fed blueberries in their diets for eight weeks showed improvements in short-term memory, coordination, balance, m...

  7. Memantine - neuroprotective drug in aging brain.

    PubMed

    Karolczak, Dominika; Sawicka, Emilia; Dorszewska, Jolanta; Radel, Anna; Bodnar, Magdalena; Błaszczyk, Agata; Jagielska, Joanna; Marszałek, Andrzej

    2013-10-01

    Aging is the process of progressive accumulation of changes over time, which is additionally connected with increasing susceptibility to some diseases and ultimately leads to death. Aging is associated mainly with loss of permanent cells, e.g. in heart, skeletal muscle and brain. During aging neurons die mainly in the apoptotic way. Apoptosis can be divided into three phases: initiation, execution and degradation. During the execution phase activation of specific enzymes, caspases, is observed. These enzymes are responsible for initiation of the death machinery. Caspase-9 is connected with the internal pathway of apoptosis, which begins at the mitochondrium in response to apoptotic stimulants, such as free radicals, UV radiation or chemotherapeutics. Before the executive phase starts, cytochrome c leaks from the mitochondrium to the cytoplasm, where it joins to the protein Apaf-1 and procaspase-9 and forms a complex called the apoptosome. Then procaspase-9 is converted by autolysis to caspase-9, which subsequently activates procaspase-3 to the active form which ultimately leads to apoptosis. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated a small decrease in caspase-9 and caspase-3 activation during normal aging and an increase in this process after application of stress factors. Also increased apoptosis in the cerebrum after administration of a drug for Alzheimer disease, memantine, to aging rats was observed. Taken together, the results obtained in this study seem to confirm the neuroprotective effect of memantine on increasing levels of cells with active caspase-3 and active caspase-9. It probably improves caspase-dependent apoptosis in the aging brain. PMID:24166606

  8. Dynamic imaging of brain function

    PubMed Central

    Hyder, Fahmeed

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, there have been unprecedented methodological advances in the dynamic imaging of brain activities. Electrophysiological, optical, and magnetic resonance methods now allow mapping of functional activation (or deactivation) by measurement of neuronal activity (e.g., membrane potential, ion flux, neurotransmitter flux), energy metabolism (e.g., glucose consumption, oxygen consumption, creatine kinase flux), and functional hyperemia (e.g., blood oxygenation, blood flow, blood volume). Properties of the glutamatergic synapse are used as a model to reveal activities at the nerve terminal and their associated changes in energy demand and blood flow. This approach reveals that each method measures different tissue- and/or cell-specific components with specified spatiotemporal resolution. While advantages and disadvantages of different methods are apparent and often used to supersede one another in terms of specificity and/or sensitivity, no particular technique is the optimal dynamic brain imaging method because each method is unique in some respect. Because the demand for energy substrates is a fundamental requirement for function, energy-based methods may allow quantitative dynamic imaging in vivo. However there are exclusive neurobiological insights gained by combining some of these different dynamic imaging techniques. PMID:18839085

  9. Alpha oscillatory correlates of motor inhibition in the aged brain

    PubMed Central

    Bönstrup, Marlene; Hagemann, Julian; Gerloff, Christian; Sauseng, Paul; Hummel, Friedhelm C.

    2015-01-01

    Exerting inhibitory control is a cognitive ability mediated by functions known to decline with age. The goal of this study is to add to the mechanistic understanding of cortical inhibition during motor control in aged brains. Based on behavioral findings of impaired inhibitory control with age we hypothesized that elderly will show a reduced or a lack of EEG alpha-power increase during tasks that require motor inhibition. Since inhibitory control over movements has been shown to rely on prior motor memory formation, we investigated cortical inhibitory processes at two points in time—early after learning and after an overnight consolidation phase and hypothesized an overnight increase of inhibitory capacities. Young and elderly participants acquired a complex finger movement sequence and in each experimental session brain activity during execution and inhibition of the sequence was recorded with multi-channel EEG. We assessed cortical processes of sustained inhibition by means of task-induced changes of alpha oscillatory power. During inhibition of the learned movement, young participants showed a significant alpha power increase at the sensorimotor cortices whereas elderly did not. Interestingly, for both groups, the overnight consolidation phase improved up-regulation of alpha power during sustained inhibition. This points to deficits in the generation and enhancement of local inhibitory mechanisms at the sensorimotor cortices in aged brains. However, the alpha power increase in both groups implies neuroplastic changes that strengthen the network of alpha power generation over time in young as well as elderly brains. PMID:26528179

  10. Sexual Function Across Aging.

    PubMed

    Clayton, Anita H; Harsh, Veronica

    2016-03-01

    Women experience multiple changes in social and reproductive statuses across the life span which can affect sexual functioning. Various phases of the sexual response cycle may be impacted and can lead to sexual dysfunction. Screening for sexual problems and consideration of contributing factors such as neurobiology, reproductive life events, medical problems, medication use, and depression can help guide appropriate treatment and thereby improve the sexual functioning and quality of life of affected women. Treatment options include psychotropic medications, hormone therapy, and psychotherapy. PMID:26830886

  11. Non-invasive brain stimulation of the aging brain: State of the art and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Tatti, Elisa; Rossi, Simone; Innocenti, Iglis; Rossi, Alessandro; Santarnecchi, Emiliano

    2016-08-01

    Favored by increased life expectancy and reduced birth rate, worldwide demography is rapidly shifting to older ages. The golden age of aging is not only an achievement but also a big challenge because of the load of the elderly on social and medical health care systems. Moreover, the impact of age-related decline of attention, memory, reasoning and executive functions on self-sufficiency emphasizes the need of interventions to maintain cognitive abilities at a useful degree in old age. Recently, neuroscientific research explored the chance to apply Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NiBS) techniques (as transcranial electrical and magnetic stimulation) to healthy aging population to preserve or enhance physiologically-declining cognitive functions. The present review will update and address the current state of the art on NiBS in healthy aging. Feasibility of NiBS techniques will be discussed in light of recent neuroimaging (either structural or functional) and neurophysiological models proposed to explain neural substrates of the physiologically aging brain. Further, the chance to design multidisciplinary interventions to maximize the efficacy of NiBS techniques will be introduced as a necessary future direction. PMID:27221544

  12. Resveratrol attenuates peripheral and brain inflammation and reduces ischemic brain injury in aged female mice.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Sae Im; Shin, Jin A; Cho, Sunghee; Kim, Hye Won; Lee, Ji Yoon; Kang, Jihee Lee; Park, Eun-Mi

    2016-08-01

    Resveratrol is known to improve metabolic dysfunction associated with obesity. Visceral obesity is a sign of aging and is considered a risk factor for ischemic stroke. In this study, we investigated the effects of resveratrol on inflammation in visceral adipose tissue and the brain and its effects on ischemic brain injury in aged female mice. Mice treated with resveratrol (0.1 mg/kg, p.o.) for 10 days showed reduced levels of interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α, as well as a reduction in the size of adipocytes in visceral adipose tissue. Resveratrol also reduced interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α protein levels and immunoglobulin G extravasation in the brain. Mice treated with resveratrol demonstrated smaller infarct size, improved neurological function, and blunted peripheral inflammation at 3 days postischemic stroke. These results showed that resveratrol counteracted inflammation in visceral adipose tissue and in the brain and reduced stroke-induced brain injury and peripheral inflammation in aged female mice. Therefore, resveratrol administration can be a valuable strategy for the prevention of age-associated and disease-provoked inflammation in postmenopausal women. PMID:27318135

  13. Normal brain ageing: models and mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Toescu, Emil C

    2005-01-01

    Normal ageing is associated with a degree of decline in a number of cognitive functions. Apart from the issues raised by the current attempts to expand the lifespan, understanding the mechanisms and the detailed metabolic interactions involved in the process of normal neuronal ageing continues to be a challenge. One model, supported by a significant amount of experimental evidence, views the cellular ageing as a metabolic state characterized by an altered function of the metabolic triad: mitochondria–reactive oxygen species (ROS)–intracellular Ca2+. The perturbation in the relationship between the members of this metabolic triad generate a state of decreased homeostatic reserve, in which the aged neurons could maintain adequate function during normal activity, as demonstrated by the fact that normal ageing is not associated with widespread neuronal loss, but become increasingly vulnerable to the effects of excessive metabolic loads, usually associated with trauma, ischaemia or neurodegenerative processes. This review will concentrate on some of the evidence showing altered mitochondrial function with ageing and also discuss some of the functional consequences that would result from such events, such as alterations in mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis, ATP production and generation of ROS. PMID:16321805

  14. Multiple Brain Markers are Linked to Age-Related Variation in Cognition.

    PubMed

    Hedden, Trey; Schultz, Aaron P; Rieckmann, Anna; Mormino, Elizabeth C; Johnson, Keith A; Sperling, Reisa A; Buckner, Randy L

    2016-04-01

    Age-related alterations in brain structure and function have been challenging to link to cognition due to potential overlapping influences of multiple neurobiological cascades. We examined multiple brain markers associated with age-related variation in cognition. Clinically normal older humans aged 65-90 from the Harvard Aging Brain Study (N = 186) were characterized on a priori magnetic resonance imaging markers of gray matter thickness and volume, white matter hyperintensities, fractional anisotropy (FA), resting-state functional connectivity, positron emission tomography markers of glucose metabolism and amyloid burden, and cognitive factors of processing speed, executive function, and episodic memory. Partial correlation and mediation analyses estimated age-related variance in cognition shared with individual brain markers and unique to each marker. The largest relationships linked FA and striatum volume to processing speed and executive function, and hippocampal volume to episodic memory. Of the age-related variance in cognition, 70-80% was accounted for by combining all brain markers (but only ∼20% of total variance). Age had significant indirect effects on cognition via brain markers, with significant markers varying across cognitive domains. These results suggest that most age-related variation in cognition is shared among multiple brain markers, but potential specificity between some brain markers and cognitive domains motivates additional study of age-related markers of neural health. PMID:25316342

  15. Development of large-scale functional brain networks in children.

    PubMed

    Supekar, Kaustubh; Musen, Mark; Menon, Vinod

    2009-07-01

    The ontogeny of large-scale functional organization of the human brain is not well understood. Here we use network analysis of intrinsic functional connectivity to characterize the organization of brain networks in 23 children (ages 7-9 y) and 22 young-adults (ages 19-22 y). Comparison of network properties, including path-length, clustering-coefficient, hierarchy, and regional connectivity, revealed that although children and young-adults' brains have similar "small-world" organization at the global level, they differ significantly in hierarchical organization and interregional connectivity. We found that subcortical areas were more strongly connected with primary sensory, association, and paralimbic areas in children, whereas young-adults showed stronger cortico-cortical connectivity between paralimbic, limbic, and association areas. Further, combined analysis of functional connectivity with wiring distance measures derived from white-matter fiber tracking revealed that the development of large-scale brain networks is characterized by weakening of short-range functional connectivity and strengthening of long-range functional connectivity. Importantly, our findings show that the dynamic process of over-connectivity followed by pruning, which rewires connectivity at the neuronal level, also operates at the systems level, helping to reconfigure and rebalance subcortical and paralimbic connectivity in the developing brain. Our study demonstrates the usefulness of network analysis of brain connectivity to elucidate key principles underlying functional brain maturation, paving the way for novel studies of disrupted brain connectivity in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. PMID:19621066

  16. High-field proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals metabolic effects of normal brain aging

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Janna L.; Yeh, Hung-Wen; Swerdlow, Russell H.; Choi, In-Young; Lee, Phil; Brooks, William M.

    2014-01-01

    Altered brain metabolism is likely to be an important contributor to normal cognitive decline and brain pathology in elderly individuals. To characterize the metabolic changes associated with normal brain aging, we used high-field proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in vivo to quantify 20 neurochemicals in the hippocampus and sensorimotor cortex of young adult and aged rats. We found significant differences in the neurochemical profile of the aged brain when compared with younger adults, including lower aspartate, ascorbate, glutamate, and macromolecules, and higher glucose, myo-inositol, N-acetylaspartylglutamate, total choline, and glutamine. These neurochemical biomarkers point to specific cellular mechanisms that are altered in brain aging, such as bioenergetics, oxidative stress, inflammation, cell membrane turnover, and endogenous neuroprotection. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy may be a valuable translational approach for studying mechanisms of brain aging and pathology, and for investigating treatments to preserve or enhance cognitive function in aging. PMID:24559659

  17. Immune responses at brain barriers and implications for brain development and neurological function in later life

    PubMed Central

    Stolp, Helen B.; Liddelow, Shane A.; Sá-Pereira, Inês; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.; Saunders, Norman R.

    2013-01-01

    For a long time the brain has been considered an immune-privileged site due to a muted inflammatory response and the presence of protective brain barriers. It is now recognized that neuroinflammation may play an important role in almost all neurological disorders and that the brain barriers may be contributing through either normal immune signaling or disruption of their basic physiological mechanisms. The distinction between normal function and dysfunction at the barriers is difficult to dissect, partly due to a lack of understanding of normal barrier function and partly because of physiological changes that occur as part of normal development and ageing. Brain barriers consist of a number of interacting structural and physiological elements including tight junctions between adjacent barrier cells and an array of influx and efflux transporters. Despite these protective mechanisms, the capacity for immune-surveillance of the brain is maintained, and there is evidence of inflammatory signaling at the brain barriers that may be an important part of the body's response to damage or infection. This signaling system appears to change both with normal ageing, and during disease. Changes may affect diapedesis of immune cells and active molecular transfer, or cause rearrangement of the tight junctions and an increase in passive permeability across barrier interfaces. Here we review the many elements that contribute to brain barrier functions and how they respond to inflammation, particularly during development and aging. The implications of inflammation–induced barrier dysfunction for brain development and subsequent neurological function are also discussed. PMID:23986663

  18. Exercise, Cognitive Function, and Aging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnes, Jill N.

    2015-01-01

    Increasing the lifespan of a population is often a marker of a country's success. With the percentage of the population over 65 yr of age expanding, managing the health and independence of this population is an ongoing concern. Advancing age is associated with a decrease in cognitive function that ultimately affects quality of life. Understanding…

  19. Intranasal Insulin Improves Age-Related Cognitive Deficits and Reverses Electrophysiological Correlates of Brain Aging.

    PubMed

    Maimaiti, Shaniya; Anderson, Katie L; DeMoll, Chris; Brewer, Lawrence D; Rauh, Benjamin A; Gant, John C; Blalock, Eric M; Porter, Nada M; Thibault, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Peripheral insulin resistance is a key component of metabolic syndrome associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. While the impact of insulin resistance is well recognized in the periphery, it is also becoming apparent in the brain. Recent studies suggest that insulin resistance may be a factor in brain aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) whereby intranasal insulin therapy, which delivers insulin to the brain, improves cognition and memory in AD patients. Here, we tested a clinically relevant delivery method to determine the impact of two forms of insulin, short-acting insulin lispro (Humalog) or long-acting insulin detemir (Levemir), on cognitive functions in aged F344 rats. We also explored insulin effects on the Ca(2+)-dependent hippocampal afterhyperpolarization (AHP), a well-characterized neurophysiological marker of aging which is increased in the aged, memory impaired animal. Low-dose intranasal insulin improved memory recall in aged animals such that their performance was similar to that seen in younger animals. Further, because ex vivo insulin also reduced the AHP, our results suggest that the AHP may be a novel cellular target of insulin in the brain, and improved cognitive performance following intranasal insulin therapy may be the result of insulin actions on the AHP. PMID:25659889

  20. Functional and structural syntax networks in aging.

    PubMed

    Antonenko, Daria; Brauer, Jens; Meinzer, Marcus; Fengler, Anja; Kerti, Lucia; Friederici, Angela D; Flöel, Agnes

    2013-12-01

    Language abilities are known to deteriorate in aging, possibly related to decreased functional and structural connectivity within specialized brain networks. Here, we investigated syntactic ability in healthy young and older adults using a comprehensive assessment of behavioral performance, task-independent functional (FC) and structural brain connectivity (SC). Seed-based FC originating from left pars opercularis (part of Broca's area) known to support syntactic processes was assessed using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, and SC using fractional anisotropy from diffusion weighted imaging, in the dorsally located superior longitudinal and the ventrally located uncinate fasciculi (SLF, UF) and forceps minor. Young compared to older adults exhibited superior syntactic performance and stronger FC within the mainly left-lateralized syntax network, which was beneficial for performance. In contrast, in older adults, FC within the mainly left-lateralized syntax network was reduced and did not correlate with performance; inter-hemispheric FC to right inferior frontal and angular gyri was detrimental for performance. In both groups, performance was positively correlated with inter-hemispheric SC. For intra-hemispheric SC, performance correlated with structural integrity of SLF in young adults and with integrity of UF in older adults. Our data show that reduced syntactic ability in older adults is associated with decreased FC within dedicated syntax networks. Moreover, young adults showed an association of syntactic ability with structural integrity of the dorsal tract, while older adults rely more on ventral fibers. In sum, our study provided novel insight into the relationship between connectivity and syntactic performance in young and older adults. In addition to elucidating age-related changes in syntax networks and their behavioral relevance, our results contribute to a better understanding of age-related changes in functional and structural brain

  1. Age- and brain region-specific differences in mitochondrial bioenergetics in Brown Norway rats.

    PubMed

    Pandya, Jignesh D; Royland, Joyce E; MacPhail, Robert C; Sullivan, Patrick G; Kodavanti, Prasada Rao S

    2016-06-01

    Mitochondria are central regulators of energy homeostasis and play a pivotal role in mechanisms of cellular senescence. The objective of the present study was to evaluate mitochondrial bioenergetic parameters in 5 brain regions (brain stem [BS], frontal cortex, cerebellum, striatum, hippocampus [HIP]) of 4 diverse age groups (1 month [young], 4 months [adult], 12 months [middle-aged], 24 months [old age]) to understand age-related differences in selected brain regions and their possible contribution to age-related chemical sensitivity. Mitochondrial bioenergetic parameters and enzyme activities were measured under identical conditions across multiple age groups and brain regions in Brown Norway rats (n = 5/group). The results indicate age- and brain region-specific patterns in mitochondrial functional endpoints. For example, an age-specific decline in ATP synthesis (State III respiration) was observed in BS and HIP. Similarly, the maximal respiratory capacities (State V1 and V2) showed age-specific declines in all brain regions examined (young > adult > middle-aged > old age). Amongst all regions, HIP had the greatest change in mitochondrial bioenergetics, showing declines in the 4, 12, and 24-months age groups. Activities of mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex and electron transport chain complexes I, II, and IV enzymes were also age and brain region specific. In general, changes associated with age were more pronounced with enzyme activities declining as the animals aged (young > adult > middle-aged > old age). These age- and brain region-specific observations may aid in evaluating brain bioenergetic impact on the age-related susceptibility to environmental chemical stressors. PMID:27143418

  2. Want to Keep an Aging Brain Sharp? Try the Stairs

    MedlinePlus

    ... of stairs and those with higher levels of education had "younger" brains, the researchers found. Specifically, physical brain age was nearly one year lower for each year of education, the study found. For every flight of stairs ...

  3. Brain aging in the oldest-old.

    PubMed

    von Gunten, A; Ebbing, K; Imhof, A; Giannakopoulos, P; Kövari, E

    2010-01-01

    Nonagenarians and centenarians represent a quickly growing age group worldwide. In parallel, the prevalence of dementia increases substantially, but how to define dementia in this oldest-old age segment remains unclear. Although the idea that the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) decreases after age 90 has now been questioned, the oldest-old still represent a population relatively resistant to degenerative brain processes. Brain aging is characterised by the formation of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) and senile plaques (SPs) as well as neuronal and synaptic loss in both cognitively intact individuals and patients with AD. In nondemented cases NFTs are usually restricted to the hippocampal formation, whereas the progressive involvement of the association areas in the temporal neocortex parallels the development of overt clinical signs of dementia. In contrast, there is little correlation between the quantitative distribution of SP and AD severity. The pattern of lesion distribution and neuronal loss changes in extreme aging relative to the younger-old. In contrast to younger cases where dementia is mainly related to severe NFT formation within adjacent components of the medial and inferior aspects of the temporal cortex, oldest-old individuals display a preferential involvement of the anterior part of the CA1 field of the hippocampus whereas the inferior temporal and frontal association areas are relatively spared. This pattern suggests that both the extent of NFT development in the hippocampus as well as a displacement of subregional NFT distribution within the Cornu ammonis (CA) fields may be key determinants of dementia in the very old. Cortical association areas are relatively preserved. The progression of NFT formation across increasing cognitive impairment was significantly slower in nonagenarians and centenarians compared to younger cases in the CA1 field and entorhinal cortex. The total amount of amyloid and the neuronal loss in these regions were also

  4. Efficiency of weak brain connections support general cognitive functioning.

    PubMed

    Santarnecchi, Emiliano; Galli, Giulia; Polizzotto, Nicola Riccardo; Rossi, Alessandro; Rossi, Simone

    2014-09-01

    Brain network topology provides valuable information on healthy and pathological brain functioning. Novel approaches for brain network analysis have shown an association between topological properties and cognitive functioning. Under the assumption that "stronger is better", the exploration of brain properties has generally focused on the connectivity patterns of the most strongly correlated regions, whereas the role of weaker brain connections has remained obscure for years. Here, we assessed whether the different strength of connections between brain regions may explain individual differences in intelligence. We analyzed-functional connectivity at rest in ninety-eight healthy individuals of different age, and correlated several connectivity measures with full scale, verbal, and performance Intelligent Quotients (IQs). Our results showed that the variance in IQ levels was mostly explained by the distributed communication efficiency of brain networks built using moderately weak, long-distance connections, with only a smaller contribution of stronger connections. The variability in individual IQs was associated with the global efficiency of a pool of regions in the prefrontal lobes, hippocampus, temporal pole, and postcentral gyrus. These findings challenge the traditional view of a prominent role of strong functional brain connections in brain topology, and highlight the importance of both strong and weak connections in determining the functional architecture responsible for human intelligence variability. PMID:24585433

  5. Berry Fruit Supplementation in the Aging Brain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The onset of age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease, superimposed on a declining nervous system, could exacerbate the motor and cognitive behavioral deficits that normally occur in senescence. In cases of severe deficits in memory or motor function, hospit...

  6. Brain aging and mitochondria-targeted plastoquinone antioxidants of SkQ-type.

    PubMed

    Isaev, N K; Stelmashook, E V; Stelmashook, N N; Sharonova, I N; Skrebitsky, V G

    2013-03-01

    Normal brain aging leads to decrease in cognitive functions, shrink in brain volume, loss of nerve fibers and degenerating myelin, reduction in length and branching of dendrites, partial loss of synapses, and reduction in expression of genes that play central roles in synaptic plasticity, vesicular transport, and mitochondrial functioning. Impaired mitochondrial functions and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species can contribute to the damage of these genes in aging cerebral cortex. This review discusses the possibility of using mitochondria-targeted antioxidants to slow the processes of brain aging. PMID:23586724

  7. Can Endocrine Disruptors Influence Neuroplasticity In The Aging Brain?

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Bernard

    2007-01-01

    Only within the last two decades has the adult mammalian brain been recognized for its ability to generate new nerve cells and other neural structures and in essence to rewire itself. Although hippocampal structures have received the greatest scrutiny, other sites, including the cerebral cortex, also display this potential. Such processes remain active in the aging brain, although to a lesser degree. Two of the factors known to induce neurogenesis are environmental enrichment and physical activity. Gonadal hormones, however, also play crucial roles. Androgens and estrogens are both required for the preservation of cognitive function during aging and apparently help counteract the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. One overlooked threat to hormonal adequacy that requires close examination is the abundance of environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals that interfere with gonadal function. They come in the form of estrogenic mimics, androgen mimics, anti-estrogens, anti-androgens, and in a variety of other guises. Because our brains are in continuous transition throughout the lifespan, responding both to environmental circumstances and to changing levels of gonadal steroids, endocrine-disrupting chemicals possess the potential to impair neurogenesis, and represent a hazard for the preservation of cognitive function during the later stages of the life cycle. PMID:17350099

  8. The Influence of the Brain on Overpopulation, Ageing and Dependency.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cape, Ronald D. T.

    1989-01-01

    With time, an increasing number in the world population is becoming old, and changes in the aging brain mean that a significant proportion of the aged are likely to be dependent on others. The devotion of resources to research into the aging brain could bring benefits far outweighing the investment. (Author/CW)

  9. Social support, stress and the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Sherman, Stephanie M; Cheng, Yen-Pi; Fingerman, Karen L; Schnyer, David M

    2016-07-01

    Social support benefits health and well-being in older individuals, however the mechanism remains poorly understood. One proposal, the stress-buffering hypothesis states social support 'buffers' the effects of stress on health. Alternatively, the main effect hypothesis suggests social support independently promotes health. We examined the combined association of social support and stress on the aging brain. Forty healthy older adults completed stress questionnaires, a social network interview and structural MRI to investigate the amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex circuitry, which is implicated in social and emotional processing and negatively affected by stress. Social support was positively correlated with right medial prefrontal cortical thickness while amygdala volume was negatively associated with social support and positively related to stress. We examined whether the association between social support and amygdala volume varied across stress level. Stress and social support uniquely contribute to amygdala volume, which is consistent with the health benefits of social support being independent of stress. PMID:26060327

  10. Promoting motor function by exercising the brain.

    PubMed

    Perrey, Stephane

    2013-01-01

    Exercise represents a behavioral intervention that enhances brain health and motor function. The increase in cerebral blood volume in response to physical activity may be responsible for improving brain function. Among the various neuroimaging techniques used to monitor brain hemodynamic response during exercise, functional near-infrared spectroscopy could facilitate the measurement of task-related cortical responses noninvasively and is relatively robust with regard to the subjects' motion. Although the components of optimal exercise interventions have not been determined, evidence from animal and human studies suggests that aerobic exercise with sufficiently high intensity has neuroprotective properties and promotes motor function. This review provides an insight into the effect of physical activity (based on endurance and resistance exercises) on brain function for producing movement. Since most progress in the study of brain function has come from patients with neurological disorders (e.g., stroke and Parkinson's patients), this review presents some findings emphasizing training paradigms for restoring motor function. PMID:24961309

  11. Promoting Motor Function by Exercising the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Perrey, Stephane

    2013-01-01

    Exercise represents a behavioral intervention that enhances brain health and motor function. The increase in cerebral blood volume in response to physical activity may be responsible for improving brain function. Among the various neuroimaging techniques used to monitor brain hemodynamic response during exercise, functional near-infrared spectroscopy could facilitate the measurement of task-related cortical responses noninvasively and is relatively robust with regard to the subjects’ motion. Although the components of optimal exercise interventions have not been determined, evidence from animal and human studies suggests that aerobic exercise with sufficiently high intensity has neuroprotective properties and promotes motor function. This review provides an insight into the effect of physical activity (based on endurance and resistance exercises) on brain function for producing movement. Since most progress in the study of brain function has come from patients with neurological disorders (e.g., stroke and Parkinson’s patients), this review presents some findings emphasizing training paradigms for restoring motor function. PMID:24961309

  12. The brain timewise: how timing shapes and supports brain function

    PubMed Central

    Hari, Riitta; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-01-01

    We discuss the importance of timing in brain function: how temporal dynamics of the world has left its traces in the brain during evolution and how we can monitor the dynamics of the human brain with non-invasive measurements. Accurate timing is important for the interplay of neurons, neuronal circuitries, brain areas and human individuals. In the human brain, multiple temporal integration windows are hierarchically organized, with temporal scales ranging from microseconds to tens and hundreds of milliseconds for perceptual, motor and cognitive functions, and up to minutes, hours and even months for hormonal and mood changes. Accurate timing is impaired in several brain diseases. From the current repertoire of non-invasive brain imaging methods, only magnetoencephalography (MEG) and scalp electroencephalography (EEG) provide millisecond time-resolution; our focus in this paper is on MEG. Since the introduction of high-density whole-scalp MEG/EEG coverage in the 1990s, the instrumentation has not changed drastically; yet, novel data analyses are advancing the field rapidly by shifting the focus from the mere pinpointing of activity hotspots to seeking stimulus- or task-specific information and to characterizing functional networks. During the next decades, we can expect increased spatial resolution and accuracy of the time-resolved brain imaging and better understanding of brain function, especially its temporal constraints, with the development of novel instrumentation and finer-grained, physiologically inspired generative models of local and network activity. Merging both spatial and temporal information with increasing accuracy and carrying out recordings in naturalistic conditions, including social interaction, will bring much new information about human brain function. PMID:25823867

  13. Preserved brain metabolic activity at the age of 96 years.

    PubMed

    Apostolova, Ivayla; Lange, Catharina; Spies, Lothar; Ritter, Kerstin; Mäurer, Anja; Seybold, Joachim; Fiebach, Jochen B; Steinhagen-Thiessen, Elisabeth; Buchert, Ralph

    2016-09-01

    Loss of brain tissue becomes notable to cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at age 30 years, and progresses more rapidly from mid 60s. The incidence of dementia increases exponentially with age, and is all too frequent in the oldest old (≥ 90 years of age), the fastest growing age group in many countries. However, brain pathology and cognitive decline are not inevitable, even at extremely old age (den Dunnen et al., 2008). PMID:27160670

  14. The Bilingual Brain as Revealed by Functional Neuroimaging.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abutalebi, Jubin; Cappa, Stefano F.; Perani, Daniela

    2001-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging of bilinguals and monolinguals used in conjunction with experimental cognitive tasks has been successful in establishing functional specialization as a principle of brain organization in humans. Consistent results show that attained proficiency and possibly language exposure are more important than age of acquisition as a…

  15. Brain plasticity and motor practice in cognitive aging

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Liuyang; Chan, John S. Y.; Yan, Jin H.; Peng, Kaiping

    2014-01-01

    For more than two decades, there have been extensive studies of experience-based neural plasticity exploring effective applications of brain plasticity for cognitive and motor development. Research suggests that human brains continuously undergo structural reorganization and functional changes in response to stimulations or training. From a developmental point of view, the assumption of lifespan brain plasticity has been extended to older adults in terms of the benefits of cognitive training and physical therapy. To summarize recent developments, first, we introduce the concept of neural plasticity from a developmental perspective. Secondly, we note that motor learning often refers to deliberate practice and the resulting performance enhancement and adaptability. We discuss the close interplay between neural plasticity, motor learning and cognitive aging. Thirdly, we review research on motor skill acquisition in older adults with, and without, impairments relative to aging-related cognitive decline. Finally, to enhance future research and application, we highlight the implications of neural plasticity in skills learning and cognitive rehabilitation for the aging population. PMID:24653695

  16. AMPK Function in Aging Process.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Rocío; Pérez-Villegas, Eva María; Manuel Carrión, Ángel

    2016-01-01

    Aging involves the progressive deterioration of physiological functions, diminishing the individual's capacity for survival. Indeed, aging is the main risk factor for cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. The discovery that the rate of aging is controlled by conserved genetic and biochemical pathways represented an unprecedented advance in aging research. The AMPK protein is a metabolic sensor that acts as a qualified cellular housekeeper, as well as controlling energy homeostasis and resistance to stress. Thus, the correct regulation of this factor enhances health and survival. In this manuscript we will review the molecular pathways regulated by AMPK that are related to the aging process, paying special attention to mitochondrial dysfunction, metabolic deregulation, cell senescence and autophagy. PMID:26521771

  17. Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2009-01-01

    It has long been suspected that the relative abundance of specific nutrients can affect cognitive processes and emotions. Newly described influences of dietary factors on neuronal function and synaptic plasticity have revealed some of the vital mechanisms that are responsible for the action of diet on brain health and mental function. Several gut hormones that can enter the brain, or that are produced in the brain itself, influence cognitive ability. In addition, well-established regulators of synaptic plasticity, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, can function as metabolic modulators, responding to peripheral signals such as food intake. Understanding the molecular basis of the effects of food on cognition will help us to determine how best to manipulate diet in order to increase the resistance of neurons to insults and promote mental fitness. PMID:18568016

  18. The restless brain: how intrinsic activity organizes brain function.

    PubMed

    Raichle, Marcus E

    2015-05-19

    Traditionally studies of brain function have focused on task-evoked responses. By their very nature such experiments tacitly encourage a reflexive view of brain function. While such an approach has been remarkably productive at all levels of neuroscience, it ignores the alternative possibility that brain functions are mainly intrinsic and ongoing, involving information processing for interpreting, responding to and predicting environmental demands. I suggest that the latter view best captures the essence of brain function, a position that accords well with the allocation of the brain's energy resources, its limited access to sensory information and a dynamic, intrinsic functional organization. The nature of this intrinsic activity, which exhibits a surprising level of organization with dimensions of both space and time, is revealed in the ongoing activity of the brain and its metabolism. As we look to the future, understanding the nature of this intrinsic activity will require integrating knowledge from cognitive and systems neuroscience with cellular and molecular neuroscience where ion channels, receptors, components of signal transduction and metabolic pathways are all in a constant state of flux. The reward for doing so will be a much better understanding of human behaviour in health and disease. PMID:25823869

  19. The restless brain: how intrinsic activity organizes brain function

    PubMed Central

    Raichle, Marcus E.

    2015-01-01

    Traditionally studies of brain function have focused on task-evoked responses. By their very nature such experiments tacitly encourage a reflexive view of brain function. While such an approach has been remarkably productive at all levels of neuroscience, it ignores the alternative possibility that brain functions are mainly intrinsic and ongoing, involving information processing for interpreting, responding to and predicting environmental demands. I suggest that the latter view best captures the essence of brain function, a position that accords well with the allocation of the brain's energy resources, its limited access to sensory information and a dynamic, intrinsic functional organization. The nature of this intrinsic activity, which exhibits a surprising level of organization with dimensions of both space and time, is revealed in the ongoing activity of the brain and its metabolism. As we look to the future, understanding the nature of this intrinsic activity will require integrating knowledge from cognitive and systems neuroscience with cellular and molecular neuroscience where ion channels, receptors, components of signal transduction and metabolic pathways are all in a constant state of flux. The reward for doing so will be a much better understanding of human behaviour in health and disease. PMID:25823869

  20. Network Analysis of Intrinsic Functional Brain Connectivity in Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Supekar, Kaustubh; Menon, Vinod; Rubin, Daniel; Musen, Mark; Greicius, Michael D.

    2008-01-01

    Functional brain networks detected in task-free (“resting-state”) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have a small-world architecture that reflects a robust functional organization of the brain. Here, we examined whether this functional organization is disrupted in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Task-free fMRI data from 21 AD subjects and 18 age-matched controls were obtained. Wavelet analysis was applied to the fMRI data to compute frequency-dependent correlation matrices. Correlation matrices were thresholded to create 90-node undirected-graphs of functional brain networks. Small-world metrics (characteristic path length and clustering coefficient) were computed using graph analytical methods. In the low frequency interval 0.01 to 0.05 Hz, functional brain networks in controls showed small-world organization of brain activity, characterized by a high clustering coefficient and a low characteristic path length. In contrast, functional brain networks in AD showed loss of small-world properties, characterized by a significantly lower clustering coefficient (p<0.01), indicative of disrupted local connectivity. Clustering coefficients for the left and right hippocampus were significantly lower (p<0.01) in the AD group compared to the control group. Furthermore, the clustering coefficient distinguished AD participants from the controls with a sensitivity of 72% and specificity of 78%. Our study provides new evidence that there is disrupted organization of functional brain networks in AD. Small-world metrics can characterize the functional organization of the brain in AD, and our findings further suggest that these network measures may be useful as an imaging-based biomarker to distinguish AD from healthy aging. PMID:18584043

  1. Order and disorder in the brain function.

    PubMed

    Quadens, Olga

    2003-01-01

    The interest in studying the brain electrical activity as a function of the development of intelligence has been spurred by the need to understand how the brain responds to environmental information. The description of sleep in mentally retarded children reveals deviant patterns of the EEG-spindles and of the eye movement activity (REM sleep) when compared to normal children. The patterns may be considered as a valuable index of mental function. According to experimental evidence, the distribution of the eye movements of sleep appears either as random or ordered. The latter are altered in the mentally handicapped in whom the appearance out of chaos, of the order which is needed for intelligence and memory to function, is altered. The sleep signs are redundant as from birth. Their pattern is also related to the psychomotor development of the infant. If their distribution remains random, or appears in long uninterrupted sequences of waves as in epilepsy, intelligence does not develop. A similar strategy appears to function in the foetus when nature organizes the structures that will lead to the development of intelligence. The eye movement patterns of sleep change in the pregnant women as a function of term and resemble those of premature babies of a similar gestational age. They also change as a function of the menstrual cycle and more generally as a function of age. The hypothesis that attention is the diurnal equivalent of REM sleep is discussed. Attempts at modelling the eye movement patterns of REM sleep as a function of near zero gravity environments have been made. 1) By means of a Montecarlo simulation using the semi Markov model during the Spacelab 1 flight. 2) With the method of the single and multiple g-phase transition analysis of the strange attractor dimension (d) during parabolic flights. The implication of the latter for the neural processes involved in learning is that the central nervous system can preserve intact, from input to output, over a

  2. Functional brain correlates of heterosexual paedophilia.

    PubMed

    Schiffer, Boris; Paul, Thomas; Gizewski, Elke; Forsting, Michael; Leygraf, Norbert; Schedlowski, Manfred; Kruger, Tillmann H C

    2008-05-15

    Although the neuronal mechanisms underlying normal sexual motivation and function have recently been examined, the alterations in brain function in deviant sexual behaviours such as paedophilia are largely unknown. The objective of this study was to identify paedophilia-specific functional networks implicated in sexual arousal. Therefore a consecutive sample of eight paedophile forensic inpatients, exclusively attracted to females, and 12 healthy age-matched heterosexual control participants from a comparable socioeconomic stratum participated in a visual sexual stimulation procedure during functional magnetic resonance imaging. The visual stimuli were sexually stimulating photographs and emotionally neutral photographs. Immediately after the imaging session subjective responses pertaining to sexual desire were recorded. Principally, the brain response of heterosexual paedophiles to heteropaedophilic stimuli was comparable to that of heterosexual males to heterosexual stimuli, including different limbic structures (amygdala, cingulate gyrus, and hippocampus), the substantia nigra, caudate nucleus, as well as the anterior cingulate cortex, different thalamic nuclei, and associative cortices. However, responses to visual sexual stimulation were found in the orbitofrontal cortex in healthy heterosexual males, but not in paedophiles, in whom abnormal activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was observed. Thus, in line with clinical observations and neuropsychological studies, it seems that central processing of sexual stimuli in heterosexual paedophiles may be altered by a disturbance in the prefrontal networks, which, as has already been hypothesized, may be associated with stimulus-controlled behaviours, such as sexual compulsive behaviours. Moreover, these findings may suggest a dysfunction (in the functional and effective connectivity) at the cognitive stage of sexual arousal processing. PMID:18358744

  3. Oxidative Stress, Aging and CNS disease in the Canine Model of Human Brain Aging

    PubMed Central

    Head, Elizabeth; Rofina, Jaime; Zicker, Steven

    2008-01-01

    SYNOPSIS Decline in cognitive functions that accompany aging in dogs may have a biological basis, and many of the disorders associated with aging in canines may be mitigated through dietary modifications that incorporate specific nutraceuticals. Based on previous research and the results of both laboratory and clinical studies – antioxidants may be one class of nutraceutical that provides benefits to aged dogs. Brains of aged dogs accumulate oxidative damage to proteins and lipids, which may lead to dysfunction of neuronal cells. The production of free radicals and lack of increase in compensatory antioxidant enzymes may lead to detrimental modifications to important macromolecules within neurons. Reducing oxidative damage through food ingredients rich in a broad spectrum of antioxidants significantly improves, or slows the decline of, learning and memory in aged dogs. However, determining all effective compounds and combinations, dosage ranges, as well as when to initiate intervention and long term effects constitute gaps in our current knowledge. PMID:18249248

  4. The Ageing Brain: Age-dependent changes in the electroencephalogram during propofol and sevoflurane general anaesthesia

    PubMed Central

    Purdon, P. L.; Pavone, K. J.; Akeju, O.; Smith, A. C.; Sampson, A. L.; Lee, J.; Zhou, D. W.; Solt, K.; Brown, E. N.

    2015-01-01

    Background Anaesthetic drugs act at sites within the brain that undergo profound changes during typical ageing. We postulated that anaesthesia-induced brain dynamics observed in the EEG change with age. Methods We analysed the EEG in 155 patients aged 18–90 yr who received propofol (n=60) or sevoflurane (n=95) as the primary anaesthetic. The EEG spectrum and coherence were estimated throughout a 2 min period of stable anaesthetic maintenance. Age-related effects were characterized by analysing power and coherence as a function of age using linear regression and by comparing the power spectrum and coherence in young (18- to 38-yr-old) and elderly (70- to 90-yr-old) patients. Results Power across all frequency bands decreased significantly with age for both propofol and sevoflurane; elderly patients showed EEG oscillations ∼2- to 3-fold smaller in amplitude than younger adults. The qualitative form of the EEG appeared similar regardless of age, showing prominent alpha (8–12 Hz) and slow (0.1–1 Hz) oscillations. However, alpha band dynamics showed specific age-related changes. In elderly compared with young patients, alpha power decreased more than slow power, and alpha coherence and peak frequency were significantly lower. Older patients were more likely to experience burst suppression. Conclusions These profound age-related changes in the EEG are consistent with known neurobiological and neuroanatomical changes that occur during typical ageing. Commercial EEG-based depth-of-anaesthesia indices do not account for age and are therefore likely to be inaccurate in elderly patients. In contrast, monitoring the unprocessed EEG and its spectrogram can account for age and individual patient characteristics. PMID:26174300

  5. Energetic cost of brain functional connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Tomasi, Dardo; Wang, Gene-Jack; Volkow, Nora D.

    2013-01-01

    The brain's functional connectivity is complex, has high energetic cost, and requires efficient use of glucose, the brain's main energy source. It has been proposed that regions with a high degree of functional connectivity are energy efficient and can minimize consumption of glucose. However, the relationship between functional connectivity and energy consumption in the brain is poorly understood. To address this neglect, here we propose a simple model for the energy demands of brain functional connectivity, which we tested with positron emission tomography and MRI in 54 healthy volunteers at rest. Higher glucose metabolism was associated with proportionally larger MRI signal amplitudes, and a higher degree of connectivity was associated with nonlinear increases in metabolism, supporting our hypothesis for the energy efficiency of the connectivity hubs. Basal metabolism (in the absence of connectivity) accounted for 30% of brain glucose utilization, which suggests that the spontaneous brain activity accounts for 70% of the energy consumed by the brain. The energy efficiency of the connectivity hubs was higher for ventral precuneus, cerebellum, and subcortical hubs than for cortical hubs. The higher energy demands of brain communication that hinges upon higher connectivity could render brain hubs more vulnerable to deficits in energy delivery or utilization and help explain their sensitivity to neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:23898179

  6. Brain Function: Implications for Schooling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Clifford H.

    1982-01-01

    The implications of cerebral dominance for curriculum and instruction are enormous. Cognitive style, sex differences, instructional materials preparation and selection, and testing are affected by right or left brain hemisphere dominance. (CJ)

  7. Mitochondrial dysfunction in aging rat brain following transient global ischemia.

    PubMed

    Xu, Kui; Puchowicz, Michelle A; Sun, Xiaoyan; LaManna, Joseph C

    2008-01-01

    Aged rat brain is more sensitive to reperfusion injury induced by cardiac arrest and resuscitation. The mitochondrial respiratory chain, the major source of free radicals during reperfusion, is likely to be the target of lipid peroxidation. Previous work has shown a higher mortality and lower hippocampal neuronal survival in older rats. 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE), a major product of lipid peroxidation, was found to be elevated in cortex and brainstem after resuscitation. In this study we investigated the acute changes of mitochondrial function in aging rat brain following cardiac arrest and resuscitation; the effect of an antioxidant, alpha-phenyl-tert-butyl-nitrone (PBN) was also tested. Fischer 344 rats, 6 and 24-month old, were subjected to cardiac arrest (7-10 minutes) and allowed to recover 1 hour after resuscitation. Mitochondria of cortex and brainstem were isolated and assayed for respiratory function. Compared to their respective non-arrested control group, 1h untreated groups (both 6 month and 24 month) had similar state 3 (ADP-stimulated) but higher state 4 (resting state) respiratory rates. The respiratory control ratio (state 3/state 4) of cortex in the 1h untreated group was 26% lower than the non-arrested control group; similar results were found in brainstem. The decreased mitochondrial respiratory function was improved by PBN treatment. HNE-modified mitochondrial proteins were elevated 1h after resuscitation, with an evident change in the aged. Treatment with PBN reduced the elevated HNE production in mitochondria of cortex. The data suggest (i) there is increased sensitivity to lipid peroxidation with aging, (ii) mitochondrial respiratory function related to coupled oxidation decreases following cardiac arrest and resuscitation, and (iii) treatment with antioxidant, such as PBN, reduces the oxidative damage following cardiac arrest and resuscitation. PMID:18290349

  8. The beneficial effects of tree nuts on the aging brain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dietary patterns may play an important role in protecting the brain from the cellular and cognitive dysfunction associated with the aging process and neurodegenerative diseases. Tree nuts are showing promise as possible dietary interventions for age-related brain dysfunction. Tree nuts are an impo...

  9. Age Sensitivity of Behavioral Tests and Brain Substrates of Normal Aging in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Kennard, John A.; Woodruff-Pak, Diana S.

    2011-01-01

    Knowledge of age sensitivity, the capacity of a behavioral test to reliably detect age-related changes, has utility in the design of experiments to elucidate processes of normal aging. We review the application of these tests in studies of normal aging and compare and contrast the age sensitivity of the Barnes maze, eyeblink classical conditioning, fear conditioning, Morris water maze, and rotorod. These tests have all been implemented to assess normal age-related changes in learning and memory in rodents, which generalize in many cases to age-related changes in learning and memory in all mammals, including humans. Behavioral assessments are a valuable means to measure functional outcomes of neuroscientific studies of aging. Highlighted in this review are the attributes and limitations of these measures in mice in the context of age sensitivity and processes of brain aging. Attributes of these tests include reliability and validity as assessments of learning and memory, well-defined neural substrates, and sensitivity to neural and pharmacological manipulations and disruptions. These tests engage the hippocampus and/or the cerebellum, two structures centrally involved in learning and memory that undergo functional and anatomical changes in normal aging. A test that is less well represented in studies of normal aging, the context pre-exposure facilitation effect (CPFE) in fear conditioning, is described as a method to increase sensitivity of contextual fear conditioning to changes in the hippocampus. Recommendations for increasing the age sensitivity of all measures of normal aging in mice are included, as well as a discussion of the potential of the under-studied CPFE to advance understanding of subtle hippocampus-mediated phenomena. PMID:21647305

  10. Glutamate (mGluR-5) gene expression in brain regions of streptozotocin induced diabetic rats as a function of age: role in regulation of calcium release from the pancreatic islets in vitro

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Metabotrophic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) modulate cellular activities involved in the processes of differentiation and degeneration. In this study, we have analysed the expression pattern of group-I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGlu-5) in cerebral cortex, corpus striatum, brainstem and hippocampus of streptozotocin induced and insulin treated diabetic rats (D+I) as a function of age. Also, the functional role of glutamate receptors in intra cellular calcium release from the pancreatic islets was studied in vitro. The gene expression studies showed that mGlu-5 mRNA in the cerebral cortex increased siginficantly in 7 weeks old diabetic rats whereas decreased expression was observed in brainstem, corpus striatum and hippocampus when compared to control. 90 weeks old diabetic rats showed decreased expression in cerebral cortex, corpus striatum and hippocampus whereas in brainstem the expression increased significantly compared to their respective controls. In 7 weeks old D+I group, mGlu-5 mRNA expression was significantly decreased in cerebral cortex and corpus striatum whereas the expression increased significantly in brainstem and hippocampus. 90 weeks old D+I group showed an increased expression in cerebral cortex, while it was decreased significantly in corpus striatum, brainstem and hippocampus compared to their respective controls. In vitro studies showed that glutamate at lower concentration (10-7 M) stimulated calcium release from the pancreatic islets. Our results suggest that mGlu-5 receptors have differential expression in brain regions of diabetes and D+I groups as a function of age. This will have clinical significance in management of degeneration in brain function and memory enhancement through glutamate receptors. Also, the regulatory role of glutamate receptors in calcium release has immense therapeutic application in insulin secretion and function. PMID:19903331

  11. Calorie Restriction Alleviates Age-Related Decrease in Neural Progenitor Cell Division in the Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Park, June-Hee; Glass, Zachary; Sayed, Kasim; Michurina, Tatyana V.; Lazutkin, Alexander; Mineyeva, Olga; Velmeshev, Dmitry; Ward, Walter F.; Richardson, Arlan; Enikolopov, Grigori

    2013-01-01

    Production of new neurons from stem cells is important for cognitive function, and the reduction of neurogenesis in the aging brain may contribute to the accumulation of age-related cognitive deficits. Restriction of calorie intake and prolonged treatment with rapamycin have been shown to extend the lifespan of animals and delay the onset of age-related decline in tissue and organ function. Using a reporter line in which neural stem and progenitor cells are marked by the expression of GFP, we examined the effect of prolonged exposure to calorie restriction (CR) or rapamycin on hippocampal neural stem and progenitor cell proliferation in aging mice. We show that CR increases the number of dividing cells in the dentate gyrus (DG) of female mice. The majority of these cells corresponded to Nestin-GFP-expressing neural stem or progenitor cells; however, this increased proliferative activity of stem and progenitor cells did not result in a significant increase in the number of doublecortin-positive newborn neurons. Our results suggest that restricted calorie intake may increase the number of divisions that neural stem and progenitor cells undergo in the aging brain of females. PMID:23773068

  12. Insulin, Aging, and the Brain: Mechanisms and Implications

    PubMed Central

    Akintola, Abimbola A.; van Heemst, Diana

    2015-01-01

    There is now an impressive body of literature implicating insulin and insulin signaling in successful aging and longevity. New information from in vivo and in vitro studies concerning insulin and insulin receptors has extended our understanding of the physiological role of insulin in the brain. However, the relevance of these to aging and longevity remains to be elucidated. Here, we review advances in our understanding of the physiological role of insulin in the brain, how insulin gets into the brain, and its relevance to aging and longevity. Furthermore, we examine possible future therapeutic applications and implications of insulin in the context of available models of delayed and accelerated aging. PMID:25705204

  13. Impairment of paravascular clearance pathways in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Kress, Benjamin T.; Iliff, Jeffrey J.; Xia, Maosheng; Wang, Minghuan; Wei, Helen; Zeppenfeld, Douglas; Xie, Lulu; Kang, Hongyi; Xu, Qiwu; Liew, Jason; Plog, Benjamin A.; Ding, Fengfei; Deane, Rashid; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2014-01-01

    Objective In the brain, protein waste removal is partly performed by paravascular pathways that facilitate convective exchange of water and soluble contents between cerebrospinal and interstitial fluids. Several lines of evidence suggest that bulk flow drainage via the glymphatic system is driven by cerebrovascular pulsation, and is dependent on astroglial water channels that line paravascular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pathways. The Objective of this study was to evaluate whether the efficiency of CSF-ISF exchange and interstitial solute clearance is impaired in the aging brain. Methods CSF-ISF exchange was evaluated by in vivo and ex vivo fluorescence microscopy while interstitial solute clearance was evaluated by radio-tracer clearance assays in young (2–3 month), middle age (10–12 month) and old (18–20 month) wild type mice. The relationship between age-related changes in the expression of the astrocytic water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP4) and changes in glymphatic pathway function were evaluated by immunofluorescence. Results Advancing age was associated with a dramatic decline in the efficiency of exchange between the subarachnoid CSF and the brain parenchyma. Relative to the young, clearance of intraparechamally injected amyloid β was impaired by 40% in the old mice. A 27% reduction in the vessel wall pulsatility of intracortical arterioles and widespread loss of perivascular AQP4 polarization along the penetrating arteries accompanied the decline in CSF-ISF exchange. Interpretation We propose that impaired glymphatic clearance contributes to cognitive decline among the elderly and may represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases associated with accumulation of mis-folded protein aggregates. PMID:25204284

  14. Perspectives on Aging Vestibular Function

    PubMed Central

    Anson, Eric; Jeka, John

    2016-01-01

    Much is known about age-related anatomical changes in the vestibular system. Knowledge regarding how vestibular anatomical changes impact behavior for older adults continues to grow, in line with advancements in diagnostic testing. However, despite advancements in clinical diagnostics, much remains unknown about the functional impact that an aging vestibular system has on daily life activities such as standing and walking. Modern diagnostic tests are very good at characterizing neural activity of the isolated vestibular system, but the tests themselves are artificial and do not reflect the multisensory aspects of natural human behavior. Also, the majority of clinical diagnostic tests are passively applied because active behavior can enhance performance. In this perspective paper, we review anatomical and behavioral changes associated with an aging vestibular system and highlight several areas where a more functionally relevant perspective can be taken. For postural control, a multisensory perturbation approach could be used to bring balance rehabilitation into the arena of precision medicine. For walking and complex gaze stability, this may result in less physiologically specific impairments, but the trade-off would be a greater understanding of how the aging vestibular system truly impacts the daily life of older adults. PMID:26779116

  15. Perspectives on Aging Vestibular Function.

    PubMed

    Anson, Eric; Jeka, John

    2015-01-01

    Much is known about age-related anatomical changes in the vestibular system. Knowledge regarding how vestibular anatomical changes impact behavior for older adults continues to grow, in line with advancements in diagnostic testing. However, despite advancements in clinical diagnostics, much remains unknown about the functional impact that an aging vestibular system has on daily life activities such as standing and walking. Modern diagnostic tests are very good at characterizing neural activity of the isolated vestibular system, but the tests themselves are artificial and do not reflect the multisensory aspects of natural human behavior. Also, the majority of clinical diagnostic tests are passively applied because active behavior can enhance performance. In this perspective paper, we review anatomical and behavioral changes associated with an aging vestibular system and highlight several areas where a more functionally relevant perspective can be taken. For postural control, a multisensory perturbation approach could be used to bring balance rehabilitation into the arena of precision medicine. For walking and complex gaze stability, this may result in less physiologically specific impairments, but the trade-off would be a greater understanding of how the aging vestibular system truly impacts the daily life of older adults. PMID:26779116

  16. Microglial cell dysregulation in brain aging and neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    von Bernhardi, Rommy; Eugenín-von Bernhardi, Laura; Eugenín, Jaime

    2015-01-01

    Aging is the main risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. In aging, microglia undergoes phenotypic changes compatible with their activation. Glial activation can lead to neuroinflammation, which is increasingly accepted as part of the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We hypothesize that in aging, aberrant microglia activation leads to a deleterious environment and neurodegeneration. In aged mice, microglia exhibit an increased expression of cytokines and an exacerbated inflammatory response to pathological changes. Whereas LPS increases nitric oxide (NO) secretion in microglia from young mice, induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) predominates in older mice. Furthermore, there is accumulation of DNA oxidative damage in mitochondria of microglia during aging, and also an increased intracellular ROS production. Increased ROS activates the redox-sensitive nuclear factor kappa B, which promotes more neuroinflammation, and can be translated in functional deficits, such as cognitive impairment. Mitochondria-derived ROS and cathepsin B, are also necessary for the microglial cell production of interleukin-1β, a key inflammatory cytokine. Interestingly, whereas the regulatory cytokine TGFβ1 is also increased in the aged brain, neuroinflammation persists. Assessing this apparent contradiction, we have reported that TGFβ1 induction and activation of Smad3 signaling after inflammatory stimulation are reduced in adult mice. Other protective functions, such as phagocytosis, although observed in aged animals, become not inducible by inflammatory stimuli and TGFβ1. Here, we discuss data suggesting that mitochondrial and endolysosomal dysfunction could at least partially mediate age-associated microglial cell changes, and, together with the impairment of the TGFβ1-Smad3 pathway, could result in the reduction of protective activation and the facilitation of cytotoxic activation of microglia, resulting in the promotion of

  17. Adding fuel to the fire: the impact of stress on the ageing brain.

    PubMed

    Prenderville, Jack A; Kennedy, Paul J; Dinan, Timothy G; Cryan, John F

    2015-01-01

    Both ageing and chronic stress are associated with altered brain plasticity, dysregulation of the immune system, and an increased risk of developing brain disorders; all of which have consequences for cognitive and emotional processing. Here we examine the similarities between behavioural changes during ageing and stress altered behaviours (anxiety, depressive-like behaviour, cognition, and sociability) in rodents and humans. The molecular mechanisms hypothesised to mediate age-related changes in brain function including dysfunction of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, dysregulation of neurotransmission and neurotrophic factor signalling, increased inflammatory state, genetic and epigenetic changes, oxidative stress, metabolic changes, and changes in the microbiota–gut–brain axis are discussed. Finally, we explore how the already stressed aged brain psychologically and physiologically responds to external stressors. PMID:25705750

  18. Visceral adipose tissue inflammation is associated with age-related brain changes and ischemic brain damage in aged mice.

    PubMed

    Shin, Jin A; Jeong, Sae Im; Kim, Minsuk; Yoon, Joo Chun; Kim, Hee-Sun; Park, Eun-Mi

    2015-11-01

    Visceral adipose tissue is accumulated with aging. An increase in visceral fat accompanied by low-grade inflammation is associated with several adult-onset diseases. However, the effects of visceral adipose tissue inflammation on the normal and ischemic brains of aged are not clearly defined. To examine the role of visceral adipose tissue inflammation, we evaluated inflammatory cytokines in the serum, visceral adipose tissue, and brain as well as blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability in aged male mice (20 months) underwent sham or visceral fat removal surgery compared with the young mice (2.5 months). Additionally, ischemic brain injury was compared in young and aged mice with sham and visceral fat removal surgery. Interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α levels in examined organs were increased in aged mice compared with the young mice, and these levels were reduced in the mice with visceral fat removal. Increased BBB permeability with reduced expression of tight junction proteins in aged sham mice were also decreased in mice with visceral fat removal. After focal ischemic injury, aged mice with visceral fat removal showed a reduction in infarct volumes, BBB permeability, and levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the ischemic brain compared with sham mice, although the neurological outcomes were not significantly improved. In addition, further upregulated visceral adipose tissue inflammation in response to ischemic brain injury was attenuated in mice with visceral fat removal. These results suggest that visceral adipose tissue inflammation is associated with age-related changes in the brain and contributes to the ischemic brain damage in the aged mice. We suggest that visceral adiposity should be considered as a factor affecting brain health and ischemic brain damage in the aged population. PMID:26184082

  19. Brain, Mind and Language Functional Architectures

    PubMed Central

    Fingelkurts, Andrew A; Fingelkurts, Alexander A; Marchetti, Giorgio

    2010-01-01

    The interaction between brain and language has been investigated by a vast amount of research and different approaches, which however do not offer a comprehensive and unified theoretical framework to analyze how brain functioning performs the mental processes we use in producing language and in understanding speech. This Special Issue addresses the need to develop such a general theoretical framework, by fostering an interaction among the various scientific disciplines and methodologies, which centres on investigating the functional architecture of brain, mind and language, and is articulated along the following main dimensions of research: (a) Language as a regulatory contour of brain and mental processes; (b) Language as a unique human phenomenon; (c) Language as a governor of human behaviour and brain operations; (d) Language as an organizational factor of ontogenesis of mentation and behaviour. PMID:20922047

  20. Aging, training, and the brain: A review and future directions

    PubMed Central

    Lustig, Cindy; Shah, Priti; Seidler, Rachael; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A.

    2010-01-01

    As the population ages, the need for effective methods to maintain or even improve older adults’ cognitive performance becomes increasingly pressing. Here we provide a brief review of the major intervention approaches that have been the focus of past research with healthy older adults (strategy training, multi-modal interventions, cardiovascular exercise, and process-based training), and new approaches that incorporate neuroimaging. As outcome measures, neuroimaging data on intervention-related changes in volume, structural integrity, and functional activation can provide important insights into the nature and duration of an intervention's effects. Perhaps even more intriguingly, several recent studies have used neuroimaging data as a guide to identify core cognitive processes that can be trained in one task with effective transfer to other tasks that share the same underlying processes. Although many open questions remain, this research has greatly increased our understanding of how to promote successful aging of cognition and the brain. PMID:19876740

  1. Do glutathione levels decline in aging human brain?

    PubMed

    Tong, Junchao; Fitzmaurice, Paul S; Moszczynska, Anna; Mattina, Katie; Ang, Lee-Cyn; Boileau, Isabelle; Furukawa, Yoshiaki; Sailasuta, Napapon; Kish, Stephen J

    2016-04-01

    For the past 60 years a major theory of "aging" is that age-related damage is largely caused by excessive uncompensated oxidative stress. The ubiquitous tripeptide glutathione is a major antioxidant defense mechanism against reactive free radicals and has also served as a marker of changes in oxidative stress. Some (albeit conflicting) animal data suggest a loss of glutathione in brain senescence, which might compromise the ability of the aging brain to meet the demands of oxidative stress. Our objective was to establish whether advancing age is associated with glutathione deficiency in human brain. We measured reduced glutathione (GSH) levels in multiple regions of autopsied brain of normal subjects (n=74) aged one day to 99 years. Brain GSH levels during the infancy/teenage years were generally similar to those in the oldest examined adult group (76-99 years). During adulthood (23-99 years) GSH levels remained either stable (occipital cortex) or increased (caudate nucleus, frontal and cerebellar cortices). To the extent that GSH levels represent glutathione antioxidant capacity, our postmortem data suggest that human brain aging is not associated with declining glutathione status. We suggest that aged healthy human brains can maintain antioxidant capacity related to glutathione and that an age-related increase in GSH levels in some brain regions might possibly be a compensatory response to increased oxidative stress. Since our findings, although suggestive, suffer from the generic limitations of all postmortem brain studies, we also suggest the need for "replication" investigations employing the new (1)H MRS imaging procedures in living human brain. PMID:26845616

  2. Functional connectivity hubs of the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Liska, Adam; Galbusera, Alberto; Schwarz, Adam J; Gozzi, Alessandro

    2015-07-15

    Recent advances in functional connectivity methods have made it possible to identify brain hubs - a set of highly connected regions serving as integrators of distributed neuronal activity. The integrative role of hub nodes makes these areas points of high vulnerability to dysfunction in brain disorders, and abnormal hub connectivity profiles have been described for several neuropsychiatric disorders. The identification of analogous functional connectivity hubs in preclinical species like the mouse may provide critical insight into the elusive biological underpinnings of these connectional alterations. To spatially locate functional connectivity hubs in the mouse brain, here we applied a fully-weighted network analysis to map whole-brain intrinsic functional connectivity (i.e., the functional connectome) at a high-resolution voxel-scale. Analysis of a large resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) dataset revealed the presence of six distinct functional modules related to known large-scale functional partitions of the brain, including a default-mode network (DMN). Consistent with human studies, highly-connected functional hubs were identified in several sub-regions of the DMN, including the anterior and posterior cingulate and prefrontal cortices, in the thalamus, and in small foci within well-known integrative cortical structures such as the insular and temporal association cortices. According to their integrative role, the identified hubs exhibited mutual preferential interconnections. These findings highlight the presence of evolutionarily-conserved, mutually-interconnected functional hubs in the mouse brain, and may guide future investigations of the biological foundations of aberrant rsfMRI hub connectivity associated with brain pathological states. PMID:25913701

  3. Age-related increase of resting metabolic rate in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Shin-Lei; Dumas, Julie A.; Park, Denise C.; Liu, Peiying; Filbey, Francesca M.; McAdams, Carrie J.; Pinkham, Amy E.; Adinoff, Bryon; Zhang, Rong; Lu, Hanzhang

    2014-01-01

    With age, many aspects of the brain structure undergo a pronounced decline, yet individuals generally function well until advanced old age. There appear to be several compensatory mechanisms in brain aging, but their precise nature is not well characterized. Here we provide evidence that the brain of older adults expends more energy when compared to younger adults, as manifested by an age-related increase (P=0.03) in cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) (N=118, men=56, ages 18 to 74). We further showed that, before the mean menopausal age of 51 years old, female and male groups have similar rates of CMRO2 increase (P=0.015) and there was no interaction between age and sex effects (P=0.85). However, when using data from the entire age range, women have a slower rate of CMRO2 change when compared to men (P<0.001 for age × sex interaction term). Thus, menopause and estrogen level may have played a role in this sex difference. Our data also revealed a possible circadian rhythm of CMRO2 in that brain metabolic rate is greater at noon than in the morning (P=0.02). This study reveals a potential neurobiological mechanism for age-related compensation in brain function and also suggests a sex-difference in its temporal pattern. PMID:24814209

  4. Developing Brain Vital Signs: Initial Framework for Monitoring Brain Function Changes Over Time.

    PubMed

    Ghosh Hajra, Sujoy; Liu, Careesa C; Song, Xiaowei; Fickling, Shaun; Liu, Luke E; Pawlowski, Gabriela; Jorgensen, Janelle K; Smith, Aynsley M; Schnaider-Beeri, Michal; Van Den Broek, Rudi; Rizzotti, Rowena; Fisher, Kirk; D'Arcy, Ryan C N

    2016-01-01

    Clinical assessment of brain function relies heavily on indirect behavior-based tests. Unfortunately, behavior-based assessments are subjective and therefore susceptible to several confounding factors. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs), derived from electroencephalography (EEG), are often used to provide objective, physiological measures of brain function. Historically, ERPs have been characterized extensively within research settings, with limited but growing clinical applications. Over the past 20 years, we have developed clinical ERP applications for the evaluation of functional status following serious injury and/or disease. This work has identified an important gap: the need for a clinically accessible framework to evaluate ERP measures. Crucially, this enables baseline measures before brain dysfunction occurs, and might enable the routine collection of brain function metrics in the future much like blood pressure measures today. Here, we propose such a framework for extracting specific ERPs as potential "brain vital signs." This framework enabled the translation/transformation of complex ERP data into accessible metrics of brain function for wider clinical utilization. To formalize the framework, three essential ERPs were selected as initial indicators: (1) the auditory N100 (Auditory sensation); (2) the auditory oddball P300 (Basic attention); and (3) the auditory speech processing N400 (Cognitive processing). First step validation was conducted on healthy younger and older adults (age range: 22-82 years). Results confirmed specific ERPs at the individual level (86.81-98.96%), verified predictable age-related differences (P300 latency delays in older adults, p < 0.05), and demonstrated successful linear transformation into the proposed brain vital sign (BVS) framework (basic attention latency sub-component of BVS framework reflects delays in older adults, p < 0.05). The findings represent an initial critical step in developing, extracting, and

  5. Developing Brain Vital Signs: Initial Framework for Monitoring Brain Function Changes Over Time

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh Hajra, Sujoy; Liu, Careesa C.; Song, Xiaowei; Fickling, Shaun; Liu, Luke E.; Pawlowski, Gabriela; Jorgensen, Janelle K.; Smith, Aynsley M.; Schnaider-Beeri, Michal; Van Den Broek, Rudi; Rizzotti, Rowena; Fisher, Kirk; D'Arcy, Ryan C. N.

    2016-01-01

    Clinical assessment of brain function relies heavily on indirect behavior-based tests. Unfortunately, behavior-based assessments are subjective and therefore susceptible to several confounding factors. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs), derived from electroencephalography (EEG), are often used to provide objective, physiological measures of brain function. Historically, ERPs have been characterized extensively within research settings, with limited but growing clinical applications. Over the past 20 years, we have developed clinical ERP applications for the evaluation of functional status following serious injury and/or disease. This work has identified an important gap: the need for a clinically accessible framework to evaluate ERP measures. Crucially, this enables baseline measures before brain dysfunction occurs, and might enable the routine collection of brain function metrics in the future much like blood pressure measures today. Here, we propose such a framework for extracting specific ERPs as potential “brain vital signs.” This framework enabled the translation/transformation of complex ERP data into accessible metrics of brain function for wider clinical utilization. To formalize the framework, three essential ERPs were selected as initial indicators: (1) the auditory N100 (Auditory sensation); (2) the auditory oddball P300 (Basic attention); and (3) the auditory speech processing N400 (Cognitive processing). First step validation was conducted on healthy younger and older adults (age range: 22–82 years). Results confirmed specific ERPs at the individual level (86.81–98.96%), verified predictable age-related differences (P300 latency delays in older adults, p < 0.05), and demonstrated successful linear transformation into the proposed brain vital sign (BVS) framework (basic attention latency sub-component of BVS framework reflects delays in older adults, p < 0.05). The findings represent an initial critical step in developing, extracting, and

  6. Group comparisons: imaging the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    D’Esposito, Mark

    2008-01-01

    With the recent growth of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), scientists across a range of disciplines are comparing neural activity between groups of interest, such as healthy controls and clinical patients, children and young adults and younger and older adults. In this edition of Tools of the Trade, we will discuss why great caution must be taken when making group comparisons in studies using fMRI. Although many methodological contributions have been made in recent years, the suggestions for overcoming common issues are too often overlooked. This review focuses primarily on neuroimaging studies of healthy aging, but many of the issues raised apply to other group designs as well. PMID:18846241

  7. Development of the Brain's Functional Network Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Power, Jonathan D.; Petersen, Steven E.; Schlaggar, Bradley L.

    2013-01-01

    A full understanding of the development of the brain's functional network architecture requires not only an understanding of developmental changes in neural processing in individual brain regions but also an understanding of changes in inter-regional interactions. Resting state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) is increasingly being used to study functional interactions between brain regions in both adults and children. We briefly review methods used to study functional interactions and networks with rs-fcMRI and how these methods have been used to define developmental changes in network functional connectivity. The developmental rs-fcMRI studies to date have found two general properties. First, regional interactions change from being predominately anatomically local in children to interactions spanning longer cortical distances in young adults. Second, this developmental change in functional connectivity occurs, in general, via mechanisms of segregation of local regions and integration of distant regions into disparate subnetworks. PMID:20976563

  8. Modeling of functional brain imaging data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horwitz, Barry

    1999-03-01

    The richness and complexity of data sets obtained from functional neuroimaging studies of human cognitive behavior, using techniques such as positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging, have until recently not been exploited by computational neural modeling methods. In this article, following a brief introduction to functional neuroimaging methodology, two neural modeling approaches for use with functional brain imaging data are described. One, which uses structural equation modeling, examines the effective functional connections between various brain regions during specific cognitive tasks. The second employs large-scale neural modeling to relate functional neuroimaging signals in multiple, interconnected brain regions to the underlying neurobiological time-varying activities in each region. These two modeling procedures are illustrated using a visual processing paradigm.

  9. Chronic Anticholinergic Use and the Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Xueya; Campbell, Noll; Khan, Babar; Callahan, Chris; Boustani, Malaz

    2012-01-01

    Background Older Americans are facing an epidemic of chronic diseases and are thus exposed to anticholinergics (AC) that might negatively affect their risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. Objective Investigate the association between impairment in cognitive function and previous AC exposure. Design A retrospective cohort study. Setting Primary care clinics in Indianapolis, Indiana. Participants 3690 older adults who have undergone cognitive assessment and had a one-year medication dispensing record. Outcome Cognitive function was measured in two sequential steps; a two-step screening process followed by a formal diagnostic process for participants with positive screening results. Exposure Three patterns of AC exposure were defined by the duration of AC exposure, the number of AC medications dispensed at the same time, and the severity of AC effects as determined by the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden List. Results In comparison to older adults with no anticholinergic exposure and after adjusting for age, race, gender, and underlying comorbidity, the odds ratio (OR) for having a diagnosis of MCI was 2.73 (95% confidence interval, CI; 1.27, 5.87) among older adults who were exposed to at least three possible anticholinergic for at least 90 days; and the OR for having dementia was 0.43 (95% CI; 0.10, 1.81). Conclusion Exposure to medications with severe anticholinergic cognitive burden may be a risk factor for developing MCI. PMID:23183138

  10. Role of walnuts in maintaining brain health with age.

    PubMed

    Poulose, Shibu M; Miller, Marshall G; Shukitt-Hale, Barbara

    2014-04-01

    Because of the combination of population growth and population aging, increases in the incidence of chronic neurodegenerative disorders have become a societal concern, both in terms of decreased quality of life and increased financial burden. Clinical manifestation of many of these disorders takes years, with the initiation of mild cognitive symptoms leading to behavioral problems, dementia and loss of motor functions, the need for assisted living, and eventual death. Lifestyle factors greatly affect the progression of cognitive decline, with high-risk behaviors including unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and exposure to environmental toxins leading to enhanced oxidative stress and inflammation. Although there exists an urgent need to develop effective treatments for age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disease, prevention strategies have been underdeveloped. Primary prevention in many of these neurodegenerative diseases could be achieved earlier in life by consuming a healthy diet, rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, which offers one of the most effective and least expensive ways to address the crisis. English walnuts (Juglans regia L.) are rich in numerous phytochemicals, including high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and offer potential benefits to brain health. Polyphenolic compounds found in walnuts not only reduce the oxidant and inflammatory load on brain cells but also improve interneuronal signaling, increase neurogenesis, and enhance sequestration of insoluble toxic protein aggregates. Evidence for the beneficial effects of consuming a walnut-rich diet is reviewed in this article. PMID:24500933

  11. Aging masks detection of radiation-induced brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Lei; Olson, John; D’Agostino, Ralph; Linville, Constance; Nicolle, Michelle M.; Robbins, Michael E.; Wheeler, Kenneth T.; Brunso-Bechtold, Judy K.

    2011-01-01

    Fractionated partial or whole-brain irradiation (fWBI) is a widely used, effective treatment for primary and metastatic brain tumors, but it also produces radiation-induced brain injury, including cognitive impairment. Radiation-induced neural changes are particularly problematic for elderly brain tumor survivors who also experience age-dependent cognitive impairment. Accordingly, we investigated, i] radiation-induced cognitive impairment, and ii] potential biomarkers of radiation-induced brain injury in a rat model of aging. Fischer 344 × Brown Norway rats received fractionated whole-brain irradiation (fWBI rats, 40 Gy, 8 fractions over 4 wk) or sham-irradiation (Sham-IR rats) at 12 months of age; all analyses were performed at 26–30 months of age. Spatial learning and memory were measured using the Morris water maze (MWM), hippocampal metabolites were measured using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS), and hippocampal glutamate receptor subunits were evaluated using Western blots. Young rats (7–10 month-old) were included to control for age effects. The results revealed that both Sham-IR and fWBI rats exhibited age-dependent impairments in MWM performance; fWBI induced additional impairments in the reversal MWM. 1H MRS revealed age-dependent decreases in neuronal markers, increases in glial markers, but no detectable fWBI-dependent changes. Western blot analysis revealed age-dependent, but not fWBI-dependent, glutamate subunit declines. Although previous studies demonstrated fWBI-induced changes in cognition, glutamate subunits, and brain metabolites in younger rats, age-dependent changes in these parameters appear to mask their detection in old rats, a phenomenon also likely to occur in elderly fWBI patients >70 years of age. PMID:21338580

  12. [Brain mechanisms of male sexual function].

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Dou, Xin; Li, Jun-Fa; Luo, Yan-Lin

    2011-08-01

    In this paper, we reviewed the brain imaging studies of male sexual function in recent years from three aspects: the brain mechanism of normal sexual function, the brain mechanism of sexual dysfunction, and the mechanism of drug therapy for sexual dysfunction. Studies show that the development stages of male sexual activities, such as the excitement phase, plateau phase and orgasm phase, are controlled by different neural networks. The mesodiencephalic transition zone may play an important role in the start up of male ejaculation. There are significant differences between sexual dysfunction males and normal males in activation patterns of the brain in sexual arousal. The medial orbitofrontal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus in the abnormal activation pattern are correlated with sexual dysfunction males in sexual arousal. Serum testosterone and morphine are commonly used drugs for male sexual dysfunction, whose mechanisms are to alter the activating levels of the medial orbitofrontal cortex, insula, claustrum and inferior temporal gyrus. PMID:21899000

  13. Beyond Genotype: Serotonin Transporter Epigenetic Modification Predicts Human Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Nikolova, Yuliya S.; Koenen, Karestan C.; Galea, Sandro; Wang, Chiou-Miin; Seney, Marianne L.; Sibille, Etienne; Williamson, Douglas E.; Hariri, Ahmad R.

    2014-01-01

    We examined epigenetic regulation in regards to behaviorally and clinically relevant human brain function. Specifically, we found that increased promoter methylation of the serotonin transporter gene predicted increased threat-related amygdala reactivity and decreased mRNA expression in postmortem amygdala tissue. These patterns were independent of functional genetic variation in the same region. Furthermore, the association with amygdala reactivity was replicated in a second cohort and was robust to both sampling methods and age. PMID:25086606

  14. Peroxisomes in brain development and function.

    PubMed

    Berger, Johannes; Dorninger, Fabian; Forss-Petter, Sonja; Kunze, Markus

    2016-05-01

    Peroxisomes contain numerous enzymatic activities that are important for mammalian physiology. Patients lacking either all peroxisomal functions or a single enzyme or transporter function typically develop severe neurological deficits, which originate from aberrant development of the brain, demyelination and loss of axonal integrity, neuroinflammation or other neurodegenerative processes. Whilst correlating peroxisomal properties with a compilation of pathologies observed in human patients and mouse models lacking all or individual peroxisomal functions, we discuss the importance of peroxisomal metabolites and tissue- and cell type-specific contributions to the observed brain pathologies. This enables us to deconstruct the local and systemic contribution of individual metabolic pathways to specific brain functions. We also review the recently discovered variability of pathological symptoms in cases with unexpectedly mild presentation of peroxisome biogenesis disorders. Finally, we explore the emerging evidence linking peroxisomes to more common neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, autism and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:26686055

  15. Entropy changes in brain function.

    PubMed

    Rosso, Osvaldo A

    2007-04-01

    The traditional way of analyzing brain electrical activity, on the basis of electroencephalography (EEG) records, relies mainly on visual inspection and years of training. Although it is quite useful, of course, one has to acknowledge its subjective nature that hardly allows for a systematic protocol. In the present work quantifiers based on information theory and wavelet transform are reviewed. The "relative wavelet energy" provides information about the relative energy associated with different frequency bands present in the EEG and their corresponding degree of importance. The "normalized total wavelet entropy" carries information about the degree of order-disorder associated with a multi-frequency signal response. Their application in the analysis and quantification of short duration EEG signals (event-related potentials) and epileptic EEG records are summarized. PMID:17234291

  16. Statistical Approaches for the Study of Cognitive and Brain Aging

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Huaihou; Zhao, Bingxin; Cao, Guanqun; Proges, Eric C.; O'Shea, Andrew; Woods, Adam J.; Cohen, Ronald A.

    2016-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies of cognitive and brain aging often yield massive datasets that create many analytic and statistical challenges. In this paper, we discuss and address several limitations in the existing work. (1) Linear models are often used to model the age effects on neuroimaging markers, which may be inadequate in capturing the potential nonlinear age effects. (2) Marginal correlations are often used in brain network analysis, which are not efficient in characterizing a complex brain network. (3) Due to the challenge of high-dimensionality, only a small subset of the regional neuroimaging markers is considered in a prediction model, which could miss important regional markers. To overcome those obstacles, we introduce several advanced statistical methods for analyzing data from cognitive and brain aging studies. Specifically, we introduce semiparametric models for modeling age effects, graphical models for brain network analysis, and penalized regression methods for selecting the most important markers in predicting cognitive outcomes. We illustrate these methods using the healthy aging data from the Active Brain Study. PMID:27486400

  17. Prospects for Optogenetic Augmentation of Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Jarvis, Sarah; Schultz, Simon R.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to optically control neural activity opens up possibilities for the restoration of normal function following neurological disorders. The temporal precision, spatial resolution, and neuronal specificity that optogenetics offers is unequalled by other available methods, so will it be suitable for not only restoring but also extending brain function? As the first demonstrations of optically “implanted” novel memories emerge, we examine the suitability of optogenetics as a technique for extending neural function. While optogenetics is an effective tool for altering neural activity, the largest impediment for optogenetics in neural augmentation is our systems level understanding of brain function. Furthermore, a number of clinical limitations currently remain as substantial hurdles for the applications proposed. While neurotechnologies for treating brain disorders and interfacing with prosthetics have advanced rapidly in the past few years, partially addressing some of these critical problems, optogenetics is not yet suitable for use in humans. Instead we conclude that for the immediate future, optogenetics is the neurological equivalent of the 3D printer: its flexibility providing an ideal tool for testing and prototyping solutions for treating brain disorders and augmenting brain function. PMID:26635547

  18. CONCENTRATION OF GLIAL FIBRILLARY ACIDIC PROTEIN INCREASES WITH AGE IN THE MOUSE AND RAT BRAIN

    EPA Science Inventory

    The role of aging in the expression of the astrocyte protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), was examined. n both mice and rats the concentration of GFAP increased throughout the brain as a function of aging. he largest increase (2-fold) was observed in striatum for both...

  19. Brain Damage in School Age Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haywood, H. Carl, Ed.

    The product of a professional workshop, 10 papers discuss brain damage. An introduction to clinical neuropsychology is presented by H. Carl Haywood. A section on neurological foundations includes papers on the organization of the central nervous system by Jack T. Tapp and Lance L. Simpson, on epilepsy by Angela T. Folsom, and on organic language…

  20. [Localization of language function in the brain].

    PubMed

    Miyashita, Hiroyuki; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L

    2011-12-01

    Since the first report of an aphasic patient by Paul Broca, the localization of brain function has been disputed for 150 years. In lesion studies, double dissociation has been a key concept to show the localization of particular cognitive functions. The advancement of non-invasive brain imaging methods enables us to investigate the brain activities under well-controlled conditions, further promoting the studies on the localization of the cognitive functions, including language function. Brain imaging studies, together with subtraction and correlation analyses, have accumulated evidence that syntax, phonology, and sentence comprehension are separately processed by modules in different cortical regions. More specifically, it has been clarified that the module for syntax localizes in the left lateral premotor cortex and the opercular/triangular parts of the left inferior frontal gyrus. This modular structure further suggests that aphasia is interpreted as deficits in either syntactic or phonological processing. Therefore, the classical model of contrasting speech production and comprehension should be updated. According to theoretical linguistics, on the other hand, the recursive computation of syntactic structures is an essential feature of human language faculty. One direction of research would be to contrast human beings and animals for the abilities of processing symbolic sequences. Another direction is to clarify that the human brain is indeed specialized in language processing, which can be revealed by well-controlled language tasks and functional imaging techniques. Here we will review recent studies that demonstrate the existence of grammar center in the left frontal cortex. The future studies in the neuroscience of language will eventually elucidate the cortical localization of language function in a more precise way, i.e., what is really computed in the human brain. PMID:22147453

  1. Strengthening connections: functional connectivity and brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Clare; Castellanos, F. Xavier

    2014-01-01

    The ascendancy of functional neuroimaging has facilitated the addition of network-based approaches to the neuropsychologist’s toolbox for evaluating the sequelae of brain insult. In particular, intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) mapping of resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) data constitutes an ideal approach to measuring macro-scale networks in the human brain. Beyond the value of iFC mapping for charting how the functional topography of the brain is altered by insult and injury, iFC analyses can provide insights into effects of experience-dependent plasticity at the macro level of large-scale functional networks. Such insights are foundational to the design of training and remediation interventions that will best facilitate recovery of function. In this review, we consider what is currently known about the origin and function of iFC in the brain, and how this knowledge is informative in neuropsychological settings. We then summarize studies that have examined experience-driven plasticity of iFC in healthy control participants, and frame these findings in terms of a schema that may aid in the interpretation of results and the generation of hypothesis for rehabilitative studies. Finally, we outline some caveats to the R-fMRI approach, as well as some current developments that are likely to bolster the utility of the iFC paradigm for neuropsychology. PMID:24496903

  2. Determinants of iron accumulation in the normal aging brain.

    PubMed

    Pirpamer, Lukas; Hofer, Edith; Gesierich, Benno; De Guio, François; Freudenberger, Paul; Seiler, Stephan; Duering, Marco; Jouvent, Eric; Duchesnay, Edouard; Dichgans, Martin; Ropele, Stefan; Schmidt, Reinhold

    2016-07-01

    In a recent postmortem study, R2* relaxometry in gray matter (GM) of the brain has been validated as a noninvasive measure for iron content in brain tissue. Iron accumulation in the normal aging brain is a common finding and relates to brain maturation and degeneration. The goal of this study was to assess the determinants of iron accumulation during brain aging. The study cohort consisted of 314 healthy community-dwelling participants of the Austrian Stroke Prevention Study. Their age ranged from 38-82 years. Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging was performed on 3T and included R2* mapping, based on a 3D multi-echo gradient echo sequence. The median of R2* values was measured in all GM regions, which were segmented automatically using FreeSurfer. We investigated 25 possible determinants for cerebral iron deposition. These included demographics, brain volume, lifestyle factors, cerebrovascular risk factors, serum levels of iron, and single nucleotide polymorphisms related to iron regulating genes (rs1800562, rs3811647, rs1799945, and rs1049296). The body mass index (BMI) was significantly related to R2* in 15/32 analyzed brain regions with the strongest correlations found in the amygdala (p = 0.0091), medial temporal lobe (p = 0.0002), and hippocampus (p ≤ 0.0001). Further associations to R2* values were found in deep GM for age and smoking. No significant associations were found for gender, GM volume, serum levels of iron, or iron-associated genetic polymorphisms. In conclusion, besides age, the BMI and smoking are the only significant determinants of brain iron accumulation in normally aging subjects. Smoking relates to iron deposition in the basal ganglia, whereas higher BMI is associated with iron content in the neocortex following an Alzheimer-like distribution. PMID:27255824

  3. Studying variability in human brain aging in a population-based German cohort—rationale and design of 1000BRAINS

    PubMed Central

    Caspers, Svenja; Moebus, Susanne; Lux, Silke; Pundt, Noreen; Schütz, Holger; Mühleisen, Thomas W.; Gras, Vincent; Eickhoff, Simon B.; Romanzetti, Sandro; Stöcker, Tony; Stirnberg, Rüdiger; Kirlangic, Mehmet E.; Minnerop, Martina; Pieperhoff, Peter; Mödder, Ulrich; Das, Samir; Evans, Alan C.; Jöckel, Karl-Heinz; Erbel, Raimund; Cichon, Sven; Nöthen, Markus M.; Sturma, Dieter; Bauer, Andreas; Jon Shah, N.; Zilles, Karl; Amunts, Katrin

    2014-01-01

    The ongoing 1000 brains study (1000BRAINS) is an epidemiological and neuroscientific investigation of structural and functional variability in the human brain during aging. The two recruitment sources are the 10-year follow-up cohort of the German Heinz Nixdorf Recall (HNR) Study, and the HNR MultiGeneration Study cohort, which comprises spouses and offspring of HNR subjects. The HNR is a longitudinal epidemiological investigation of cardiovascular risk factors, with a comprehensive collection of clinical, laboratory, socioeconomic, and environmental data from population-based subjects aged 45–75 years on inclusion. HNR subjects underwent detailed assessments in 2000, 2006, and 2011, and completed annual postal questionnaires on health status. 1000BRAINS accesses these HNR data and applies a separate protocol comprising: neuropsychological tests of attention, memory, executive functions and language; examination of motor skills; ratings of personality, life quality, mood and daily activities; analysis of laboratory and genetic data; and state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, 3 Tesla) of the brain. The latter includes (i) 3D-T1- and 3D-T2-weighted scans for structural analyses and myelin mapping; (ii) three diffusion imaging sequences optimized for diffusion tensor imaging, high-angular resolution diffusion imaging for detailed fiber tracking and for diffusion kurtosis imaging; (iii) resting-state and task-based functional MRI; and (iv) fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and MR angiography for the detection of vascular lesions and the mapping of white matter lesions. The unique design of 1000BRAINS allows: (i) comprehensive investigation of various influences including genetics, environment and health status on variability in brain structure and function during aging; and (ii) identification of the impact of selected influencing factors on specific cognitive subsystems and their anatomical correlates. PMID:25071558

  4. Studying variability in human brain aging in a population-based German cohort-rationale and design of 1000BRAINS.

    PubMed

    Caspers, Svenja; Moebus, Susanne; Lux, Silke; Pundt, Noreen; Schütz, Holger; Mühleisen, Thomas W; Gras, Vincent; Eickhoff, Simon B; Romanzetti, Sandro; Stöcker, Tony; Stirnberg, Rüdiger; Kirlangic, Mehmet E; Minnerop, Martina; Pieperhoff, Peter; Mödder, Ulrich; Das, Samir; Evans, Alan C; Jöckel, Karl-Heinz; Erbel, Raimund; Cichon, Sven; Nöthen, Markus M; Sturma, Dieter; Bauer, Andreas; Jon Shah, N; Zilles, Karl; Amunts, Katrin

    2014-01-01

    The ongoing 1000 brains study (1000BRAINS) is an epidemiological and neuroscientific investigation of structural and functional variability in the human brain during aging. The two recruitment sources are the 10-year follow-up cohort of the German Heinz Nixdorf Recall (HNR) Study, and the HNR MultiGeneration Study cohort, which comprises spouses and offspring of HNR subjects. The HNR is a longitudinal epidemiological investigation of cardiovascular risk factors, with a comprehensive collection of clinical, laboratory, socioeconomic, and environmental data from population-based subjects aged 45-75 years on inclusion. HNR subjects underwent detailed assessments in 2000, 2006, and 2011, and completed annual postal questionnaires on health status. 1000BRAINS accesses these HNR data and applies a separate protocol comprising: neuropsychological tests of attention, memory, executive functions and language; examination of motor skills; ratings of personality, life quality, mood and daily activities; analysis of laboratory and genetic data; and state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, 3 Tesla) of the brain. The latter includes (i) 3D-T1- and 3D-T2-weighted scans for structural analyses and myelin mapping; (ii) three diffusion imaging sequences optimized for diffusion tensor imaging, high-angular resolution diffusion imaging for detailed fiber tracking and for diffusion kurtosis imaging; (iii) resting-state and task-based functional MRI; and (iv) fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and MR angiography for the detection of vascular lesions and the mapping of white matter lesions. The unique design of 1000BRAINS allows: (i) comprehensive investigation of various influences including genetics, environment and health status on variability in brain structure and function during aging; and (ii) identification of the impact of selected influencing factors on specific cognitive subsystems and their anatomical correlates. PMID:25071558

  5. Aging of the Brain: How Can We Prevent It?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarvik, Lissy F.

    1988-01-01

    Contends distinction between normal and abnormal aging of the brain changes as data emerge which identify as pathology what had previously been considered the norm. Reviews research on effects of aging in twins begun in 1940s, focusing on facts related to intellectual decline, neuropsychological test performance relationship to dementia, and…

  6. Recent Developments in Understanding Brain Aging: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Cognitive Impairment.

    PubMed

    Deak, Ferenc; Freeman, Willard M; Ungvari, Zoltan; Csiszar, Anna; Sonntag, William E

    2016-01-01

    As the population of the Western world is aging, there is increasing awareness of age-related impairments in cognitive function and a rising interest in finding novel approaches to preserve cerebral health. A special collection of articles in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences brings together information of different aspects of brain aging, from latest developments in the field of neurodegenerative disorders to cerebral microvascular mechanisms of cognitive decline. It is emphasized that although the cellular changes that occur within aging neurons have been widely studied, more research is required as new signaling pathways are discovered that can potentially protect cells. New avenues for research targeting cellular senescence, epigenetics, and endocrine mechanisms of brain aging are also discussed. Based on the current literature it is clear that understanding brain aging and reducing risk for neurological disease with age requires searching for mechanisms and treatment options beyond the age-related changes in neuronal function. Thus, comprehensive approaches need to be developed that address the multiple, interrelated mechanisms of brain aging. Attention is brought to the importance of maintenance of cerebromicrovascular health, restoring neuroendocrine balance, and the pressing need for funding more innovative research into the interactions of neuronal, neuroendocrine, inflammatory and microvascular mechanisms of cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease. PMID:26590911

  7. New neurons in an aged brain

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Star W.; Clemenson, Gregory D.; Gage, Fred H.

    2011-01-01

    Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is one of the most robust forms of synaptic plasticity in the nervous system and occurs throughout life. However, the rate of neurogenesis declines dramatically with age. Older animals have significantly less neural progenitor cell proliferation, neuronal differentiation, and newborn neuron survival compared to younger animals. Intrinsic properties of neural progenitor cells, such as gene transcription and telomerase activity, change with age, which may contribute to the observed decline in neurogenesis. In addition, age-related changes in the local cells of the neurogenic niche may no longer provide neural progenitor cells with the cell-cell contact and soluble cues necessary for hippocampal neurogenesis. Astrocytes, microglia, and endothelial cells undergo changes in morphology and signaling properties with age, altering the foundation of the neurogenic niche. While most studies indicate a correlation between decreased hippocampal neurogenesis and impaired performance in hippocampus-dependent cognitive tasks in aged mice, a few have demonstrated that young and aged mice are equivalent in their cognitive ability. Here, we summarize the different behavioral paradigms to test hippocampus-dependent cognition and the need to develop neurogenesis-dependent tasks. PMID:22024433

  8. Age, Plasticity, and Homeostasis In Childhood Brain Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Maureen; Spiegler, Brenda J.; Juranek, Jenifer J.; Bigler, Erin D.; Snead, O. Carter; Fletcher, Jack M.

    2013-01-01

    It has been widely accepted that the younger the age and/or immaturity of the organism, the greater the brain plasticity, the young age plasticity privilege. This paper examines the relation of a young age to plasticity, reviewing human pediatric brain disorders, as well as selected animal models, human developmental and adult brain disorder studies. As well, we review developmental and childhood acquired disorders that involve a failure of regulatory homeostasis. Our core arguments are: Plasticity is neutral with respect to outcome. Although the effects of plasticity are often beneficial, the outcome of plasticity may be adaptive or maladaptive.The young age plasticity privilege has been overstated.Plastic change operates in concert with homeostatic mechanisms regulating change at every point in the lifespan.The same mechanisms that propel developmental change expose the immature brain to adverse events, making it more difficult for the immature than for the mature brain to sustain equilibrium between plasticity and homeostasis.Poor outcome in many neurodevelopmental disorders and childhood acquired brain insults is related to disequilibrium between plasticity and homeostasis. PMID:24096190

  9. Gestational Age and Neonatal Brain Microstructure in Term Born Infants: A Birth Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Broekman, Birit F. P.; Wang, Changqing; Li, Yue; Rifkin-Graboi, Anne; Saw, Seang Mei; Chong, Yap-Seng; Kwek, Kenneth; Gluckman, Peter D.; Fortier, Marielle V.; Meaney, Michael J.; Qiu, Anqi

    2014-01-01

    Objective Understanding healthy brain development in utero is crucial in order to detect abnormal developmental trajectories due to developmental disorders. However, in most studies neuroimaging was done after a significant postnatal period, and in those studies that performed neuroimaging on fetuses, the quality of data has been affected due to complications of scanning during pregnancy. To understand healthy brain development between 37–41 weeks of gestational age, our study assessed the in utero growth of the brain in healthy term born babies with DTI scanning soon after birth. Methods A cohort of 93 infants recruited from maternity hospitals in Singapore underwent diffusion tensor imaging between 5 to 17 days after birth. We did a cross-sectional examination of white matter microstructure of the brain among healthy term infants as a function of gestational age via voxel-based analysis on fractional anisotropy. Results Greater gestational age at birth in term infants was associated with larger fractional anisotropy values in early developing brain regions, when corrected for age at scan. Specifically, it was associated with a cluster located at the corpus callosum (corrected p<0.001), as well as another cluster spanning areas of the anterior corona radiata, anterior limb of internal capsule, and external capsule (corrected p<0.001). Conclusions Our findings show variation in brain maturation associated with gestational age amongst ‘term’ infants, with increased brain maturation when born with a relatively higher gestational age in comparison to those infants born with a relatively younger gestational age. Future studies should explore if these differences in brain maturation between 37 and 41 weeks of gestational age will persist over time due to development outside the womb. PMID:25535959

  10. Mutant Alpha-Synuclein Causes Age-Dependent Neuropathology in Monkey Brain

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Weili; Wang, Guohao; Wang, Chuan-En; Guo, Xiangyu; Yin, Peng; Gao, Jinquan; Tu, Zhuchi; Wang, Zhengbo; Wu, Jing; Hu, Xintian; Li, Shihua

    2015-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is an age-dependent neurodegenerative disease that often occurs in those over age 60. Although rodents and small animals have been used widely to model PD and investigate its pathology, their short life span makes it difficult to assess the aging-related pathology that is likely to occur in PD patient brains. Here, we used brain tissues from rhesus monkeys at 2–3, 7–8, and >15 years of age to examine the expression of Parkin, PINK1, and α-synuclein, which are known to cause PD via loss- or gain-of-function mechanisms. We found that α-synuclein is increased in the older monkey brains, whereas Parkin and PINK1 are decreased or remain unchanged. Because of the gain of toxicity of α-synuclein, we performed stereotaxic injection of lentiviral vectors expressing mutant α-synuclein (A53T) into the substantia nigra of monkeys and found that aging also increases the accumulation of A53T in neurites and its associated neuropathology. A53T also causes more extensive reactive astrocytes and axonal degeneration in monkey brain than in mouse brain. Using monkey brain tissues, we found that A53T interacts with neurofascin, an adhesion molecule involved in axon subcellular targeting and neurite outgrowth. Aged monkey brain tissues show an increased interaction of neurofascin with A53T. Overexpression of A53T causes neuritic toxicity in cultured neuronal cells, which can be attenuated by transfected neurofascin. These findings from nonhuman primate brains reveal age-dependent pathological and molecular changes that could contribute to the age-dependent neuropathology in PD. PMID:26019347

  11. The Brain and Development of Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Touwen, Bert C. L.

    1998-01-01

    Examines the weak relationship between structural and functional brain development. Maintains that variability is the basic characteristic of normal development, and that involves the ability to construct pluriform strategies and to select the proper strategy in any particular situation. Argues that McGraw recognized intra- and inter-individual…

  12. Classroom Seating and Functional Brain Asymmetry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gur, Raquel E.; And Others

    1975-01-01

    This study examined the relationship between functional brain assymetry, as measured by the characteristic direction of eye movements in response to face-to-face questioning, and sitting on the left or right side of a classroom. Results are congruent with other findings comparing right and left movers. (Author/BJG)

  13. Integrating Retinoic Acid Signaling with Brain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luo, Tuanlian; Wagner, Elisabeth; Drager, Ursula C.

    2009-01-01

    The vitamin A derivative retinoic acid (RA) regulates the transcription of about a 6th of the human genome. Compelling evidence indicates a role of RA in cognitive activities, but its integration with the molecular mechanisms of higher brain functions is not known. Here we describe the properties of RA signaling in the mouse, which point to…

  14. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function

    PubMed Central

    Lauritzen, Lotte; Brambilla, Paolo; Mazzocchi, Alessandra; Harsløf, Laurine B. S.; Ciappolino, Valentina; Agostoni, Carlo

    2016-01-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a structural constituent of membranes specifically in the central nervous system. Its accumulation in the fetal brain takes place mainly during the last trimester of pregnancy and continues at very high rates up to the end of the second year of life. Since the endogenous formation of DHA seems to be relatively low, DHA intake may contribute to optimal conditions for brain development. We performed a narrative review on research on the associations between DHA levels and brain development and function throughout the lifespan. Data from cell and animal studies justify the indication of DHA in relation to brain function for neuronal cell growth and differentiation as well as in relation to neuronal signaling. Most data from human studies concern the contribution of DHA to optimal visual acuity development. Accumulating data indicate that DHA may have effects on the brain in infancy, and recent studies indicate that the effect of DHA may depend on gender and genotype of genes involved in the endogenous synthesis of DHA. While DHA levels may affect early development, potential effects are also increasingly recognized during childhood and adult life, suggesting a role of DHA in cognitive decline and in relation to major psychiatric disorders. PMID:26742060

  15. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function.

    PubMed

    Lauritzen, Lotte; Brambilla, Paolo; Mazzocchi, Alessandra; Harsløf, Laurine B S; Ciappolino, Valentina; Agostoni, Carlo

    2016-01-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a structural constituent of membranes specifically in the central nervous system. Its accumulation in the fetal brain takes place mainly during the last trimester of pregnancy and continues at very high rates up to the end of the second year of life. Since the endogenous formation of DHA seems to be relatively low, DHA intake may contribute to optimal conditions for brain development. We performed a narrative review on research on the associations between DHA levels and brain development and function throughout the lifespan. Data from cell and animal studies justify the indication of DHA in relation to brain function for neuronal cell growth and differentiation as well as in relation to neuronal signaling. Most data from human studies concern the contribution of DHA to optimal visual acuity development. Accumulating data indicate that DHA may have effects on the brain in infancy, and recent studies indicate that the effect of DHA may depend on gender and genotype of genes involved in the endogenous synthesis of DHA. While DHA levels may affect early development, potential effects are also increasingly recognized during childhood and adult life, suggesting a role of DHA in cognitive decline and in relation to major psychiatric disorders. PMID:26742060

  16. Brain Functional and Structural Predictors of Language Performance.

    PubMed

    Skeide, Michael A; Brauer, Jens; Friederici, Angela D

    2016-05-01

    The relation between brain function and behavior on the one hand and the relation between structural changes and behavior on the other as well as the link between the 2 aspects are core issues in cognitive neuroscience. It is an open question, however, whether brain function or brain structure is the better predictor for age-specific cognitive performance. Here, in a comprehensive set of analyses, we investigated the direct relation between hemodynamic activity in 2 pairs of frontal and temporal cortical areas, 2 long-distance white matter fiber tracts connecting each pair and sentence comprehension performance of 4 age groups, including 3 groups of children between 3 and 10 years as well as young adults. We show that the increasing accuracy of processing complex sentences throughout development is correlated with the blood-oxygen-level-dependent activation of 2 core language processing regions in Broca's area and the posterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus. Moreover, both accuracy and speed of processing are correlated with the maturational status of the arcuate fasciculus, that is, the dorsal white matter fiber bundle connecting these 2 regions. The present data provide compelling evidence for the view that brain function and white matter structure together best predict developing cognitive performance. PMID:25770126

  17. Impact of fatty acids on brain circulation, structure and function.

    PubMed

    Haast, Roy A M; Kiliaan, Amanda J

    2015-01-01

    The use of dietary intervention has evolved into a promising approach to prevent the onset and progression of brain diseases. The positive relationship between intake of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3-LCPUFAs) and decreased onset of disease- and aging-related deterioration of brain health is increasingly endorsed across epidemiological and diet-interventional studies. Promising results are found regarding to the protection of proper brain circulation, structure and functionality in healthy and diseased humans and animal models. These include enhanced cerebral blood flow (CBF), white and gray matter integrity, and improved cognitive functioning, and are possibly mediated through increased neurovascular coupling, neuroprotection and neuronal plasticity, respectively. Contrary, studies investigating diets high in saturated fats provide opposite results, which may eventually lead to irreversible damage. Studies like these are of great importance given the high incidence of obesity caused by the increased and decreased consumption of respectively saturated fats and ω3-LCPUFAs in the Western civilization. This paper will review in vivo research conducted on the effects of ω3-LCPUFAs and saturated fatty acids on integrity (circulation, structure and function) of the young, aging and diseased brain. PMID:24485516

  18. Dissecting mechanisms of brain aging by studying the intrinsic excitability of neurons

    PubMed Central

    Rizzo, Valerio; Richman, Jeffrey; Puthanveettil, Sathyanarayanan V.

    2015-01-01

    Several studies using vertebrate and invertebrate animal models have shown aging associated changes in brain function. Importantly, changes in soma size, loss or regression of dendrites and dendritic spines and alterations in the expression of neurotransmitter receptors in specific neurons were described. Despite this understanding, how aging impacts intrinsic properties of individual neurons or circuits that govern a defined behavior is yet to be determined. Here we discuss current understanding of specific electrophysiological changes in individual neurons and circuits during aging. PMID:25610394

  19. Mitochondrial function in ageing: coordination with signalling and transcriptional pathways.

    PubMed

    Yin, Fei; Sancheti, Harsh; Liu, Zhigang; Cadenas, Enrique

    2016-04-15

    Mitochondrial dysfunction entailing decreased energy-transducing capacity and perturbed redox homeostasis is an early and sometimes initiating event in ageing and age-related disorders involving tissues with high metabolic rate such as brain, liver and heart. In the central nervous system (CNS), recent findings from our and other groups suggest that the mitochondrion-centred hypometabolism is a key feature of ageing brains and Alzheimer's disease. This hypometabolic state is manifested by lowered neuronal glucose uptake, metabolic shift in the astrocytes, and alternations in mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid cycle function. Similarly, in liver and adipose tissue, mitochondrial capacity around glucose and fatty acid metabolism and thermogenesis is found to decline with age and is implicated in age-related metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. These mitochondrion-related disorders in peripheral tissues can impact on brain functions through metabolic, hormonal and inflammatory signals. At the cellular level, studies in CNS and non-CNS tissues support the notion that instead of being viewed as autonomous organelles, mitochondria are part of a dynamic network with close interactions with other cellular components through energy- or redox-sensitive cytosolic kinase signalling and transcriptional pathways. Hence, it would be critical to further understand the molecular mechanisms involved in the communication between mitochondria and the rest of the cell. Therapeutic strategies that effectively preserves or improve mitochondrial function by targeting key component of these signalling cascades could represent a novel direction for numerous mitochondrion-implicated, age-related disorders. PMID:26293414

  20. Lower cognitive reserve in the aging human immunodeficiency virus-infected brain

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Linda; Holt, John L.; Yakupov, Renat; Jiang, Caroline S.; Ernst, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    More HIV-infected individuals are living longer; however, how their brain function is affected by aging is not well understood. One hundred twenty-two men (56 seronegative control [SN] subjects, 37 HIV subjects with normal cognition [HIV+NC], 29 with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder [HAND]) performed neuropsychological tests and had acceptable functional magnetic resonance imaging scans at 3 Tesla during tasks with increasing attentional load. With older age, SN and HIV+NC subjects showed increased activation in the left posterior (reserve, “bottom-up”) attention network for low attentional-load tasks, and further increased activation in the left posterior and anterior (“top-down”) attention network on intermediate (HIV+NC only) and high attentional-load tasks. HAND subjects had only age-dependent decreases in activation. Age-dependent changes in brain activation differed between the 3 groups, primarily in the left frontal regions (despite similar brain atrophy). HIV and aging act synergistically or interactively to exacerbate brain activation abnormalities in different brain regions, suggestive of a neuroadaptive mechanism in the attention network to compensate for declined neural efficiency. While the SN and HIV+NC subjects compensated for their declining attention with age by using reserve and “top-down” attentional networks, older HAND subjects were unable to compensate which resulted in cognitive decline. PMID:23158761

  1. Functional Reorganizations of Brain Network in Prelingually Deaf Adolescents.

    PubMed

    Li, Wenjing; Li, Jianhong; Wang, Jieqiong; Zhou, Peng; Wang, Zhenchang; Xian, Junfang; He, Huiguang

    2016-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies suggested structural or functional brain reorganizations occurred in prelingually deaf subjects. However, little is known about the reorganizations of brain network architectures in prelingually deaf adolescents. The present study aims to investigate alterations of whole-brain functional network using resting-state fMRI and graph theory analysis. We recruited 16 prelingually deaf adolescents (10~18 years) and 16 normal controls matched in age and gender. Brain networks were constructed from mean time courses of 90 regions. Widely distributed network was observed in deaf subjects, with increased connectivity between the limbic system and regions involved in visual and language processing, suggesting reinforcement of the processing for the visual and verbal information in deaf adolescents. Decreased connectivity was detected between the visual regions and language regions possibly due to inferior reading or speaking skills in deaf subjects. Using graph theory analysis, we demonstrated small-worldness property did not change in prelingually deaf adolescents relative to normal controls. However, compared with healthy adolescents, eight regions involved in visual, language, and auditory processing were identified as hubs only present in prelingually deaf adolescents. These findings revealed reorganization of brain functional networks occurred in prelingually deaf adolescents to adapt to deficient auditory input. PMID:26819781

  2. Functional Reorganizations of Brain Network in Prelingually Deaf Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wenjing; Li, Jianhong; Wang, Jieqiong; Zhou, Peng; Wang, Zhenchang; Xian, Junfang; He, Huiguang

    2016-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies suggested structural or functional brain reorganizations occurred in prelingually deaf subjects. However, little is known about the reorganizations of brain network architectures in prelingually deaf adolescents. The present study aims to investigate alterations of whole-brain functional network using resting-state fMRI and graph theory analysis. We recruited 16 prelingually deaf adolescents (10~18 years) and 16 normal controls matched in age and gender. Brain networks were constructed from mean time courses of 90 regions. Widely distributed network was observed in deaf subjects, with increased connectivity between the limbic system and regions involved in visual and language processing, suggesting reinforcement of the processing for the visual and verbal information in deaf adolescents. Decreased connectivity was detected between the visual regions and language regions possibly due to inferior reading or speaking skills in deaf subjects. Using graph theory analysis, we demonstrated small-worldness property did not change in prelingually deaf adolescents relative to normal controls. However, compared with healthy adolescents, eight regions involved in visual, language, and auditory processing were identified as hubs only present in prelingually deaf adolescents. These findings revealed reorganization of brain functional networks occurred in prelingually deaf adolescents to adapt to deficient auditory input. PMID:26819781

  3. Functional neuroimaging can support causal claims about brain function

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Matthew J.; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive neuroscientists habitually deny that functional neuroimaging can furnish causal information about the relationship between brain events and behavior. However, imaging studies do provide causal information about those relationships—though not causal certainty. Although popular portrayals of functional neuroimaging tend to attribute too much inferential power to the technique, we should restrain ourselves from ascribing it too little. PMID:20201629

  4. R2* mapping for brain iron: associations with cognition in normal aging.

    PubMed

    Ghadery, Christine; Pirpamer, Lukas; Hofer, Edith; Langkammer, Christian; Petrovic, Katja; Loitfelder, Marisa; Schwingenschuh, Petra; Seiler, Stephan; Duering, Marco; Jouvent, Eric; Schmidt, Helena; Fazekas, Franz; Mangin, Jean-Francois; Chabriat, Hugues; Dichgans, Martin; Ropele, Stefan; Schmidt, Reinhold

    2015-02-01

    Brain iron accumulates during aging and has been associated with neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease. Magnetic resonance (MR)-based R2* mapping enables the in vivo detection of iron content in brain tissue. We investigated if during normal brain aging iron load relates to cognitive impairment in region-specific patterns in a community-dwelling cohort of 336 healthy, middle aged, and older adults from the Austrian Stroke Prevention Family Study. MR imaging and R2* mapping in the basal ganglia and neocortex were done at 3T. Comprehensive neuropsychological testing assessed memory, executive function, and psychomotor speed. We found the highest iron concentration in the globus pallidus, and pallidal and putaminal iron was significantly and inversely associated with cognitive performance in all cognitive domains, except memory. These associations were iron load dependent. Vascular brain lesions and brain volume did not mediate the relationship between iron and cognitive performance. We conclude that higher R2*-determined iron in the basal ganglia correlates with cognitive impairment during brain aging independent of concomitant brain abnormalities. The prognostic significance of this finding needs to be determined. PMID:25443291

  5. Predicting individual brain maturity using dynamic functional connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Jian; Chen, Shan-Guang; Hu, Dewen; Zeng, Ling-Li; Fan, Yi-Ming; Chen, Xiao-Ping; Shen, Hui

    2015-01-01

    Neuroimaging-based functional connectivity (FC) analyses have revealed significant developmental trends in specific intrinsic connectivity networks linked to cognitive and behavioral maturation. However, knowledge of how brain functional maturation is associated with FC dynamics at rest is limited. Here, we examined age-related differences in the temporal variability of FC dynamics with data publicly released by the Nathan Kline Institute (NKI; n = 183, ages 7–30) and showed that dynamic inter-region interactions can be used to accurately predict individual brain maturity across development. Furthermore, we identified a significant age-dependent trend underlying dynamic inter-network FC, including increasing variability of the connections between the visual network, default mode network (DMN) and cerebellum as well as within the cerebellum and DMN and decreasing variability within the cerebellum and between the cerebellum and DMN as well as the cingulo-opercular network. Overall, the results suggested significant developmental changes in dynamic inter-network interaction, which may shed new light on the functional organization of typical developmental brains. PMID:26236224

  6. Non-coding RNA in neural function, disease, and aging

    PubMed Central

    Szafranski, Kirk; Abraham, Karan J.; Mekhail, Karim

    2015-01-01

    Declining brain and neurobiological function is arguably one of the most common features of human aging. The study of conserved aging processes as well as the characterization of various neurodegenerative diseases using different genetic models such as yeast, fly, mouse, and human systems is uncovering links to non-coding RNAs. These links implicate a variety of RNA-regulatory processes, including microRNA function, paraspeckle formation, RNA–DNA hybrid regulation, nucleolar RNAs and toxic RNA clearance, amongst others. Here we highlight these connections and reveal over-arching themes or questions related to recently appreciated roles of non-coding RNA in neural function and dysfunction across lifespan. PMID:25806046

  7. AGES in brain ageing: AGE-inhibitors as neuroprotective and anti-dementia drugs?

    PubMed

    Dukic-Stefanovic, S; Schinzel, R; Riederer, P; Münch, G

    2001-01-01

    In Alzheimer's disease, age-related cellular changes such as compromised energy production and increased radical formation are worsened by the presence of AGEs as additional, AD specific stress factors. Intracellular AGEs (most likely derived from methylglyoxal) crosslink cytoskeletal proteins and render them insoluble. These aggregates inhibit cellular functions including transport processes and contribute to neuronal dysfunction and death. Extracellular AGEs, which accumulate in ageing tissue (but most prominently on long-lived protein deposits like the senile plaques) exert chronic oxidative stress on neurons. In addition, they activate glial cells to produce free radicals (superoxide and NO) and neurotoxic cytokines such as TNF-alpha. Drugs, which inhibit the formation of AGEs by specific chemical mechanisms (AGE-inhibitors), including aminoguanidine, carnosine, tenilsetam, OPB-9195 and pyridoxamine, attenuate the development of (AGE-mediated) diabetic complications. Assuming that 'carbonyl stress' contributes significantly to the progression of Alzheimer's disease, AGE-inhibitors might also become interesting novel therapeutic drugs for treatment of AD. PMID:11708614

  8. MR brain image analysis in dementia: From quantitative imaging biomarkers to ageing brain models and imaging genetics.

    PubMed

    Niessen, Wiro J

    2016-10-01

    MR brain image analysis has constantly been a hot topic research area in medical image analysis over the past two decades. In this article, it is discussed how the field developed from the construction of tools for automatic quantification of brain morphology, function, connectivity and pathology, to creating models of the ageing brain in normal ageing and disease, and tools for integrated analysis of imaging and genetic data. The current and future role of the field in improved understanding of the development of neurodegenerative disease is discussed, and its potential for aiding in early and differential diagnosis and prognosis of different types of dementia. For the latter, the use of reference imaging data and reference models derived from large clinical and population imaging studies, and the application of machine learning techniques on these reference data, are expected to play a key role. PMID:27344937

  9. Electromagnetic inverse applications for functional brain imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, C.C.

    1997-10-01

    This is the final report of a one-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). This project addresses an important mathematical and computational problem in functional brain imaging, namely the electromagnetic {open_quotes}inverse problem.{close_quotes} Electromagnetic brain imaging techniques, magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG), are based on measurements of electrical potentials and magnetic fields at hundreds of locations outside the human head. The inverse problem is the estimation of the locations, magnitudes, and time-sources of electrical currents in the brain from surface measurements. This project extends recent progress on the inverse problem by combining the use of anatomical constraints derived from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with Bayesian and other novel algorithmic approaches. The results suggest that we can achieve significant improvements in the accuracy and robustness of inverse solutions by these two approaches.

  10. Effect of aging on neurogenesis in the canine brain.

    PubMed

    Pekcec, Anton; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Bankstahl, Jens P; Stein, Veronika M; Potschka, Heidrun

    2008-06-01

    An age-dependent decline in hippocampal neurogenesis has been reported in laboratory rodents. Environmental enrichment proved to be a strong trigger of neurogenesis in young and aged laboratory rodents, which are generally kept in facilities with a paucity of environmental stimuli. These data raise the question whether an age-dependent decline in hippocampal cell proliferation and neurogenesis can also be observed in individuals exposed to diversified and varying surroundings. Therefore, we determined rates of canine hippocampal neurogenesis using post-mortem tissue from 37 nonlaboratory dogs that were exposed to a variety of environmental conditions throughout their life. Expression of the neuronal progenitor cell marker doublecortin clearly correlated with age. The analysis of doublecortin-labeled cells in dogs aged > 133 months indicated a 96% drop in the aged canine brain as compared to young adults. Expression of the proliferation marker Ki-67 in the subgranular zone decreased until dogs were aged 85-132 months. In the aging canine brain amyloid-beta peptide deposits have been described that might resemble an early pathophysiological change in the course of human Alzheimer's disease. Comparison of Ki-67 and doublecortin expression in canine brain tissue with or without diffuse plaques revealed no differences. The data indicate that occurrence of diffuse plaques in the aging brain is not sufficient to trigger enhanced proliferation or enhanced neurogenesis such as described in human Alzheimer's disease. In addition, this study gives first proof that an age-dependent decline also dominates hippocampal neurogenesis rates in individuals living in diversified environments. PMID:18363905

  11. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks.

    PubMed

    Petri, G; Expert, P; Turkheimer, F; Carhart-Harris, R; Nutt, D; Hellyer, P J; Vaccarino, F

    2014-12-01

    Networks, as efficient representations of complex systems, have appealed to scientists for a long time and now permeate many areas of science, including neuroimaging (Bullmore and Sporns 2009 Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 10, 186-198. (doi:10.1038/nrn2618)). Traditionally, the structure of complex networks has been studied through their statistical properties and metrics concerned with node and link properties, e.g. degree-distribution, node centrality and modularity. Here, we study the characteristics of functional brain networks at the mesoscopic level from a novel perspective that highlights the role of inhomogeneities in the fabric of functional connections. This can be done by focusing on the features of a set of topological objects-homological cycles-associated with the weighted functional network. We leverage the detected topological information to define the homological scaffolds, a new set of objects designed to represent compactly the homological features of the correlation network and simultaneously make their homological properties amenable to networks theoretical methods. As a proof of principle,we apply these tools to compare resting state functional brain activity in 15 healthy volunteers after intravenous infusion of placebo and psilocybin-the main psychoactive component of magic mushrooms. The results show that the homological structure of the brain's functional patterns undergoes a dramatic change post-psilocybin, characterized by the appearance of many transient structures of low stability and of a small number of persistent ones that are not observed in the case of placebo. PMID:25401177

  12. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks

    PubMed Central

    Petri, G.; Expert, P.; Turkheimer, F.; Carhart-Harris, R.; Nutt, D.; Hellyer, P. J.; Vaccarino, F.

    2014-01-01

    Networks, as efficient representations of complex systems, have appealed to scientists for a long time and now permeate many areas of science, including neuroimaging (Bullmore and Sporns 2009 Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 10, 186–198. (doi:10.1038/nrn2618)). Traditionally, the structure of complex networks has been studied through their statistical properties and metrics concerned with node and link properties, e.g. degree-distribution, node centrality and modularity. Here, we study the characteristics of functional brain networks at the mesoscopic level from a novel perspective that highlights the role of inhomogeneities in the fabric of functional connections. This can be done by focusing on the features of a set of topological objects—homological cycles—associated with the weighted functional network. We leverage the detected topological information to define the homological scaffolds, a new set of objects designed to represent compactly the homological features of the correlation network and simultaneously make their homological properties amenable to networks theoretical methods. As a proof of principle, we apply these tools to compare resting-state functional brain activity in 15 healthy volunteers after intravenous infusion of placebo and psilocybin—the main psychoactive component of magic mushrooms. The results show that the homological structure of the brain's functional patterns undergoes a dramatic change post-psilocybin, characterized by the appearance of many transient structures of low stability and of a small number of persistent ones that are not observed in the case of placebo. PMID:25401177

  13. Electroencephalographic imaging of higher brain function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gevins, A.; Smith, M. E.; McEvoy, L. K.; Leong, H.; Le, J.

    1999-01-01

    High temporal resolution is necessary to resolve the rapidly changing patterns of brain activity that underlie mental function. Electroencephalography (EEG) provides temporal resolution in the millisecond range. However, traditional EEG technology and practice provide insufficient spatial detail to identify relationships between brain electrical events and structures and functions visualized by magnetic resonance imaging or positron emission tomography. Recent advances help to overcome this problem by recording EEGs from more electrodes, by registering EEG data with anatomical images, and by correcting the distortion caused by volume conduction of EEG signals through the skull and scalp. In addition, statistical measurements of sub-second interdependences between EEG time-series recorded from different locations can help to generate hypotheses about the instantaneous functional networks that form between different cortical regions during perception, thought and action. Example applications are presented from studies of language, attention and working memory. Along with its unique ability to monitor brain function as people perform everyday activities in the real world, these advances make modern EEG an invaluable complement to other functional neuroimaging modalities.

  14. Estimating brain age using high-resolution pattern recognition: Younger brains in long-term meditation practitioners.

    PubMed

    Luders, Eileen; Cherbuin, Nicolas; Gaser, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Normal aging is known to be accompanied by loss of brain substance. The present study was designed to examine whether the practice of meditation is associated with a reduced brain age. Specific focus was directed at age fifty and beyond, as mid-life is a time when aging processes are known to become more prominent. We applied a recently developed machine learning algorithm trained to identify anatomical correlates of age in the brain translating those into one single score: the BrainAGE index (in years). Using this validated approach based on high-dimensional pattern recognition, we re-analyzed a large sample of 50 long-term meditators and 50 control subjects estimating and comparing their brain ages. We observed that, at age fifty, brains of meditators were estimated to be 7.5years younger than those of controls. In addition, we examined if the brain age estimates change with increasing age. While brain age estimates varied only little in controls, significant changes were detected in meditators: for every additional year over fifty, meditators' brains were estimated to be an additional 1month and 22days younger than their chronological age. Altogether, these findings seem to suggest that meditation is beneficial for brain preservation, effectively protecting against age-related atrophy with a consistently slower rate of brain aging throughout life. PMID:27079530

  15. Effects of chronic peripheral olfactory loss on functional brain networks.

    PubMed

    Kollndorfer, K; Jakab, A; Mueller, C A; Trattnig, S; Schöpf, V

    2015-12-01

    The effects of sensory loss on central processing in various sensory systems have already been described. The olfactory system holds the special ability to be activated by a sensorimotor act, without the presentation of an odor. In this study, we investigated brain changes related to chronic peripheral smell loss. We included 11 anosmic patients (eight female, three male; mean age, 43.5 years) with smell loss after an infection of the upper respiratory tract (mean disease duration, 4.64 years) and 14 healthy controls (seven female, seven male; mean age, 30.1 years) in a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment with a sniffing paradigm. Data were analyzed using group-independent component analysis and functional connectivity analysis. Our results revealed a spatially intact olfactory network in patients, whereas major aberrations due to peripheral loss were observed in functional connectivity through a variety of distributed brain areas. This is the first study to show the re-organization caused by the lack of peripheral input. The results of this study indicate that anosmic patients hold the ability to activate an olfaction-related functional network through the sensorimotor component of odor-perception (sniffing). The areas involved were not different from those that emerged in healthy controls. However, functional connectivity appears to be different between the two groups, with a decrease in functional connectivity in the brain in patients with chronic peripheral sensory loss. We can further conclude that the loss of the sense of smell may induce far-reaching effects in the whole brain, which lead to compensatory mechanisms from other sensory systems due to the close interconnectivity of the olfactory system with other functional networks. PMID:26415766

  16. Immune activation in brain aging and neurodegeneration: too much or too little?

    PubMed Central

    Lucin, Kurt M.; Wyss-Coray, Tony

    2009-01-01

    Until recently the brain was studied almost exclusively by neuroscientists and the immune system by immunologists, fuelling the notion that these systems represented two isolated entities. However, as more data suggest an important role of the immune system in regulating the progression of brain aging and neurodegenerative disease, it has become clear that the crosstalk between these systems can no longer be ignored and a new interdisciplinary approach is necessary. A central question that emerges is whether immune and inflammatory pathways become hyperactivated with age and promote degeneration or whether insufficient immune responses, which fail to cope with age-related stress may contribute to disease. We try to explore here the consequences of gain- versus loss-of-function with an emphasis on microglia as sensors and effectors of immune function in the brain and we discuss the potential role of the peripheral environment in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:19840553

  17. Maintaining older brain functionality: A targeted review.

    PubMed

    Ballesteros, Soledad; Kraft, Eduard; Santana, Silvina; Tziraki, Chariklia

    2015-08-01

    The unprecedented growth in the number of older adults in our society is accompanied by the exponential increase in the number of elderly people who will suffer cognitive decline and dementia in the next decades. This will create an enormous cost for governments, families and individuals. Brain plasticity and its role in brain adaptation to the process of aging is influenced by other changes as a result of co-morbidities, environmental factors, personality traits (psychosocial variables) and genetic and epigenetic factors. This review summarizes recent findings obtained mostly from interventional studies that aim to prevent and/or delay age-related cognitive decline in healthy adults. There are a multitude of such studies. In this paper, we focused our review on physical activity, computerized cognitive training and social enhancement interventions on improving cognition, physical health, independent living and wellbeing of older adults. The methodological limitations of some of these studies, and the need for new multi-domain synergistic interventions, based on current advances in neuroscience and social-brain theories, are discussed. PMID:26054789

  18. Structural and functional brain imaging in schizophrenia.

    PubMed Central

    Cleghorn, J M; Zipursky, R B; List, S J

    1991-01-01

    We present an evaluation of the contribution of structural and functional brain imaging to our understanding of schizophrenia. Methodological influences on the validity of the data generated by these new technologies include problems with measurement and clinical and anatomic heterogeneity. These considerations greatly affect the interpretation of the data generated by these technologies. Work in these fields to date, however, has produced strong evidence which suggests that schizophrenia is a disease which involves abnormalities in the structure and function of many brain areas. Structural brain imaging studies of schizophrenia using computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are reviewed and their contribution to current theories of the pathogenesis of schizophrenia are discussed. Positron emission tomography (PET) studies of brain metabolic activity and dopamine receptor binding in schizophrenia are summarized and the critical questions raised by these studies are outlined. Future studies in these fields have the potential to yield critical insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia; new directions for studies of schizophrenia using these technologies are identified. PMID:1911736

  19. Robust Transient Dynamics and Brain Functions

    PubMed Central

    Rabinovich, Mikhail I.; Varona, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    In the last few decades several concepts of dynamical systems theory (DST) have guided psychologists, cognitive scientists, and neuroscientists to rethink about sensory motor behavior and embodied cognition. A critical step in the progress of DST application to the brain (supported by modern methods of brain imaging and multi-electrode recording techniques) has been the transfer of its initial success in motor behavior to mental function, i.e., perception, emotion, and cognition. Open questions from research in genetics, ecology, brain sciences, etc., have changed DST itself and lead to the discovery of a new dynamical phenomenon, i.e., reproducible and robust transients that are at the same time sensitive to informational signals. The goal of this review is to describe a new mathematical framework – heteroclinic sequential dynamics – to understand self-organized activity in the brain that can explain certain aspects of robust itinerant behavior. Specifically, we discuss a hierarchy of coarse-grain models of mental dynamics in the form of kinetic equations of modes. These modes compete for resources at three levels: (i) within the same modality, (ii) among different modalities from the same family (like perception), and (iii) among modalities from different families (like emotion and cognition). The analysis of the conditions for robustness, i.e., the structural stability of transient (sequential) dynamics, give us the possibility to explain phenomena like the finite capacity of our sequential working memory – a vital cognitive function –, and to find specific dynamical signatures – different kinds of instabilities – of several brain functions and mental diseases. PMID:21716642

  20. Robust transient dynamics and brain functions.

    PubMed

    Rabinovich, Mikhail I; Varona, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    In the last few decades several concepts of dynamical systems theory (DST) have guided psychologists, cognitive scientists, and neuroscientists to rethink about sensory motor behavior and embodied cognition. A critical step in the progress of DST application to the brain (supported by modern methods of brain imaging and multi-electrode recording techniques) has been the transfer of its initial success in motor behavior to mental function, i.e., perception, emotion, and cognition. Open questions from research in genetics, ecology, brain sciences, etc., have changed DST itself and lead to the discovery of a new dynamical phenomenon, i.e., reproducible and robust transients that are at the same time sensitive to informational signals. The goal of this review is to describe a new mathematical framework - heteroclinic sequential dynamics - to understand self-organized activity in the brain that can explain certain aspects of robust itinerant behavior. Specifically, we discuss a hierarchy of coarse-grain models of mental dynamics in the form of kinetic equations of modes. These modes compete for resources at three levels: (i) within the same modality, (ii) among different modalities from the same family (like perception), and (iii) among modalities from different families (like emotion and cognition). The analysis of the conditions for robustness, i.e., the structural stability of transient (sequential) dynamics, give us the possibility to explain phenomena like the finite capacity of our sequential working memory - a vital cognitive function -, and to find specific dynamical signatures - different kinds of instabilities - of several brain functions and mental diseases. PMID:21716642

  1. Individual diversity of functional brain network economy

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Andreas; Kranz, Georg S.; Sladky, Ronald; Ganger, Sebastian; Windischberger, Christian; Kasper, Siegfried; Lanzenberger, Rupert

    2015-01-01

    On average, brain network economy represents a trade-off between communication efficiency, robustness and connection cost, though, an analogous understanding on an individual level is largely missing. Evaluating resting-state networks of 42 healthy participants with 7 Tesla functional MRI and graph theory revealed that not even half of all possible connections were common across subjects. The strongest similarities among individuals were observed for interhemispheric and/or short-range connections, which may relate to the essential feature of the human brain to develop specialized systems within each hemisphere. Despite this marked variability in individual network architecture, all subjects exhibited equal small-world properties. Furthermore, interdependency between four major network economy metrics was observed across healthy individuals. The characteristic path length was associated with the clustering coefficient (peak correlation r=0.93), the response to network attacks (r=−0.97) and the physical connection cost in 3D space (r=−0.62). On the other hand, clustering was negatively related to attack response (r=−0.75) and connection cost (r=-0.59). Finally, increased connection cost was associated with better response to attacks (r=0.65). This indicates that functional brain networks with high global information transfer also exhibit strong network resilience. However, it seems that these advantages come at the cost of decreased local communication efficiency and increased physical connection cost. Except for wiring length, the results were replicated on a subsample at 3 Tesla (n=20). These findings highlight the finely tuned interrelationships between different parameters of brain network economy. Moreover, the understanding of the individual diversity of functional brain network economy may provide further insights in the vulnerability to mental and neurological disorders. PMID:25411715

  2. Individual diversity of functional brain network economy.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Andreas; Kranz, Georg S; Sladky, Ronald; Ganger, Sebastian; Windischberger, Christian; Kasper, Siegfried; Lanzenberger, Rupert

    2015-04-01

    On average, brain network economy represents a trade-off between communication efficiency, robustness, and connection cost, although an analogous understanding on an individual level is largely missing. Evaluating resting-state networks of 42 healthy participants with seven Tesla functional magnetic resonance imaging and graph theory revealed that not even half of all possible connections were common across subjects. The strongest similarities among individuals were observed for interhemispheric and/or short-range connections, which may relate to the essential feature of the human brain to develop specialized systems within each hemisphere. Despite this marked variability in individual network architecture, all subjects exhibited equal small-world properties. Furthermore, interdependency between four major network economy metrics was observed across healthy individuals. The characteristic path length was associated with the clustering coefficient (peak correlation r=0.93), the response to network attacks (r=-0.97), and the physical connection cost in three-dimensional space (r=-0.62). On the other hand, clustering was negatively related to attack response (r=-0.75) and connection cost (r=-0.59). Finally, increased connection cost was associated with better response to attacks (r=0.65). This indicates that functional brain networks with high global information transfer also exhibit strong network resilience. However, it seems that these advantages come at the cost of decreased local communication efficiency and increased physical connection cost. Except for wiring length, the results were replicated on a subsample at three Tesla (n=20). These findings highlight the finely tuned interrelationships between different parameters of brain network economy. Moreover, the understanding of the individual diversity of functional brain network economy may provide further insights in the vulnerability to mental and neurological disorders. PMID:25411715

  3. Dynamic geometry, brain function modeling, and consciousness.

    PubMed

    Roy, Sisir; Llinás, Rodolfo

    2008-01-01

    Pellionisz and Llinás proposed, years ago, a geometric interpretation towards understanding brain function. This interpretation assumes that the relation between the brain and the external world is determined by the ability of the central nervous system (CNS) to construct an internal model of the external world using an interactive geometrical relationship between sensory and motor expression. This approach opened new vistas not only in brain research but also in understanding the foundations of geometry itself. The approach named tensor network theory is sufficiently rich to allow specific computational modeling and addressed the issue of prediction, based on Taylor series expansion properties of the system, at the neuronal level, as a basic property of brain function. It was actually proposed that the evolutionary realm is the backbone for the development of an internal functional space that, while being purely representational, can interact successfully with the totally different world of the so-called "external reality". Now if the internal space or functional space is endowed with stochastic metric tensor properties, then there will be a dynamic correspondence between events in the external world and their specification in the internal space. We shall call this dynamic geometry since the minimal time resolution of the brain (10-15 ms), associated with 40 Hz oscillations of neurons and their network dynamics, is considered to be responsible for recognizing external events and generating the concept of simultaneity. The stochastic metric tensor in dynamic geometry can be written as five-dimensional space-time where the fifth dimension is a probability space as well as a metric space. This extra dimension is considered an imbedded degree of freedom. It is worth noticing that the above-mentioned 40 Hz oscillation is present both in awake and dream states where the central difference is the inability of phase resetting in the latter. This framework of dynamic

  4. Growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 and the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Ashpole, Nicole M; Sanders, Jessica E; Hodges, Erik L; Yan, Han; Sonntag, William E

    2015-08-01

    Growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 regulate the development and function of cells throughout the body. Several clinical diseases that result in a decline in physical and mental functions are marked by mutations that disrupt GH or IGF-1 signaling. During the lifespan there is a robust decrease in both GH and IGF-1. Because GH and IGF-1 are master regulators of cellular function, impaired GH and IGF-1 signaling in aging/disease states leads to significant alterations in tissue structure and function, especially within the brain. This review is intended to highlight the effects of the GH and IGF-1 on neuronal structure, function, and plasticity. Furthermore, we address several potential mechanisms through which the age-related reductions in GH and IGF-1 affect cognition. Together, the studies reviewed here highlight the importance of maintaining GH and IGF-1 signaling in order to sustain proper brain function throughout the lifespan. PMID:25300732

  5. The Indirect Effect of Age Group on Switch Costs via Gray Matter Volume and Task-Related Brain Activity.

    PubMed

    Steffener, Jason; Gazes, Yunglin; Habeck, Christian; Stern, Yaakov

    2016-01-01

    Healthy aging simultaneously affects brain structure, brain function, and cognition. These effects are often investigated in isolation ignoring any relationships between them. It is plausible that age related declines in cognitive performance are the result of age-related structural and functional changes. This straightforward idea is tested in within a conceptual research model of cognitive aging. The current study tested whether age-related declines in task-performance were explained by age-related differences in brain structure and brain function using a task-switching paradigm in 175 participants. Sixty-three young and 112 old participants underwent MRI scanning of brain structure and brain activation. The experimental task was an executive context dual task with switch costs in response time as the behavioral measure. A serial mediation model was applied voxel-wise throughout the brain testing all pathways between age group, gray matter volume, brain activation and increased switch costs, worsening performance. There were widespread age group differences in gray matter volume and brain activation. Switch costs also significantly differed by age group. There were brain regions demonstrating significant indirect effects of age group on switch costs via the pathway through gray matter volume and brain activation. These were in the bilateral precuneus, bilateral parietal cortex, the left precentral gyrus, cerebellum, fusiform, and occipital cortices. There were also significant indirect effects via the brain activation pathway after controlling for gray matter volume. These effects were in the cerebellum, occipital cortex, left precentral gyrus, bilateral supramarginal, bilateral parietal, precuneus, middle cingulate extending to medial superior frontal gyri and the left middle frontal gyri. There were no significant effects through the gray matter volume alone pathway. These results demonstrate that a large proportion of the age group effect on switch costs can

  6. The Indirect Effect of Age Group on Switch Costs via Gray Matter Volume and Task-Related Brain Activity

    PubMed Central

    Steffener, Jason; Gazes, Yunglin; Habeck, Christian; Stern, Yaakov

    2016-01-01

    Healthy aging simultaneously affects brain structure, brain function, and cognition. These effects are often investigated in isolation ignoring any relationships between them. It is plausible that age related declines in cognitive performance are the result of age-related structural and functional changes. This straightforward idea is tested in within a conceptual research model of cognitive aging. The current study tested whether age-related declines in task-performance were explained by age-related differences in brain structure and brain function using a task-switching paradigm in 175 participants. Sixty-three young and 112 old participants underwent MRI scanning of brain structure and brain activation. The experimental task was an executive context dual task with switch costs in response time as the behavioral measure. A serial mediation model was applied voxel-wise throughout the brain testing all pathways between age group, gray matter volume, brain activation and increased switch costs, worsening performance. There were widespread age group differences in gray matter volume and brain activation. Switch costs also significantly differed by age group. There were brain regions demonstrating significant indirect effects of age group on switch costs via the pathway through gray matter volume and brain activation. These were in the bilateral precuneus, bilateral parietal cortex, the left precentral gyrus, cerebellum, fusiform, and occipital cortices. There were also significant indirect effects via the brain activation pathway after controlling for gray matter volume. These effects were in the cerebellum, occipital cortex, left precentral gyrus, bilateral supramarginal, bilateral parietal, precuneus, middle cingulate extending to medial superior frontal gyri and the left middle frontal gyri. There were no significant effects through the gray matter volume alone pathway. These results demonstrate that a large proportion of the age group effect on switch costs can

  7. Brain atrophy in Alzheimer's Disease and aging.

    PubMed

    Pini, Lorenzo; Pievani, Michela; Bocchetta, Martina; Altomare, Daniele; Bosco, Paolo; Cavedo, Enrica; Galluzzi, Samantha; Marizzoni, Moira; Frisoni, Giovanni B

    2016-09-01

    Thanks to its safety and accessibility, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is extensively used in clinical routine and research field, largely contributing to our understanding of the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the main findings in AD and normal aging over the past twenty years, focusing on the patterns of gray and white matter changes assessed in vivo using MRI. Major progresses in the field concern the segmentation of the hippocampus with novel manual and automatic segmentation approaches, which might soon enable to assess also hippocampal subfields. Advancements in quantification of hippocampal volumetry might pave the way to its broader use as outcome marker in AD clinical trials. Patterns of cortical atrophy have been shown to accurately track disease progression and seem promising in distinguishing among AD subtypes. Disease progression has also been associated with changes in white matter tracts. Recent studies have investigated two areas often overlooked in AD, such as the striatum and basal forebrain, reporting significant atrophy, although the impact of these changes on cognition is still unclear. Future integration of different MRI modalities may further advance the field by providing more powerful biomarkers of disease onset and progression. PMID:26827786

  8. Brain surgery breathes new life into aging plants

    SciTech Connect

    Makansi, J.

    2006-04-15

    Unlike managing the human aging process, extending the life of a power plant often includes brain surgery, modernizing its control and automation system. Lately, such retrofits range from wholesale replacing of existing controls to the addition of specific control elements that help optimize performance. Pending revisions to safety codes and cybersecurity issues also need to be considered. 4 figs.

  9. Brain-Based Teaching in the Digital Age

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sprenger, Marilee

    2010-01-01

    In the digital age, your students have the ways, means, and speed to gather any information they want. But they need your guidance more than ever. Discover how digital technology is actually changing your students' brains. Learn why this creates new obstacles for teachers, but also opens up potential new pathways for learning. You will understand…

  10. Effects of non-pharmacological or pharmacological interventions on cognition and brain plasticity of aging individuals

    PubMed Central

    Pieramico, Valentina; Esposito, Roberto; Cesinaro, Stefano; Frazzini, Valerio; Sensi, Stefano L.

    2014-01-01

    Brain aging and aging-related neurodegenerative disorders are major health challenges faced by modern societies. Brain aging is associated with cognitive and functional decline and represents the favourable background for the onset and development of dementia. Brain aging is associated with early and subtle anatomo-functional physiological changes that often precede the appearance of clinical signs of cognitive decline. Neuroimaging approaches unveiled the functional correlates of these alterations and helped in the identification of therapeutic targets that can be potentially useful in counteracting age-dependent cognitive decline. A growing body of evidence supports the notion that cognitive stimulation and aerobic training can preserve and enhance operational skills in elderly individuals as well as reduce the incidence of dementia. This review aims at providing an extensive and critical overview of the most recent data that support the efficacy of non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions aimed at enhancing cognition and brain plasticity in healthy elderly individuals as well as delaying the cognitive decline associated with dementia. PMID:25228860

  11. Effects of non-pharmacological or pharmacological interventions on cognition and brain plasticity of aging individuals.

    PubMed

    Pieramico, Valentina; Esposito, Roberto; Cesinaro, Stefano; Frazzini, Valerio; Sensi, Stefano L

    2014-01-01

    Brain aging and aging-related neurodegenerative disorders are major health challenges faced by modern societies. Brain aging is associated with cognitive and functional decline and represents the favourable background for the onset and development of dementia. Brain aging is associated with early and subtle anatomo-functional physiological changes that often precede the appearance of clinical signs of cognitive decline. Neuroimaging approaches unveiled the functional correlates of these alterations and helped in the identification of therapeutic targets that can be potentially useful in counteracting age-dependent cognitive decline. A growing body of evidence supports the notion that cognitive stimulation and aerobic training can preserve and enhance operational skills in elderly individuals as well as reduce the incidence of dementia. This review aims at providing an extensive and critical overview of the most recent data that support the efficacy of non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions aimed at enhancing cognition and brain plasticity in healthy elderly individuals as well as delaying the cognitive decline associated with dementia. PMID:25228860

  12. Linking pathways in the developing and aging brain with neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Kovacs, G G; Adle-Biassette, H; Milenkovic, I; Cipriani, S; van Scheppingen, J; Aronica, E

    2014-06-01

    The molecular and cellular mechanisms, which coordinate the critical stages of brain development to reach a normal structural organization with appropriate networks, are progressively being elucidated. Experimental and clinical studies provide evidence of the occurrence of developmental alterations induced by genetic or environmental factors leading to the formation of aberrant networks associated with learning disabilities. Moreover, evidence is accumulating that suggests that also late-onset neurological disorders, even Alzheimer's disease, might be considered disorders of aberrant neural development with pathological changes that are set up at early stages of development before the appearance of the symptoms. Thus, evaluating proteins and pathways that are important in age-related neurodegeneration in the developing brain together with the characterization of mechanisms important during brain development with relevance to brain aging are of crucial importance. In the present review we focus on (1) aspects of neurogenesis with relevance to aging; (2) neurodegenerative disease (NDD)-associated proteins/pathways in the developing brain; and (3) further pathways of the developing or neurodegenerating brains that show commonalities. Elucidation of complex pathogenetic routes characterizing the earliest stage of the detrimental processes that result in pathological aging represents an essential first step toward a therapeutic intervention which is able to reverse these pathological processes and prevent the onset of the disease. Based on the shared features between pathways, we conclude that prevention of NDDs of the elderly might begin during the fetal and childhood life by providing the mothers and their children a healthy environment for the fetal and childhood development. PMID:24699227

  13. Neurolinguistics: Structure, Function, and Connectivity in the Bilingual Brain.

    PubMed

    Wong, Becky; Yin, Bin; O'Brien, Beth

    2016-01-01

    Advances in neuroimaging techniques and analytic methods have led to a proliferation of studies investigating the impact of bilingualism on the cognitive and brain systems in humans. Lately, these findings have attracted much interest and debate in the field, leading to a number of recent commentaries and reviews. Here, we contribute to the ongoing discussion by compiling and interpreting the plethora of findings that relate to the structural, functional, and connective changes in the brain that ensue from bilingualism. In doing so, we integrate theoretical models and empirical findings from linguistics, cognitive/developmental psychology, and neuroscience to examine the following issues: (1) whether the language neural network is different for first (dominant) versus second (nondominant) language processing; (2) the effects of bilinguals' executive functioning on the structure and function of the "universal" language neural network; (3) the differential effects of bilingualism on phonological, lexical-semantic, and syntactic aspects of language processing on the brain; and (4) the effects of age of acquisition and proficiency of the user's second language in the bilingual brain, and how these have implications for future research in neurolinguistics. PMID:26881224

  14. Neurolinguistics: Structure, Function, and Connectivity in the Bilingual Brain

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Becky; Yin, Bin; O'Brien, Beth

    2016-01-01

    Advances in neuroimaging techniques and analytic methods have led to a proliferation of studies investigating the impact of bilingualism on the cognitive and brain systems in humans. Lately, these findings have attracted much interest and debate in the field, leading to a number of recent commentaries and reviews. Here, we contribute to the ongoing discussion by compiling and interpreting the plethora of findings that relate to the structural, functional, and connective changes in the brain that ensue from bilingualism. In doing so, we integrate theoretical models and empirical findings from linguistics, cognitive/developmental psychology, and neuroscience to examine the following issues: (1) whether the language neural network is different for first (dominant) versus second (nondominant) language processing; (2) the effects of bilinguals' executive functioning on the structure and function of the “universal” language neural network; (3) the differential effects of bilingualism on phonological, lexical-semantic, and syntactic aspects of language processing on the brain; and (4) the effects of age of acquisition and proficiency of the user's second language in the bilingual brain, and how these have implications for future research in neurolinguistics. PMID:26881224

  15. Brain Function Lateralization and Language Acquisition: the Evidence from Japanese.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanches, Mary

    1979-01-01

    Presents evidence of differences in brain function lateralization between Japanese-speakers and speakers of Indo-European languages, and suggests that current conceptualizations of brain function specialization are not adequate. (AM)

  16. Age-dependent differences in brain tissue microstructure assessed with neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging.

    PubMed

    Merluzzi, Andrew P; Dean, Douglas C; Adluru, Nagesh; Suryawanshi, Gaurav S; Okonkwo, Ozioma C; Oh, Jennifer M; Hermann, Bruce P; Sager, Mark A; Asthana, Sanjay; Zhang, Hui; Johnson, Sterling C; Alexander, Andrew L; Bendlin, Barbara B

    2016-07-01

    Human aging is accompanied by progressive changes in executive function and memory, but the biological mechanisms underlying these phenomena are not fully understood. Using neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging, we sought to examine the relationship between age, cellular microstructure, and neuropsychological scores in 116 late middle-aged, cognitively asymptomatic participants. Results revealed widespread increases in the volume fraction of isotropic diffusion and localized decreases in neurite density in frontal white matter regions with increasing age. In addition, several of these microstructural alterations were associated with poorer performance on tests of memory and executive function. These results suggest that neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging is capable of measuring age-related brain changes and the neural correlates of poorer performance on tests of cognitive functioning, largely in accordance with published histological findings and brain-imaging studies of people of this age range. Ultimately, this study sheds light on the processes underlying normal brain development in adulthood, knowledge that is critical for differentiating healthy aging from changes associated with dementia. PMID:27255817

  17. Non-Invasive Brain-to-Brain Interface (BBI): Establishing Functional Links between Two Brains

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Seung-Schik; Kim, Hyungmin; Filandrianos, Emmanuel; Taghados, Seyed Javid; Park, Shinsuk

    2013-01-01

    Transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) is capable of modulating the neural activity of specific brain regions, with a potential role as a non-invasive computer-to-brain interface (CBI). In conjunction with the use of brain-to-computer interface (BCI) techniques that translate brain function to generate computer commands, we investigated the feasibility of using the FUS-based CBI to non-invasively establish a functional link between the brains of different species (i.e. human and Sprague-Dawley rat), thus creating a brain-to-brain interface (BBI). The implementation was aimed to non-invasively translate the human volunteer’s intention to stimulate a rat’s brain motor area that is responsible for the tail movement. The volunteer initiated the intention by looking at a strobe light flicker on a computer display, and the degree of synchronization in the electroencephalographic steady-state-visual-evoked-potentials (SSVEP) with respect to the strobe frequency was analyzed using a computer. Increased signal amplitude in the SSVEP, indicating the volunteer’s intention, triggered the delivery of a burst-mode FUS (350 kHz ultrasound frequency, tone burst duration of 0.5 ms, pulse repetition frequency of 1 kHz, given for 300 msec duration) to excite the motor area of an anesthetized rat transcranially. The successful excitation subsequently elicited the tail movement, which was detected by a motion sensor. The interface was achieved at 94.0±3.0% accuracy, with a time delay of 1.59±1.07 sec from the thought-initiation to the creation of the tail movement. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of a computer-mediated BBI that links central neural functions between two biological entities, which may confer unexplored opportunities in the study of neuroscience with potential implications for therapeutic applications. PMID:23573251

  18. Aging and Gene Expression in the Primate Brain

    SciTech Connect

    Fraser, Hunter B.; Khaitovich, Philipp; Plotkin, Joshua B.; Paabo, Svante; Eisen, Michael B.

    2005-02-18

    It is well established that gene expression levels in many organisms change during the aging process, and the advent of DNA microarrays has allowed genome-wide patterns of transcriptional changes associated with aging to be studied in both model organisms and various human tissues. Understanding the effects of aging on gene expression in the human brain is of particular interest, because of its relation to both normal and pathological neurodegeneration. Here we show that human cerebral cortex, human cerebellum, and chimpanzee cortex each undergo different patterns of age-related gene expression alterations. In humans, many more genes undergo consistent expression changes in the cortex than in the cerebellum; in chimpanzees, many genes change expression with age in cortex, but the pattern of changes in expression bears almost no resemblance to that of human cortex. These results demonstrate the diversity of aging patterns present within the human brain, as well as how rapidly genome-wide patterns of aging can evolve between species; they may also have implications for the oxidative free radical theory of aging, and help to improve our understanding of human neurodegenerative diseases.

  19. Diminished adult neurogenesis in the marmoset brain precedes old age

    PubMed Central

    Leuner, Benedetta; Kozorovitskiy, Yevgenia; Gross, Charles G.; Gould, Elizabeth

    2007-01-01

    With aging there is a decline in the number of newly generated neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. In rodents and tree shrews, this age-related decrease in neurogenesis is evident long before the animals become aged. No previous studies have investigated whether primates exhibit a similar decline in hippocampal neurogenesis with aging. To investigate this possibility, young to middle aged adult common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) were injected with BrdU and perfused 3 weeks later. The number of newly generated cells in the subgranular zone/granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus was significantly lower in older animals and decreased linearly with age. A similar age-related decline in new cells was observed in the subventricular zone but not in the hilar region of the dentate gyrus. These data demonstrate that a substantial decrease in neurogenesis occurs before the onset of old age in the adult marmoset brain, suggesting the possibility that similar alterations occur in the human brain. PMID:17940008

  20. Decreased myeloperoxidase expressing cells in the aged rat brain after excitotoxic damage.

    PubMed

    Campuzano, Oscar; Castillo-Ruiz, Maria del Mar; Acarin, Laia; Gonzalez, Berta; Castellano, Bernardo

    2011-09-01

    Brain aging is associated to several morphological and functional alterations that influence the evolution and outcome of CNS damage. Acute brain injury such as an excitotoxic insult induces initial tissue damage followed by associated inflammation and oxidative stress, partly attributed to neutrophil recruitment and the expression of oxidative enzymes such as myeloperoxidase (MPO), among others. However, to date, very few studies have focused on how age can influence neutrophil infiltration after acute brain damage. Therefore, to evaluate the age-dependent pattern of neutrophil cell infiltration following an excitotoxic injury, intrastriatal injection of N-methyl-d-aspartate was performed in young and aged male Wistar rats. Animals were sacrificed at different times between 12h post-lesion (hpl) to 14 days post-lesion (dpl). Cryostat sections were processed for myeloperoxidase (MPO) immunohistochemistry, and double labeling for either neuronal cells (NeuN), astrocytes (GFAP), perivascular macrophages (ED-2), or microglia/macrophages (tomato lectin histochemistry). Our observations showed that MPO + cells were observed in the injured striatum from 12 hpl (when maximum values were found) until 7 dpl, when cell density was strongly diminished. However, at all survival times analyzed, the overall density of MPO + cells was lower in the aged versus the adult injured striatum. MPO + cells were mainly identified as neutrophils (especially at 12 hpl and 1 dpl), but it should be noted that MPO + neurons and microglia/macrophages were also found. MPO + neurons were most commonly observed at 12 hpl and reduced in the aged. MPO + microglia/macrophages were the main population expressing MPO from 3 dpl, when density was also reduced in aged subjects. These results point to neutrophil infiltration as another important factor contributing to the different responses of the adult and aged brain to damage, highlighting the need of using aged animals for the study of acute age

  1. The impact of aging and gender on brain viscoelasticity.

    PubMed

    Sack, Ingolf; Beierbach, Bernd; Wuerfel, Jens; Klatt, Dieter; Hamhaber, Uwe; Papazoglou, Sebastian; Martus, Peter; Braun, Jürgen

    2009-07-01

    Viscoelasticity is a sensitive measure of the microstructural constitution of soft biological tissue and is increasingly used as a diagnostic marker, e.g. in staging liver fibrosis or characterizing breast tumors. In this study, multifrequency magnetic resonance elastography was used to investigate the in vivo viscoelasticity of healthy human brain in 55 volunteers (23 females) ranging in age from 18 to 88 years. The application of four vibration frequencies in an acoustic range from 25 to 62.5 Hz revealed for the first time how physiological aging changes the global viscosity and elasticity of the brain. Using the rheological springpot model, viscosity and elasticity are combined in a parameter mu that describes the solid-fluid behavior of the tissue and a parameter alpha related to the tissue's microstructure. It is shown that the healthy adult brain undergoes steady parenchymal 'liquefaction' characterized by a continuous decline in mu of 0.8% per year (P<0.001), whereas alpha remains unchanged. Furthermore, significant sex differences were found with female brains being on average 9% more solid-like than their male counterparts rendering women more than a decade 'younger' than men with respect to brain mechanics (P=0.016). These results set the background for using cerebral multifrequency elastography in diagnosing subtle neurodegenerative processes not detectable by other diagnostic methods. PMID:19281851

  2. Region-specific changes in presynaptic agmatine and glutamate levels in the aged rat brain.

    PubMed

    Jing, Y; Liu, P; Leitch, B

    2016-01-15

    During the normal aging process, the brain undergoes a range of biochemical and structural alterations, which may contribute to deterioration of sensory and cognitive functions. Age-related deficits are associated with altered efficacy of synaptic neurotransmission. Emerging evidence indicates that levels of agmatine, a putative neurotransmitter in the mammalian brain, are altered in a region-specific manner during the aging process. The gross tissue content of agmatine in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of aged rat brains is decreased whereas levels in the temporal cortex (TE) are increased. However, it is not known whether these changes in gross tissue levels are also mirrored by changes in agmatine levels at synapses and thus could potentially contribute to altered synaptic function with age. In the present study, agmatine levels in presynaptic terminals in the PFC and TE regions (300 terminals/region) of young (3month; n=3) and aged (24month; n=3) brains of male Sprague-Dawley rats were compared using quantitative post-embedding immunogold electron-microscopy. Presynaptic levels of agmatine were significantly increased in the TE region (60%; p<0.001) of aged rats compared to young rats, however no significant differences were detected in synaptic levels in the PFC region. Double immunogold labeling indicated that agmatine and glutamate were co-localized in the same synaptic terminals, and quantitative analyses revealed significantly reduced glutamate levels in agmatine-immunopositive synaptic terminals in both regions in aged rats compared to young animals. This study, for the first time, demonstrates differential effects of aging on agmatine and glutamate in the presynaptic terminals of PFC and TE. Future research is required to understand the functional significance of these changes and the underlying mechanisms. PMID:26548412

  3. Disrupted Brain Networks in the Aging HIV+ Population

    PubMed Central

    Jahanshad, Neda; Valcour, Victor G.; Nir, Talia M.; Kohannim, Omid; Busovaca, Edgar; Nicolas, Krista

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Antiretroviral therapies have become widely available, and as a result, individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are living longer, and becoming integrated into the geriatric population. Around half of the HIV+ population shows some degree of cognitive impairment, but it is unknown how their neural networks and brain connectivity compare to those of noninfected people. Here we combined magnetic resonance imaging-based cortical parcellations with high angular resolution diffusion tensor imaging tractography in 55 HIV-seropositive patients and 30 age-matched controls, to map white matter connections between cortical regions. We set out to determine selective virus-associated disruptions in the brain's structural network. All individuals in this study were aged 60–80, with full access to antiretroviral therapy. Frontal and motor connections were compromised in HIV+ individuals. HIV+ people who carried the apolipoprotein E4 allele (ApoE4) genotype—which puts them at even greater risk for neurodegeneration—showed additional network structure deficits in temporal and parietal connections. The ApoE4 genotype interacted with duration of illness. Carriers showed greater brain network inefficiencies the longer they were infected. Neural network deficiencies in HIV+ populations exceed those typical of normal aging, and are worse in those genetically predisposed to brain degeneration. This work isolates neuropathological alterations in HIV+ elders, even when treated with antiretroviral therapy. Network impairments may contribute to the neuropsychological abnormalities in elderly HIV patients, who will soon account for around half of all HIV+ adults. PMID:23240599

  4. Transcriptomics of Post-Stroke Angiogenesis in the Aged Brain

    PubMed Central

    Buga, Ana Maria; Margaritescu, Claudiu; Scholz, Claus Juergen; Radu, Eugen; Zelenak, Christine; Popa-Wagner, Aurel

    2014-01-01

    Despite the obvious clinical significance of post-stroke angiogenesis in aged subjects, a detailed transcriptomic analysis of post-stroke angiogenesis has not yet been undertaken in an aged experimental model. In this study, by combining stroke transcriptomics with immunohistochemistry in aged rats and post-stroke patients, we sought to identify an age-specific gene expression pattern that may characterize the angiogenic process after stroke. We found that both young and old infarcted rats initiated vigorous angiogenesis. However, the young rats had a higher vascular density by day 14 post-stroke. “New-for-stroke” genes that were linked to the increased vasculature density in young animals included Angpt2, Angptl2, Angptl4, Cib1, Ccr2, Col4a2, Cxcl1, Lef1, Hhex, Lamc1, Nid2, Pcam1, Plod2, Runx3, Scpep1, S100a4, Tgfbi, and Wnt4, which are required for sprouting angiogenesis, reconstruction of the basal lamina (BL), and the resolution phase. The vast majority of genes involved in sprouting angiogenesis (Angpt2, Angptl4, Cib1, Col8a1, Nrp1, Pcam1, Pttg1ip, Rac2, Runx1, Tnp4, Wnt4); reconstruction of a new BL (Col4a2, Lamc1, Plod2); or tube formation and maturation (Angpt1, Gpc3, Igfbp7, Sparc, Tie2, Tnfsf10), had however, a delayed upregulation in the aged rats. The angiogenic response in aged rats was further diminished by the persistent upregulation of “inflammatory” genes (Cxcl12, Mmp8, Mmp12, Mmp14, Mpeg1, Tnfrsf1a, Tnfrsf1b) and vigorous expression of genes required for the buildup of the fibrotic scar (Cthrc1, Il6ra, Il13ar1, Il18, Mmp2, Rassf4, Tgfb1, Tgfbr2, Timp1). Beyond this barrier, angiogenesis in the aged brains was similar to that in young brains. We also found that the aged human brain is capable of mounting a vigorous angiogenic response after stroke, which most likely reflects the remaining brain plasticity of the aged brain. PMID:24672479

  5. Functional Imaging of Working Memory and Peripheral Endothelial Function in Middle-Aged Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gonzales, Mitzi M.; Tarumi, Takashi; Tanaka, Hirofumi; Sugawara, Jun; Swann-Sternberg, Tali; Goudarzi, Katayoon; Haley, Andreana P.

    2010-01-01

    The current study examined the relationship between a prognostic indicator of vascular health, flow-mediated dilation (FMD), and working memory-related brain activation in healthy middle-aged adults. Forty-two participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while completing a 2-Back working memory task. Brachial artery…

  6. Combined age- and trauma-related proteomic changes in rat neocortex: a basis for brain vulnerability

    PubMed Central

    Mehan, Neal D.; Strauss, Kenneth I.

    2012-01-01

    This proteomic study investigates the widely observed clinical phenomenon, that after comparable brain injuries, geriatric patients fare worse and recover less cognitive and neurologic function than younger victims. Utilizing a rat traumatic brain injury model, sham surgery or a neocortical contusion was induced in 3 age groups. Geriatric (21 months) rats performed worse on behavioral measures than young adults (12–16 weeks) and juveniles (5– 6 weeks). Motor coordination and certain cognitive deficits showed age-dependence both before and after injury. Brain proteins were analyzed using silver-stained two-dimensional electrophoresis gels. Spot volume changes (>2-fold change, p<0.01) were identified between age and injury groups using computer-assisted densitometry. Sequences were determined by mass spectrometry of tryptic peptides. The 19 spots identified represented 13 different genes that fell into 4 general age- and injury-dependent expression patterns. Fifteen isoforms changed differentially with respect to both age and injury (p<0.05). Further investigations into the nature and function of these isoforms may yield insights into the vulnerability of older patients and resilience of younger patients in recovery after brain injuries. PMID:22088680

  7. Combined age- and trauma-related proteomic changes in rat neocortex: a basis for brain vulnerability.

    PubMed

    Mehan, Neal D; Strauss, Kenneth I

    2012-09-01

    This proteomic study investigates the widely observed clinical phenomenon, that after comparable brain injuries, geriatric patients fare worse and recover less cognitive and neurologic function than younger victims. Utilizing a rat traumatic brain injury model, sham surgery or a neocortical contusion was induced in 3 age groups. Geriatric (21 months) rats performed worse on behavioral measures than young adults (12-16 weeks) and juveniles (5-6 weeks). Motor coordination and certain cognitive deficits showed age-dependence both before and after injury. Brain proteins were analyzed using silver-stained two-dimensional electrophoresis gels. Spot volume changes (>2-fold change, p<0.01) were identified between age and injury groups using computer-assisted densitometry. Sequences were determined by mass spectrometry of tryptic peptides. The 19 spots identified represented 13 different genes that fell into 4 general age- and injury-dependent expression patterns. Fifteen isoforms changed differentially with respect to both age and injury (p<0.05). Further investigations into the nature and function of these isoforms may yield insights into the vulnerability of older patients and resilience of younger patients in recovery after brain injuries. PMID:22088680

  8. Caloric restriction increases ketone bodies metabolism and preserves blood flow in aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Ai-Ling; Zhang, Wei; Gao, Xiaoli; Watts, Lora

    2015-01-01

    Caloric restriction (CR) has been shown to increase the life span and health span of a broad range of species. However, CR effects on in vivo brain functions are far from explored. In this study, we used multimetric neuroimaging methods to characterize the CR-induced changes of brain metabolic and vascular functions in aging rats. We found that old rats (24 months of age) with CR diet had reduced glucose uptake and lactate concentration, but increased ketone bodies level, compared with the age-matched and young (5 months of age) controls. The shifted metabolism was associated with preserved vascular function: old CR rats also had maintained cerebral blood flow relative to the age-matched controls. When investigating the metabolites in mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid cycle, we found that citrate and α-ketoglutarate were preserved in the old CR rats. We suggest that CR is neuroprotective; ketone bodies, cerebral blood flow, and α-ketoglutarate may play important roles in preserving brain physiology in aging. PMID:25896951

  9. Split My Brain: A Case Study of Seizure Disorder and Brain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Omarzu, Julia

    2004-01-01

    This case involves a couple deciding whether or not their son should undergo brain surgery to treat a severe seizure disorder. In examining this dilemma, students apply knowledge of brain anatomy and function. They also learn about brain scanning techniques and discuss the plasticity of the brain.

  10. Young Children's Changing Conceptualizations of Brain Function: Implications for Teaching Neuroscience in Early Elementary Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Peter J.; Comalli, Christina E.

    2012-01-01

    Research Findings: Two exploratory studies explored young children's views of brain function and whether these views can be modified through exposure to a brief classroom intervention. In Study 1, children aged 4-13 years reported that the brain is used for "thinking," although older children were more likely than younger children to also endorse…

  11. Indestructible plastic: the neuroscience of the new aging brain.

    PubMed

    Holman, Constance; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, research on experience-dependent plasticity has provided valuable insight on adaptation to environmental input across the lifespan, and advances in understanding the minute cellular changes underlying the brain's capacity for self-reorganization have opened exciting new possibilities for treating illness and injury. Ongoing work in this line of inquiry has also come to deeply influence another field: cognitive neuroscience of the normal aging. This complex process, once considered inevitable or beyond the reach of treatment, has been transformed into an arena of intense investigation and strategic intervention. However, important questions remain about this characterization of the aging brain, and the assumptions it makes about the social, cultural, and biological space occupied by cognition in the older individual and body. The following paper will provide a critical examination of the move from basic experiments on the neurophysiology of experience-dependent plasticity to the growing market for (and public conception of) cognitive aging as a medicalized space for intervention by neuroscience-backed technologies. Entangled with changing concepts of normality, pathology, and self-preservation, we will argue that this new understanding, led by personalized cognitive training strategies, is approaching a point where interdisciplinary research is crucial to provide a holistic and nuanced understanding of the aging process. This new outlook will allow us to move forward in a space where our knowledge, like our new conception of the brain, is never static. PMID:24782746

  12. Dynamic Functional Brain Connectivity for Face Perception

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yuan; Qiu, Yihong; Schouten, Alfred C.

    2015-01-01

    Face perception is mediated by a distributed brain network comprised of the core system at occipito-temporal areas and the extended system at other relevant brain areas involving bilateral hemispheres. In this study we explored how the brain connectivity changes over the time for face-sensitive processing. We investigated the dynamic functional connectivity in face perception by analyzing time-dependent EEG phase synchronization in four different frequency bands: theta (4–7 Hz), alpha (8–14 Hz), beta (15–24 Hz), and gamma (25–45 Hz) bands in the early stages of face processing from 30 to 300 ms. High-density EEG were recorded from subjects who were passively viewing faces, buildings, and chairs. The dynamic connectivity within the core system and between the extended system were investigated. Significant differences between faces and non-faces mainly appear in theta band connectivity: (1) at the time segment of 90–120 ms between parietal area and occipito-temporal area in the right hemisphere, and (2) at the time segment of 150–180 ms between bilateral occipito-temporal areas. These results indicate (1) the importance of theta-band connectivity in the face-sensitive processing, and (2) that different parts of network are involved for the initial stage of face categorization and the stage of face structural encoding. PMID:26696870

  13. Brain Dynamics, Chaos and Bessel Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freeman, W. J.; Capolupo, A.; Kozma, R.; Olivares del Campo, A.; Vitiello, G.

    2015-07-01

    By resorting to Freeman's observations showing that the distribution functions of impulse responses of cortex to sensory stimuli resemble Bessel functions, we study brain dynamics by considering the equivalence of spherical Bessel equation, in a given parametrization, to two oscillator equations, one damped and one amplified oscillator. The study of such a couple of equations, which are at the basis of the formulation of the dissipative many-body model, reveals the structure of the root loci of poles and zeros of solutions of Bessel equations, which are consistent with results obtained using ordinary differential equation techniques. We analyze stable and unstable limit cycles and consider thermodynamic features of brain functioning, which in this way may be described in terms of transitions between chaotic gas-like and ordered liquid-like behaviors. Nonlinearity dominates the dynamical critical transition regimes. Linear behavior, on the other hand, characterizes superpositions within self-organized neuronal domains in each dynamical phase. The formalism is consistent with the observed coexistence in circular causality of pulse density fields and wave density fields.

  14. Heterogeneous ageing of skeletal muscle microvascular function.

    PubMed

    Muller-Delp, Judy M

    2016-04-15

    The distribution of blood flow to skeletal muscle during exercise is altered with advancing age. Changes in arteriolar function that are muscle specific underlie age-induced changes in blood flow distribution. With advancing age, functional adaptations that occur in resistance arterioles from oxidative muscles differ from those that occur in glycolytic muscles. Age-related adaptations of morphology, as well as changes in both endothelial and vascular smooth muscle signalling, differ in muscle of diverse fibre type. Age-induced endothelial dysfunction has been reported in most skeletal muscle arterioles; however, unique alterations in signalling contribute to the dysfunction in arterioles from oxidative muscles as compared with those from glycolytic muscles. In resistance arterioles from oxidative muscle, loss of nitric oxide signalling contributes significantly to endothelial dysfunction, whereas in resistance arterioles from glycolytic muscle, alterations in both nitric oxide and prostanoid signalling underlie endothelial dysfunction. Similarly, adaptations of the vascular smooth muscle that occur with advancing age are heterogeneous between arterioles from oxidative and glycolytic muscles. In both oxidative and glycolytic muscle, late-life exercise training reverses age-related microvascular dysfunction, and exercise training appears to be particularly effective in reversing endothelial dysfunction. Patterns of microvascular ageing that develop among muscles of diverse fibre type and function may be attributable to changing patterns of physical activity with ageing. Importantly, aerobic exercise training, initiated even at an advanced age, restores muscle blood flow distribution patterns and vascular function in old animals to those seen in their young counterparts. PMID:26575597

  15. Diffusional anisotropy of the human brain assessed with diffusion-weighted MR: Relation with normal brain development and aging

    SciTech Connect

    Nomura, Toshiyuki; Sakuma, Hajime; Takeda, Kan; Tagami, Tomoyasu; Okuda, Yasuyuki; Nakagawa, Tsuyoshi )

    1994-02-01

    To analyze diffusional anisotropy in frontal and occipital white matter of human brain quantitatively as a function of age by using diffusion-weighted MR imaging. Ten neonates (<1 month), 13 infants (1-10 months), 9 children (1-11 years), and 16 adults (20-79 years) were examined. After taking axial spin-echo images of the brain, diffusion-sensitive gradients were added parallel or perpendicular to the orientation of nerve fibers. The apparent diffusion coefficient parallel to the nerve fibers (0) and that perpendicular to the fibers (90) were computed. The anisotropic ratio (90/0) was calculated as a function of age. Anisotropic ratios of frontal white matter were significantly larger in neonates as compared with infants, children, or adults. The ratios showed rapid decrease until 6 months and thereafter were identical in all subjects. In the occipital lobe, the ratios were also greater in neonates, but the differences from other age groups were not so prominent as in the frontal lobe. Comparing anisotropic ratios between frontal and occipital lobes, a significant difference was observed only in neonates. Diffusion-weighted images demonstrated that the myelination process starts earlier in the occipital lobe than in the frontal lobe. The changes of diffusional anisotropy in white matter are completed within 6 months after birth. Diffusion-weighted imaging provides earlier detection of brain myelination compared with the conventional T1- and T2-weighted images. 18 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  16. ADNP: A major autism mutated gene is differentially distributed (age and gender) in the songbird brain.

    PubMed

    Kleiman, Gal Hacohen; Barnea, Anat; Gozes, Illana

    2015-10-01

    ADNP is a protein necessary for brain development, important for brain plasticity, cognitive and social functioning, characteristics that are all impaired in autism and in the Adnp(+/-) mouse model, in a sex-dependent manner. ADNP was originally discovered as a protein that is secreted from glial cells in response to vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). VIP is a major neuroprotective peptide in the CNS and PNS and was also associated with social recognition in rodents and aggression, pair-bonding and parental behaviors in birds. Comparative sequence alignment revealed high evolutionary conservation of ADNP in Chordata. Despite its importance in brain function, ADNP has never been studied in birds. Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) are highly social songbirds that have a sexually dichotomous anatomical brain structure, with males demonstrating a developed song system, presenting a model to study behavior and potential sexually dependent fundamental differences. Here, using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), we discovered sexually dichotomous and age related differences in ADNP mRNA expression in three different regions of the song bird brain-cerebellum, cerebrum, and brain stem. Higher levels of ADNP mRNA were specifically found in young male compared to the female cerebrum, while aging caused a significant 2 and 3-fold decrease in the female and male cerebrum, respectively. Furthermore, a comparison between the three tested brain regions revealed unique sex-dependent ADNP mRNA distribution patterns, affected by aging. Future studies are aimed at deciphering the function of ADNP in birds, toward a better molecular understanding of sexual dichotomy in singing behavior in birds. PMID:25895853

  17. Prefrontal vulnerabilities and whole brain connectivity in aging and depression

    PubMed Central

    Lamar, Melissa; Charlton, Rebecca A.; Ajilore, Olusola; Zhang, Aifeng; Yang, Shaolin; Barrick, Thomas R.; Rhodes, Emma; Kumar, Anand

    2013-01-01

    Studies exploring the underpinnings of age-related neurodegeneration suggest fronto-limbic alterations that are increasingly vulnerable in the presence of disease including late life depression. Less work has assessed the impact of this specific vulnerability on widespread brain circuitry. Seventy-nine older adults (healthy controls=45; late life depression=34) completed translational tasks shown in non-human primates to rely on fronto-limbic networks involving dorsolateral (Self-Ordered Pointing Task) or orbitofrontal (Object Alternation Task) cortices. A sub-sample of participants also completed diffusion tensor imaging for white matter tract quantification (uncinate and cingulum bundle; n=58) and whole brain tract-based spatial statistics (n=62). Despite task associations to specific white matter tracts across both groups, only healthy controls demonstrated significant correlations between widespread tract integrity and cognition. Thus, increasing Object Alternation Task errors were associated with decreasing fractional anisotropy in the uncinate in late life depression; however, only in healthy controls was the uncinate incorporated into a larger network of white matter vulnerability associating fractional anisotropy with Object Alternation Task errors using whole brain tract-based spatial statistics. It appears that the whole brain impact of specific fronto-limbic vulnerabilities in aging may be eclipsed in the presence of disease-specific neuropathology like that seen in late life depression. PMID:23680399

  18. Prefrontal vulnerabilities and whole brain connectivity in aging and depression.

    PubMed

    Lamar, Melissa; Charlton, Rebecca A; Ajilore, Olusola; Zhang, Aifeng; Yang, Shaolin; Barrick, Thomas R; Rhodes, Emma; Kumar, Anand

    2013-07-01

    Studies exploring the underpinnings of age-related neurodegeneration suggest fronto-limbic alterations that are increasingly vulnerable in the presence of disease including late life depression. Less work has assessed the impact of this specific vulnerability on widespread brain circuitry. Seventy-nine older adults (healthy controls=45; late life depression=34) completed translational tasks shown in non-human primates to rely on fronto-limbic networks involving dorsolateral (Self-Ordered Pointing Task) or orbitofrontal (Object Alternation Task) cortices. A sub-sample of participants also completed diffusion tensor imaging for white matter tract quantification (uncinate and cingulum bundle; n=58) and whole brain tract-based spatial statistics (n=62). Despite task associations to specific white matter tracts across both groups, only healthy controls demonstrated significant correlations between widespread tract integrity and cognition. Thus, increasing Object Alternation Task errors were associated with decreasing fractional anisotropy in the uncinate in late life depression; however, only in healthy controls was the uncinate incorporated into a larger network of white matter vulnerability associating fractional anisotropy with Object Alternation Task errors using whole brain tract-based spatial statistics. It appears that the whole brain impact of specific fronto-limbic vulnerabilities in aging may be eclipsed in the presence of disease-specific neuropathology like that seen in late life depression. PMID:23680399

  19. Male brain ages faster: the age and gender dependence of subcortical volumes.

    PubMed

    Király, András; Szabó, Nikoletta; Tóth, Eszter; Csete, Gergő; Faragó, Péter; Kocsis, Krisztián; Must, Anita; Vécsei, László; Kincses, Zsigmond Tamás

    2016-09-01

    Effects of gender on grey matter (GM) volume differences in subcortical structures of the human brain have consistently been reported. Recent research evidence suggests that both gender and brain size influences volume distribution in subcortical areas independently. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of the interplay between brain size, gender and age contributing to volume differences of subcortical GM in the human brain. High-resolution T1-weighted images were acquired from 53 healthy males and 50 age-matched healthy females. Total GM volume was determined using voxel-based morphometry. We used model-based subcortical segmentation analysis to measure the volume of subcortical nuclei. Main effects of gender, brain volume and aging on subcortical structures were examined using multivariate analysis of variance. No significant difference was found in total brain volume between the two genders after correcting for total intracranial volume. Our analysis revealed significantly larger hippocampus volume for females. Additionally, GM volumes of the caudate nucleus, putamen and thalamus displayed a significant age-related decrease in males as compared to females. In contrast to this only the thalamic volume loss proved significant for females. Strikingly, GM volume decreases faster in males than in females emphasizing the interplay between aging and gender on subcortical structures. These findings might have important implications for the interpretation of the effects of unalterable factors (i.e. gender and age) in cross-sectional structural MRI studies. Furthermore, the volume distribution and changes of subcortical structures have been consistently related to several neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g. Parkinson's disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, etc.). Understanding these changes might yield further insight in the course and prognosis of these disorders. PMID:26572143

  20. Nutrition and brain aging: how can we move ahead?

    PubMed

    Barberger-Gateau, P

    2014-11-01

    Epidemiological studies and basic research suggest a protective effect of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants and B vitamins against brain aging. However, most randomized controlled trial (RCTs) with nutritional supplements have yielded disappointing effects on cognition so far. This paper suggests some original directions for future research to better support a role of nutrition in brain aging. The role of other nutrients such as docosapentaenoic acid and fat-soluble vitamins D and K should be investigated. A more holistic approach of nutrition is necessary, encompassing potential synergies between nutrients as found in a balanced diet. Potential beneficiaries of a nutritional supplementation should be better targeted, according to their dietary, cognitive and maybe genetic characteristics. Innovative RCTs should be implemented to assess the impact of nutrition for the prevention or treatment of cognitive decline in older persons, using intermediate biomarkers of disease progression and mechanisms of action of nutrients as outcomes. PMID:25159727

  1. The impact of age on oncogenic potential: tumor-initiating cells and the brain microenvironment.

    PubMed

    Stoll, Elizabeth A; Horner, Philip J; Rostomily, Robert C

    2013-10-01

    Paradoxically, aging leads to both decreased regenerative capacity in the brain and an increased risk of tumorigenesis, particularly the most common adult-onset brain tumor, glioma. A shared factor contributing to both phenomena is thought to be age-related alterations in neural progenitor cells (NPCs), which function normally to produce new neurons and glia, but are also considered likely cells of origin for malignant glioma. Upon oncogenic transformation, cells acquire characteristics known as the hallmarks of cancer, including unlimited replication, altered responses to growth and anti-growth factors, increased capacity for angiogenesis, potential for invasion, genetic instability, apoptotic evasion, escape from immune surveillance, and an adaptive metabolic phenotype. The precise molecular pathogenesis and temporal acquisition of these malignant characteristics is largely a mystery. Recent studies characterizing NPCs during normal aging, however, have begun to elucidate mechanisms underlying the age-associated increase in their malignant potential. Aging cells are dependent upon multiple compensatory pathways to maintain cell cycle control, normal niche interactions, genetic stability, programmed cell death, and oxidative metabolism. A few multi-functional proteins act as 'critical nodes' in the coordination of these various cellular activities, although both intracellular signaling and elements within the brain environment are critical to maintaining a balance between senescence and tumorigenesis. Here, we provide an overview of recent progress in our understanding of how mechanisms underlying cellular aging inform on glioma pathogenesis and malignancy. PMID:23711239

  2. Topological organization of the human brain functional connectome across the lifespan.

    PubMed

    Cao, Miao; Wang, Jin-Hui; Dai, Zheng-Jia; Cao, Xiao-Yan; Jiang, Li-Li; Fan, Feng-Mei; Song, Xiao-Wei; Xia, Ming-Rui; Shu, Ni; Dong, Qi; Milham, Michael P; Castellanos, F Xavier; Zuo, Xi-Nian; He, Yong

    2014-01-01

    Human brain function undergoes complex transformations across the lifespan. We employed resting-state functional MRI and graph-theory approaches to systematically chart the lifespan trajectory of the topological organization of human whole-brain functional networks in 126 healthy individuals ranging in age from 7 to 85 years. Brain networks were constructed by computing Pearson's correlations in blood-oxygenation-level-dependent temporal fluctuations among 1024 parcellation units followed by graph-based network analyses. We observed that the human brain functional connectome exhibited highly preserved non-random modular and rich club organization over the entire age range studied. Further quantitative analyses revealed linear decreases in modularity and inverted-U shaped trajectories of local efficiency and rich club architecture. Regionally heterogeneous age effects were mainly located in several hubs (e.g., default network, dorsal attention regions). Finally, we observed inverse trajectories of long- and short-distance functional connections, indicating that the reorganization of connectivity concentrates and distributes the brain's functional networks. Our results demonstrate topological changes in the whole-brain functional connectome across nearly the entire human lifespan, providing insights into the neural substrates underlying individual variations in behavior and cognition. These results have important implications for disease connectomics because they provide a baseline for evaluating network impairments in age-related neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:24333927

  3. Distinct Brain and Behavioral Benefits from Cognitive vs. Physical Training: A Randomized Trial in Aging Adults.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Sandra B; Aslan, Sina; Spence, Jeffrey S; Keebler, Molly W; DeFina, Laura F; Didehbani, Nyaz; Perez, Alison M; Lu, Hanzhang; D'Esposito, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Insidious declines in normal aging are well-established. Emerging evidence suggests that non-pharmacological interventions, specifically cognitive and physical training, may counter diminishing age-related cognitive and brain functions. This randomized trial compared effects of two training protocols: cognitive training (CT) vs. physical training (PT) on cognition and brain function in adults 56-75 years. Sedentary participants (N = 36) were randomized to either CT or PT group for 3 h/week over 12 weeks. They were assessed at baseline-, mid-, and post-training using neurocognitive, MRI, and physiological measures. The CT group improved on executive function whereas PT group's memory was enhanced. Uniquely deploying cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral vascular reactivity (CVR) MRI, the CT cohort showed increased CBF within the prefrontal and middle/posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) without change to CVR compared to PT group. Improvements in complex abstraction were positively associated with increased resting CBF in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). Exercisers with higher CBF in hippocampi bilaterally showed better immediate memory. The preliminary evidence indicates that increased cognitive and physical activity improves brain health in distinct ways. Reasoning training enhanced frontal networks shown to be integral to top-down cognitive control and brain resilience. Evidence of increased resting CBF without changes to CVR implicates increased neural health rather than improved vascular response. Exercise did not improve cerebrovascular response, although CBF increased in hippocampi of those with memory gains. Distinct benefits incentivize testing effectiveness of combined protocols to strengthen brain health. PMID:27462210

  4. Distinct Brain and Behavioral Benefits from Cognitive vs. Physical Training: A Randomized Trial in Aging Adults

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, Sandra B.; Aslan, Sina; Spence, Jeffrey S.; Keebler, Molly W.; DeFina, Laura F.; Didehbani, Nyaz; Perez, Alison M.; Lu, Hanzhang; D'Esposito, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Insidious declines in normal aging are well-established. Emerging evidence suggests that non-pharmacological interventions, specifically cognitive and physical training, may counter diminishing age-related cognitive and brain functions. This randomized trial compared effects of two training protocols: cognitive training (CT) vs. physical training (PT) on cognition and brain function in adults 56–75 years. Sedentary participants (N = 36) were randomized to either CT or PT group for 3 h/week over 12 weeks. They were assessed at baseline-, mid-, and post-training using neurocognitive, MRI, and physiological measures. The CT group improved on executive function whereas PT group's memory was enhanced. Uniquely deploying cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral vascular reactivity (CVR) MRI, the CT cohort showed increased CBF within the prefrontal and middle/posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) without change to CVR compared to PT group. Improvements in complex abstraction were positively associated with increased resting CBF in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). Exercisers with higher CBF in hippocampi bilaterally showed better immediate memory. The preliminary evidence indicates that increased cognitive and physical activity improves brain health in distinct ways. Reasoning training enhanced frontal networks shown to be integral to top-down cognitive control and brain resilience. Evidence of increased resting CBF without changes to CVR implicates increased neural health rather than improved vascular response. Exercise did not improve cerebrovascular response, although CBF increased in hippocampi of those with memory gains. Distinct benefits incentivize testing effectiveness of combined protocols to strengthen brain health. PMID:27462210

  5. Lucid dreaming: an age-dependent brain dissociation.

    PubMed

    Voss, Ursula; Frenzel, Clemens; Koppehele-Gossel, Judith; Hobson, Allan

    2012-12-01

    The current study focused on the distribution of lucid dreams in school children and young adults. The survey was conducted on a large sample of students aged 6-19 years. Questions distinguished between past and current experience with lucid dreams. Results suggest that lucid dreaming is quite pronounced in young children, its incidence rate drops at about age 16 years. Increased lucidity was found in those attending higher level compared with lower level schools. Taking methodological issues into account, we feel confident to propose a link between the natural occurrence of lucid dreaming and brain maturation. PMID:22639960

  6. Phosphatidylserine in the Brain: Metabolism and Function

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hee-Yong; Huang, Bill X.; Spector, Arthur A.

    2014-01-01

    Phosphatidylserine (PS) is the major anionic phospholipid class particularly enriched in the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane in neural tissues. PS is synthesized from phosphatidylcholine or phosphatidylethanolamine by exchanging the base head group with serine in reactions are catalyzed by phosphatidylserine synthase 1 and phosphatidylserine synthase 2 located in the endoplasmic reticulum. Activation of Akt, Raf-1 and protein kinase C signaling, which supports neuronal survival and differentiation, requires interaction of these proteins with PS localized in the cytoplasmic leaflet of the plasma membrane. Furthermore, neurotransmitter release by exocytosis and a number of synaptic receptors and proteins are modulated by PS present in the neuronal membranes. Brain is highly enriched with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and brain PS has a high DHA content. By promoting PS synthesis, DHA can uniquely expand the PS pool in neuronal membranes and thereby influence PS-dependent signaling and protein function. Ethanol decreases DHA-promoted PS synthesis and accumulation in neurons, which may contribute to the deleterious effects of ethanol intake. Improvement of some memory functions has been observed in cognitively impaired subjects as a result of PS supplementation, but the mechanism is unclear. PMID:24992464

  7. Age-associated changes in rich-club organisation in autistic and neurotypical human brains

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Takamitsu; Rees, Geraint

    2015-01-01

    Macroscopic structural networks in the human brain have a rich-club architecture comprising both highly inter-connected central regions and sparsely connected peripheral regions. Recent studies show that disruption of this functionally efficient organisation is associated with several psychiatric disorders. However, despite increasing attention to this network property, whether age-associated changes in rich-club organisation occur during human adolescence remains unclear. Here, analysing a publicly shared diffusion tensor imaging dataset, we found that, during adolescence, brains of typically developing (TD) individuals showed increases in rich-club organisation and inferred network functionality, whereas individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) did not. These differences between TD and ASD groups were statistically significant for both structural and functional properties. Moreover, this typical age-related changes in rich-club organisation were characterised by progressive involvement of the right anterior insula. In contrast, in ASD individuals, did not show typical increases in grey matter volume, and this relative anatomical immaturity was correlated with the severity of ASD social symptoms. These results provide evidence that rich-club architecture is one of the bases of functionally efficient brain networks underpinning complex cognitive functions in adult human brains. Furthermore, our findings suggest that immature rich-club organisation might be associated with some neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:26537477

  8. Low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation is beneficial for enhancing synaptic plasticity in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhan-chi; Luan, Feng; Xie, Chun-yan; Geng, Dan-dan; Wang, Yan-yong; Ma, Jun

    2015-01-01

    In the aging brain, cognitive function gradually declines and causes a progressive reduction in the structural and functional plasticity of the hippocampus. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an emerging and novel neurological and psychiatric tool used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (≤1 Hz) ameliorates synaptic plasticity and spatial cognitive deficits in learning-impaired mice. However, the mechanisms by which this treatment improves these deficits during normal aging are still unknown. Therefore, the current study investigated the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor signal pathway, synaptic protein markers, and spatial memory behavior in the hippocampus of normal aged mice. The study also investigated the downstream regulator, Fyn kinase, and the downstream effectors, synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 (both synaptic markers), to determine the possible mechanisms by which transcranial magnetic stimulation regulates cognitive capacity. Transcranial magnetic stimulation with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1 Hz) increased mRNA and protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B, and Fyn in the hippocampus of aged mice. The treatment also upregulated the mRNA and protein expression of synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 in the hippocampus of these mice. In conclusion, brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling may play an important role in sustaining and regulating structural synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation in the hippocampus of aging mice, and Fyn may be critical during this regulation. These responses may change the structural plasticity of the aging hippocampus, thereby improving cognitive function. PMID:26199608

  9. Role of DHA in aging-related changes in mouse brain synaptic plasma membrane proteome.

    PubMed

    Sidhu, Vishaldeep K; Huang, Bill X; Desai, Abhishek; Kevala, Karl; Kim, Hee-Yong

    2016-05-01

    Aging has been related to diminished cognitive function, which could be a result of ineffective synaptic function. We have previously shown that synaptic plasma membrane proteins supporting synaptic integrity and neurotransmission were downregulated in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-deprived brains, suggesting an important role of DHA in synaptic function. In this study, we demonstrate aging-induced synaptic proteome changes and DHA-dependent mitigation of such changes using mass spectrometry-based protein quantitation combined with western blot or messenger RNA analysis. We found significant reduction of 15 synaptic plasma membrane proteins in aging brains including fodrin-α, synaptopodin, postsynaptic density protein 95, synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2B, synaptosomal-associated protein 25, synaptosomal-associated protein-α, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit epsilon-2 precursor, AMPA2, AP2, VGluT1, munc18-1, dynamin-1, vesicle-associated membrane protein 2, rab3A, and EAAT1, most of which are involved in synaptic transmission. Notably, the first 9 proteins were further reduced when brain DHA was depleted by diet, indicating that DHA plays an important role in sustaining these synaptic proteins downregulated during aging. Reduction of 2 of these proteins was reversed by raising the brain DHA level by supplementing aged animals with an omega-3 fatty acid sufficient diet for 2 months. The recognition memory compromised in DHA-depleted animals was also improved. Our results suggest a potential role of DHA in alleviating aging-associated cognitive decline by offsetting the loss of neurotransmission-regulating synaptic proteins involved in synaptic function. PMID:27103520

  10. The effect of aging on brain barriers and the consequences for Alzheimer's disease development.

    PubMed

    Gorlé, Nina; Van Cauwenberghe, Caroline; Libert, Claude; Vandenbroucke, Roosmarijn E

    2016-08-01

    Life expectancy has increased in most developed countries, which has led to an increase in the proportion of elderly people in the world's population. However, this increase in life expectancy is not accompanied by a lengthening of the health span since aging is characterized with progressive deterioration in cellular and organ functions. The brain is particularly vulnerable to disease, and this is reflected in the onset of age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Research shows that dysfunction of two barriers in the central nervous system (CNS), the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier (BCSFB), plays an important role in the progression of these neurodegenerative diseases. The BBB is formed by the endothelial cells of the blood capillaries, whereas the BCSFB is formed by the epithelial cells of the choroid plexus (CP), both of which are affected during aging. Here, we give an overview of how these barriers undergo changes during aging and in Alzheimer's disease, thereby disturbing brain homeostasis. Studying these changes is needed in order to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of aging at the brain barriers, which might lead to the development of new therapies to lengthen the health span (including mental health) and reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer's disease. PMID:27143113

  11. Brain Na(+), K(+)-ATPase Activity In Aging and Disease.

    PubMed

    de Lores Arnaiz, Georgina Rodríguez; Ordieres, María Graciela López

    2014-06-01

    Na(+)/K(+) pump or sodium- and potassium-activated adenosine 5'-triphosphatase (Na(+), K(+)-ATPase), its enzymatic version, is a crucial protein responsible for the electrochemical gradient across the cell membranes. It is an ion transporter, which in addition to exchange cations, is the ligand for cardenolides. This enzyme regulates the entry of K(+) with the exit of Na(+) from cells, being the responsible for Na(+)/K(+) equilibrium maintenance through neuronal membranes. This transport system couples the hydrolysis of one molecule of ATP to exchange three sodium ions for two potassium ions, thus maintaining the normal gradient of these cations in animal cells. Oxidative metabolism is very active in brain, where large amounts of chemical energy as ATP molecules are consumed, mostly required for the maintenance of the ionic gradients that underlie resting and action potentials which are involved in nerve impulse propagation, neurotransmitter release and cation homeostasis. Protein phosphorylation is a key process in biological regulation. At nervous system level, protein phosphorylation is the major molecular mechanism through which the function of neural proteins is modulted in response to extracellular signals, including the response to neurotransmitter stimuli. It is the major mechanism of neural plasticity, including memory processing. The phosphorylation of Na(+), K(+)-ATPase catalytic subunit inhibits enzyme activity whereas the inhibition of protein kinase C restores the enzyme activity. The dephosphorylation of neuronal Na(+), K(+)-ATPase is mediated by calcineurin, a serine / threonine phosphatase. The latter enzyme is involved in a wide range of cellular responses to Ca(2+) mobilizing signals, in the regulation of neuronal excitability by controlling the activity of ion channels, in the release of neurotransmitters and hormones, as well as in synaptic plasticity and gene transcription. In the present article evidence showing Na(+), K(+)-ATPase involvement

  12. Brain Na+, K+-ATPase Activity In Aging and Disease

    PubMed Central

    de Lores Arnaiz, Georgina Rodríguez; Ordieres, María Graciela López

    2014-01-01

    Na+/K+ pump or sodium- and potassium-activated adenosine 5’-triphosphatase (Na+, K+-ATPase), its enzymatic version, is a crucial protein responsible for the electrochemical gradient across the cell membranes. It is an ion transporter, which in addition to exchange cations, is the ligand for cardenolides. This enzyme regulates the entry of K+ with the exit of Na+ from cells, being the responsible for Na+/K+ equilibrium maintenance through neuronal membranes. This transport system couples the hydrolysis of one molecule of ATP to exchange three sodium ions for two potassium ions, thus maintaining the normal gradient of these cations in animal cells. Oxidative metabolism is very active in brain, where large amounts of chemical energy as ATP molecules are consumed, mostly required for the maintenance of the ionic gradients that underlie resting and action potentials which are involved in nerve impulse propagation, neurotransmitter release and cation homeostasis. Protein phosphorylation is a key process in biological regulation. At nervous system level, protein phosphorylation is the major molecular mechanism through which the function of neural proteins is modulted in response to extracellular signals, including the response to neurotransmitter stimuli. It is the major mechanism of neural plasticity, including memory processing. The phosphorylation of Na+, K+-ATPase catalytic subunit inhibits enzyme activity whereas the inhibition of protein kinase C restores the enzyme activity. The dephosphorylation of neuronal Na+, K+-ATPase is mediated by calcineurin, a serine / threonine phosphatase. The latter enzyme is involved in a wide range of cellular responses to Ca2+ mobilizing signals, in the regulation of neuronal excitability by controlling the activity of ion channels, in the release of neurotransmitters and hormones, as well as in synaptic plasticity and gene transcription. In the present article evidence showing Na+, K+-ATPase involvement in signaling pathways

  13. Regional cortical volume and cognitive functioning following traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Spitz, Gershon; Bigler, Erin D; Abildskov, Tracy; Maller, Jerome J; O'Sullivan, Richard; Ponsford, Jennie L

    2013-10-01

    There has been limited examination of the effect of brain pathology on subsequent function. The current study examined the relationships between regional variation in grey matter volume, age and cognitive impairment using a semi-automated image analysis tool. This study included 69 individuals with mild-to-severe TBI, 41 of whom also completed neuropsychological tests of attention, working memory, processing speed, memory and executive functions. A widespread reduction in grey matter volume was associated with increasing age. Regional volumes that were affected also related to the severity of injury, whereby the most severe TBI participants displayed the most significant pathology. Poorer retention of newly learned material was associated with reduced cortical volume in frontal, parietal, and occipital brain regions. In addition, poorer working memory and executive control performance was found for individuals with lower cortical volume in temporal, parietal, and occipital regions. These findings are largely in line with previous literature, which suggests that frontal, temporal, and parietal regions are integral for the encoding of memories into long-term storage, memory retrieval, and working memory. The present study suggests that automated image analysis methods may be used to explore the relationships between regional variation in grey matter volume and cognitive function following TBI. PMID:23872098

  14. Challenges of multimorbidity of the aging brain: a critical update.

    PubMed

    Jellinger, Kurt A; Attems, Johannes

    2015-04-01

    A major problem in elderly patients is the high incidence of multiple pathologies, referred to as multimorbidity, in the aging brain. It has been increasingly recognized that co-occurrence of neurodegenerative proteinopathies and other pathologies including cerebrovascular disorders is a frequent event in the brains of both cognitively intact and impaired aged subjects. Although clinical and neuropathological diagnostic criteria of the major neurodegenerative diseases have been improved, major challenges arise from cerebral multimorbidity, and the thresholds to cause clinical overt dementia are ill defined. More than 80% of aged human brains show neurodegenerative non-Alzheimer type proteinopathies and other pathologies which, however, frequently have been missed clinically and are even difficult to identify at neuropathological examination. Autopsy studies differ in selection criteria and the applied evaluation methods. Therefore, irrespective of the clinical symptoms, the frequency of cerebral pathologies vary considerably: Alzheimer-related pathology is seen in 19-100%, with "pure" Alzheimer's disease (AD) in 17-72%, Lewy pathology in 6-39% (AD + Lewy disease 9-28%), vascular pathologies in 28-93% (10.7-78% "pure" vascular dementia), TDP-43 proteinopathy in 6-39%, hippocampal sclerosis in 8-1%, and mixed pathologies in 10-93%. These data clearly suggest that pathologically deposited proteins in neurodegenerating diseases mutually interact and are influenced by other factors, in particular cardiovascular and cerebrovascular ones, to promote cognitive decline and other clinical symptoms. It is obvious that cognitive and other neuropsychiatric impairment in the aged result from a multimorbid condition in the CNS rather than from a single disease and that the number of complex pathologies progresses with increasing age. These facts have implications for improvement of the clinical diagnosis and prognosis, the development of specific biomarkers, preventive strategies

  15. Indestructible plastic: the neuroscience of the new aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Holman, Constance; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, research on experience-dependent plasticity has provided valuable insight on adaptation to environmental input across the lifespan, and advances in understanding the minute cellular changes underlying the brain’s capacity for self-reorganization have opened exciting new possibilities for treating illness and injury. Ongoing work in this line of inquiry has also come to deeply influence another field: cognitive neuroscience of the normal aging. This complex process, once considered inevitable or beyond the reach of treatment, has been transformed into an arena of intense investigation and strategic intervention. However, important questions remain about this characterization of the aging brain, and the assumptions it makes about the social, cultural, and biological space occupied by cognition in the older individual and body. The following paper will provide a critical examination of the move from basic experiments on the neurophysiology of experience-dependent plasticity to the growing market for (and public conception of) cognitive aging as a medicalized space for intervention by neuroscience-backed technologies. Entangled with changing concepts of normality, pathology, and self-preservation, we will argue that this new understanding, led by personalized cognitive training strategies, is approaching a point where interdisciplinary research is crucial to provide a holistic and nuanced understanding of the aging process. This new outlook will allow us to move forward in a space where our knowledge, like our new conception of the brain, is never static. PMID:24782746

  16. Early Shifts of Brain Metabolism by Caloric Restriction Preserve White Matter Integrity and Long-Term Memory in Aging Mice

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Janet; Bakshi, Vikas; Lin, Ai-Ling

    2015-01-01

    Preservation of brain integrity with age is highly associated with lifespan determination. Caloric restriction (CR) has been shown to increase longevity and healthspan in various species; however, its effects on preserving living brain functions in aging remain largely unexplored. In the study, we used multimodal, non-invasive neuroimaging (PET/MRI/MRS) to determine in vivo brain glucose metabolism, energy metabolites, and white matter structural integrity in young and old mice fed with either control or 40% CR diet. In addition, we determined the animals’ memory and learning ability with behavioral assessments. Blood glucose, blood ketone bodies, and body weight were also measured. We found distinct patterns between normal aging and CR aging on brain functions – normal aging showed reductions in brain glucose metabolism, white matter integrity, and long-term memory, resembling human brain aging. CR aging, in contrast, displayed an early shift from glucose to ketone bodies metabolism, which was associated with preservations of brain energy production, white matter integrity, and long-term memory in aging mice. Among all the mice, we found a positive correlation between blood glucose level and body weight, but an inverse association between blood glucose level and lifespan. Our findings suggest that CR could slow down brain aging, in part due to the early shift of energy metabolism caused by lower caloric intake, and we were able to identify the age-dependent effects of CR non-invasively using neuroimaging. These results provide a rationale for CR-induced sustenance of brain health with extended longevity. PMID:26617514

  17. Heritability of human brain functioning as assessed by electroencephalography

    SciTech Connect

    Beijsterveldt, C.E.M. van; Geus, E.J.C. de; Boomsma, D.I.

    1996-03-01

    To study the genetic and environmental contributions to individual differences in CNS functioning, the electroencephalogram (EEG) was measured in 213 twin pairs age 16 years. EEG was measured in 91 MZ and 122 DZ twins. To quantify sex differences in the genetic architecture, EEG was measured in female and male same-sex twins and in opposite-sex twins. EEG was recorded on 14 scalp positions during quiet resting with eyes closed. Spectral powers were calculated for four frequency bands: delta, theta, alpha, and beta. Twin correlations pointed toward high genetic influences for all these powers and scalp locations. Model fitting confirmed these findings; the largest part of the variance of the EEG is explained by additive genetic factors. The averaged heritabilities for the delta, theta, alpha, and beta frequencies was 76%, 89%, 89%, and 86%, respectively. Multivariate analyses suggested that the same genes for EEG alpha rhythm were expressed in different brain areas in the left and right hemisphere. This study shows that brain functioning, as indexed by rhythmic brain-electrical activity, is one of the most heritable characteristics in humans. 44 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs.

  18. Brain regions essential for improved lexical access in an aged aphasic patient: a case report

    PubMed Central

    Meinzer, Marcus; Flaisch, Tobias; Obleser, Jonas; Assadollahi, Ramin; Djundja, Daniela; Barthel, Gabriela; Rockstroh, Brigitte

    2006-01-01

    Background The relationship between functional recovery after brain injury and concomitant neuroplastic changes is emphasized in recent research. In the present study we aimed to delineate brain regions essential for language performance in aphasia using functional magnetic resonance imaging and acquisition in a temporal sparse sampling procedure, which allows monitoring of overt verbal responses during scanning. Case presentation An 80-year old patient with chronic aphasia (2 years post-onset) was investigated before and after intensive language training using an overt picture naming task. Differential brain activation in the right inferior frontal gyrus for correct word retrieval and errors was found. Improved language performance following therapy was mirrored by increased fronto-thalamic activation while stability in more general measures of attention/concentration and working memory was assured. Three healthy age-matched control subjects did not show behavioral changes or increased activation when tested repeatedly within the same 2-week time interval. Conclusion The results bear significance in that the changes in brain activation reported can unequivocally be attributed to the short-term training program and a language domain-specific plasticity process. Moreover, it further challenges the claim of a limited recovery potential in chronic aphasia, even at very old age. Delineation of brain regions essential for performance on a single case basis might have major implications for treatment using transcranial magnetic stimulation. PMID:16916464

  19. Age differences in the brain mechanisms of good taste.

    PubMed

    Rolls, Edmund T; Kellerhals, Michele B; Nichols, Thomas E

    2015-06-01

    There is strong evidence demonstrating age-related differences in the acceptability of foods and beverages. To examine the neural foundations underlying these age-related differences in the acceptability of different flavors and foods, we performed an fMRI study to investigate brain and hedonic responses to orange juice, orange soda, and vegetable juice in three different age groups: Young (22), Middle (40) and Elderly (60 years). Orange juice and orange soda were found to be liked by all age groups, while vegetable juice was disliked by the Young, but liked by the Elderly. In the insular primary taste cortex, the activations to these stimuli were similar in the 3 age groups, indicating that the differences in liking for these stimuli between the 3 groups were not represented in this first stage of cortical taste processing. In the agranular insula (anterior to the insular primary taste cortex) where flavor is represented, the activations to the stimuli were similar in the Elderly, but in the Young the activations were larger to the vegetable juice than to the orange drinks; and the activations here were correlated with the unpleasantness of the stimuli. In the anterior midcingulate cortex, investigated as a site where the activations were correlated with the unpleasantness of the stimuli, there was again a greater activation to the vegetable than to the orange stimuli in the Young but not in the Elderly. In the amygdala (and orbitofrontal cortex), investigated as sites where the activations were correlated with the pleasantness of the stimuli, there was a smaller activation to the vegetable than to the orange stimuli in the Young but not in the Elderly. The Middle group was intermediate with respect to the separation of their activations to the stimuli in the brain areas that represent the pleasantness or unpleasantness of flavors. Thus age differences in the activations to different flavors can in some brain areas be related to, and probably cause, the

  20. Taurine content in different brain structures during ageing: effect on hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Suárez, Luz M; Muñoz, María-Dolores; Martín Del Río, Rafael; Solís, José M

    2016-05-01

    A reduction in taurine content accompanies the ageing process in many tissues. In fact, the decline of brain taurine levels has been associated with cognitive deficits whereas chronic administration of taurine seems to ameliorate age-related deficits such as memory acquisition and retention. In the present study, using rats of three age groups (young, adult and aged) we determined whether the content of taurine and other amino acids (glutamate, serine, glutamine, glycine, alanine and GABA) was altered during ageing in different brain areas (cerebellum, cortex and hippocampus) as well non-brain tissues (heart, kidney, liver and plasma). Moreover, using hippocampal slices we tested whether ageing affects synaptic function and plasticity. These parameters were also determined in aged rats fed with either taurine-devoid or taurine-supplemented diets. With age, we found heterogeneous changes in amino acid content depending on the amino acid type and the tissue. In the case of taurine, its content was reduced in the cerebellum of adult and aged rats, but it remained unchanged in the hippocampus, cortex, heart and liver. The synaptic response amplitude decreased in aged rats, although the late phase of long-term synaptic potentiation (late-LTP), a taurine-dependent process, was not altered. Our study highlights the stability of taurine content in the hippocampus during ageing regardless of whether taurine was present in the diet, which is consistent with the lack of changes detected in late-LTP. These results indicate that the beneficial effects of taurine supplementation might be independent of the replenishment of taurine stores. PMID:26803657

  1. Neurogenetic Effects on Cognition in Aging Brains: A Window of Opportunity for Intervention?

    PubMed Central

    Reinvang, Ivar; Deary, Ian J.; Fjell, Anders M.; Steen, Vidar M.; Espeseth, Thomas; Parasuraman, Raja

    2010-01-01

    Knowledge of genetic influences on cognitive aging can constrain and guide interventions aimed at limiting age-related cognitive decline in older adults. Progress in understanding the neural basis of cognitive aging also requires a better understanding of the neurogenetics of cognition. This selective review article describes studies aimed at deriving specific neurogenetic information from three parallel and interrelated phenotype-based approaches: psychometric constructs, cognitive neuroscience-based processing measures, and brain imaging morphometric data. Developments in newer genetic analysis tools, including genome wide association, are also described. In particular, we focus on models for establishing genotype–phenotype associations within an explanatory framework linking molecular, brain, and cognitive levels of analysis. Such multiple-phenotype approaches indicate that individual variation in genes central to maintaining synaptic integrity, neurotransmitter function, and synaptic plasticity are important in affecting age-related changes in brain structure and cognition. Investigating phenotypes at multiple levels is recommended as a means to advance understanding of the neural impact of genetic variants relevant to cognitive aging. Further knowledge regarding the mechanisms of interaction between genetic and preventative procedures will in turn help in understanding the ameliorative effect of various experiential and lifestyle factors on age-related cognitive decline. PMID:21103005

  2. [Hunger-driven modulation in brain functions].

    PubMed

    Hirano, Yukinori; Saitoe, Minoru

    2014-01-01

    \\All organisms must obtain nutrition in order to survive and produce their progeny. In the natural environment, however, adequate nutrition or food is not always available. Thus, all organisms are equipped with mechanisms by which their nutritional condition alters their internal activities. In animals, the loss of nutritional intake (fasting) alters not only metabolism, but also behavior in a manner dependent on hormones such as insulin, glucagon, leptin, and ghrelin. As a result, animals are able to maintain their blood sugar level, and are motivated to crave food upon fasting. Moreover, our recent study revealed a novel role of hunger, which facilitates long-term memory (LTM) formation, and its molecular mechanism in the fruit fly, Drosophila. Here, we review the overall effect of fasting, and how fasting affects brain function. I then introduce our finding in which mild fasting facilitates LTM formation, and discuss its biological significance. PMID:24371130

  3. Age-related changes in brain support cells: Implications for stroke severity

    PubMed Central

    Sohrabji, Farida; Bake, Shameena; Lewis, Danielle K.

    2013-01-01

    Stroke is one of the leading causes of adult disability and the fourth leading cause of mortality in the US. Stroke disproportionately occurs among the elderly, where the disease is more likely to be fatal or lead to long-term supportive care. Animal models, where the ischemic insult can be controlled more precisely, also confirm that aged animals sustain more severe strokes as compared to young animals. Furthermore, the neuroprotection usually seen in younger females when compared to young males is not observed in older females. The preclinical literature thus provides a valuable resource for understanding why the aging brain is more susceptible to severe infarction. In this review, we discuss the hypothesis that stroke severity in the aging brain may be associated with reduced functional capacity of critical support cells. Specifically, we focus on astrocytes, that are critical for detoxification of the brain microenvironment and endothelial cells, which play a crucial role in maintaining the blood brain barrier. In view of the sex difference in stroke severity, this review also discusses studies of middle-aged acyclic females as well as the effects of the estrogen on astrocytes and endothelial cells PMID:23811611

  4. Reduced brain functional reserve and altered functional connectivity in patients with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Cader, Sarah; Cifelli, Alberto; Abu-Omar, Yasir; Palace, Jacqueline; Matthews, Paul M

    2006-02-01

    Cognitive dysfunction (affecting particularly attention and working memory) occurs early in patients with multiple sclerosis. Previous studies have focused on identifying potentially adaptive functional reorganization through recruitment of new brain regions that could limit expression of these deficits. However, lesion studies remind us that functional specializations in the brain make certain brain regions necessary for a given task. We therefore have asked whether altered functional interactions between regions normally recruited provide an alternative adaptive mechanism with multiple sclerosis pathology. We used a version of the n-back task to probe working memory in patients with early multiple sclerosis. We applied a functional connectivity analysis to test whether relationships between relative activations in different brain regions change in potentially adaptive ways with multiple sclerosis. We studied 21 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and 16 age- and sex-matched healthy controls with 3T functional MRI. The two groups performed equally well on the task. Task-related activations were found in similar regions for patients and controls. However, patients showed relatively reduced activation in the superior frontal and anterior cingulate gyri (P > 0.01). Patients also showed a variable, but generally substantially smaller increase in activation than healthy controls with greater task complexity, depending on the specific brain region assessed (P < 0.001). Functional connectivity analysis defined further differences not apparent from the univariate contrast of the task-associated activation patterns. Control subjects showed significantly greater correlations between right dorsolateral prefrontal and superior frontal/anterior cingulate activations (P < 0.05). Patients showed correlations between activations in the right and left prefrontal cortices, although this relationship was not significant in healthy controls (P < 0.05). We interpret

  5. Effects of the diet on brain function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernstrom, John D.

    The rates of synthesis by brain neurons of the neurotransmitters serotonin, acetylcholine, and the catecholamines depend on the brain levels of the respective precursor molecules. Brain levels of each precursor are influenced by their blood concentration, and for the amino acid precursors, by the blood levels of other amino acids as well. Since diet readily alters blood concentrations of each of these precursors, it thereby also influences the brain formation of their neurotransmitter products.

  6. Effects of the diet on brain function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fernstrom, J. D.

    1981-01-01

    The rates of synthesis by brain neurons of the neurotransmitters serotonin, acetylcholine, and the catecholamines depend on the brain levels of the respective precursor molecules. Brain levels of each precursor are influenced by their blood concentration, and for the amino acid precursors, by the blood levels of other amino acids as well. Since diet readily alters blood concentrations of each of these precursors, it thereby also influences the brain formation of their neutrotransmitter products.

  7. The Apolipoprotein E Gene, Attention, and Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Parasuraman, Raja; Greenwood, Pamela M.; Sunderland, Trey

    2005-01-01

    The ɛ4 allele of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene is associated with alterations in brain function and is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Changes in components of visuospatial attention with ApoE-ɛ4, aging, and AD are described. Healthy middle-aged adults without dementia who have the ApoE-ɛ4 gene show deficits in spatial attention and working memory that are qualitatively similar to those seen in clinically diagnosed AD patients. The findings support an association between ApoE polymorphism and specific components of visuospatial attention. Molecular mechanisms that may mediate the ApoE–attention link by modulating cholinergic neurotransmission to the posterior parietal cortex are discussed. Studies of attention and brain function in ApoE-ɛ4 carriers without dementia can advance knowledge of the genetics of visual attention, may enhance understanding of the preclinical phase of AD, and may lead to better methods for early AD detection. PMID:11949718

  8. The Perimenopausal Aging Transition in the Female Rat Brain: Decline in Bioenergetic Systems and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Fei; Yao, Jia; Sancheti, Harsh; Feng, Tao; Melcangi, Roberto C.; Morgan, Todd E.; Finch, Caleb E.; Pike, Christian J.; Mack, Wendy J.; Cadenas, Enrique; Brinton, Roberta D.

    2015-01-01

    The perimenopause is an aging transition unique to the female that leads to reproductive senescence which can be characterized by multiple neurological symptoms. To better understand potential underlying mechanisms of neurological symptoms of perimenopause, the current study determined genomic, biochemical, brain metabolic and electrophysiological transformations that occur during this transition using a rat model recapitulating fundamental characteristics of the human perimenopause. Gene expression analyses indicated two distinct aging programs: chronological and endocrine. A critical period emerged during the endocrine transition from regular to irregular cycling characterized by decline in bioenergetic gene expression, confirmed by deficits in FDG-PET brain metabolism, mitochondrial function, and long-term potentiation. Bioinformatic analysis predicted insulin/IGF1 and AMPK/PGC1α signaling pathways as upstream regulators. Onset of acyclicity was accompanied by a rise in genes required for fatty acid metabolism, inflammation, and mitochondrial function. Subsequent chronological aging resulted in decline of genes required for mitochondrial function and β-amyloid degradation. Emergence of glucose hypometabolism and impaired synaptic function in brain provide plausible mechanisms of neurological symptoms of perimenopause and may be predictive of later life vulnerability to hypometabolic conditions such as Alzheimer’s. PMID:25921624

  9. The perimenopausal aging transition in the female rat brain: decline in bioenergetic systems and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Yin, Fei; Yao, Jia; Sancheti, Harsh; Feng, Tao; Melcangi, Roberto C; Morgan, Todd E; Finch, Caleb E; Pike, Christian J; Mack, Wendy J; Cadenas, Enrique; Brinton, Roberta D

    2015-07-01

    The perimenopause is an aging transition unique to the female that leads to reproductive senescence which can be characterized by multiple neurological symptoms. To better understand potential underlying mechanisms of neurological symptoms of perimenopause, the present study determined genomic, biochemical, brain metabolic, and electrophysiological transformations that occur during this transition using a rat model recapitulating fundamental characteristics of the human perimenopause. Gene expression analyses indicated two distinct aging programs: chronological and endocrine. A critical period emerged during the endocrine transition from regular to irregular cycling characterized by decline in bioenergetic gene expression, confirmed by deficits in fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) brain metabolism, mitochondrial function, and long-term potentiation. Bioinformatic analysis predicted insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase/peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (AMPK/PGC1α) signaling pathways as upstream regulators. Onset of acyclicity was accompanied by a rise in genes required for fatty acid metabolism, inflammation, and mitochondrial function. Subsequent chronological aging resulted in decline of genes required for mitochondrial function and β-amyloid degradation. Emergence of glucose hypometabolism and impaired synaptic function in brain provide plausible mechanisms of neurological symptoms of perimenopause and may be predictive of later-life vulnerability to hypometabolic conditions such as Alzheimer's. PMID:25921624

  10. Brain Training Game Boosts Executive Functions, Working Memory and Processing Speed in the Young Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Nouchi, Rui; Taki, Yasuyuki; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Nozawa, Takayuki; Kambara, Toshimune; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Miyauchi, Carlos Makoto; Kotozaki, Yuka; Nouchi, Haruka; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2013-01-01

    Background Do brain training games work? The beneficial effects of brain training games are expected to transfer to other cognitive functions. Yet in all honesty, beneficial transfer effects of the commercial brain training games in young adults have little scientific basis. Here we investigated the impact of the brain training game (Brain Age) on a wide range of cognitive functions in young adults. Methods We conducted a double-blind (de facto masking) randomized controlled trial using a popular brain training game (Brain Age) and a popular puzzle game (Tetris). Thirty-two volunteers were recruited through an advertisement in the local newspaper and randomly assigned to either of two game groups (Brain Age, Tetris). Participants in both the Brain Age and the Tetris groups played their game for about 15 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. Measures of the cognitive functions were conducted before and after training. Measures of the cognitive functions fell into eight categories (fluid intelligence, executive function, working memory, short-term memory, attention, processing speed, visual ability, and reading ability). Results and Discussion Our results showed that commercial brain training game improves executive functions, working memory, and processing speed in young adults. Moreover, the popular puzzle game can engender improvement attention and visuo-spatial ability compared to playing the brain training game. The present study showed the scientific evidence which the brain training game had the beneficial effects on cognitive functions (executive functions, working memory and processing speed) in the healthy young adults. Conclusions Our results do not indicate that everyone should play brain training games. However, the commercial brain training game might be a simple and convenient means to improve some cognitive functions. We believe that our findings are highly relevant to applications in educational and clinical fields. Trial

  11. Modulative effects of COMT haplotype on age-related associations with brain morphology.

    PubMed

    Lee, Annie; Qiu, Anqi

    2016-06-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), located on chromosome 22q11.2, encodes an enzyme critical for dopamine flux in the prefrontal cortex. Genetic variants of COMT have been suggested to functionally manipulate prefrontal morphology and function in healthy adults. This study aims to investigate modulative roles of individuals COMT SNPs (rs737865, val158met, rs165599) and its haplotypes in age-related brain morphology using an Asian sample with 174 adults aged from 21 to 80 years. We showed an age-related decline in cortical thickness of the dorsal visual pathway, including the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, bilateral angular gyrus, right superior frontal cortex, and age-related shape compression in the basal ganglia as a function of the genotypes of the individual COMT SNPs, especially COMT val158met. Using haplotype trend regression analysis, COMT haplotype probabilities were estimated and further revealed an age-related decline in cortical thickness in the default mode network (DMN), including the posterior cingulate, precuneus, supramarginal and paracentral cortex, and the ventral visual system, including the occipital cortex and left inferior temporal cortex, as a function of the COMT haplotype. Our results provided new evidence on an antagonistic pleiotropic effect in COMT, suggesting that genetically programmed neural benefits in early life may have a potential bearing towards neural susceptibility in later life. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2068-2082, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26920810

  12. Appraising the Role of Iron in Brain Aging and Cognition: Promises and Limitations of MRI Methods

    PubMed Central

    Daugherty, Ana M; Raz, Naftali

    2015-01-01

    Age-related increase in frailty is accompanied by a fundamental shift in cellular iron homeostasis. By promoting oxidative stress, the intracellular accumulation of non-heme iron outside of binding complexes contributes to chronic inflammation and interferes with normal brain metabolism. In the absence of direct non-invasive biomarkers of brain oxidative stress, iron accumulation estimated in vivo may serve as its proxy indicator. Hence, developing reliable in vivo measurements of brain iron content via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is of significant interest in human neuroscience. To date, by estimating brain iron content through various MRI methods, significant age differences and age-related increases in iron content of the basal ganglia have been revealed across multiple samples. Less consistent are the findings that pertain to the relationship between elevated brain iron content and systemic indices of vascular and metabolic dysfunction. Only a handful of cross-sectional investigations have linked high iron content in various brain regions and poor performance on assorted cognitive tests. The even fewer longitudinal studies indicate that iron accumulation may precede shrinkage of the basal ganglia and thus predict poor maintenance of cognitive functions. This rapidly developing field will benefit from introduction of higher-field MRI scanners, improvement in iron-sensitive and -specific acquisition sequences and post-processing analytic and computational methods, as well as accumulation of data from long-term longitudinal investigations. This review describes the potential advantages and promises of MRI-based assessment of brain iron, summarizes recent findings and highlights the limitations of the current methodology. PMID:26248580

  13. Evidence for Accelerated Decline of Functional Brain Network Efficiency in Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Sheffield, Julia M; Repovs, Grega; Harms, Michael P; Carter, Cameron S; Gold, James M; MacDonald, Angus W; Ragland, J Daniel; Silverstein, Steven M; Godwin, Douglass; Barch, Deanna M

    2016-05-01

    Previous work suggests that individuals with schizophrenia display accelerated aging of white matter integrity, however, it is still unknown whether functional brain networks also decline at an elevated rate in schizophrenia. Given the known degradation of functional connectivity and the normal decline in cognitive functioning throughout healthy aging, we aimed to test the hypothesis that efficiency of large-scale functional brain networks supporting overall cognition, as well as integrity of hub nodes within those networks, show evidence of accelerated aging in schizophrenia. Using pseudo-resting state data in 54 healthy controls and 46 schizophrenia patients, in which task-dependent signal from 3 tasks was regressed out to approximate resting-state data, we observed a significant diagnosis by age interaction in the prediction of both global and local efficiency of the cingulo-opercular network, and of the local efficiency of the fronto-parietal network, but no interaction when predicting both default mode network and whole brain efficiency. We also observed a significant diagnosis by age interaction for the node degree of the right anterior insula, left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. All interactions were driven by stronger negative associations between age and network metrics in the schizophrenia group than the healthy controls. These data provide evidence that is consistent with accelerated aging of large-scale functional brain networks in schizophrenia that support higher-order cognitive ability. PMID:26472685

  14. Neural Plastic Effects of Cognitive Training on Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Natalie T. Y.; Tam, Helena M. K.; Chu, Leung W.; Kwok, Timothy C. Y.; Chan, Felix; Lam, Linda C. W.; Woo, Jean; Lee, Tatia M. C.

    2015-01-01

    Increasing research has evidenced that our brain retains a capacity to change in response to experience until late adulthood. This implies that cognitive training can possibly ameliorate age-associated cognitive decline by inducing training-specific neural plastic changes at both neural and behavioral levels. This longitudinal study examined the behavioral effects of a systematic thirteen-week cognitive training program on attention and working memory of older adults who were at risk of cognitive decline. These older adults were randomly assigned to the Cognitive Training Group (n = 109) and the Active Control Group (n = 100). Findings clearly indicated that training induced improvement in auditory and visual-spatial attention and working memory. The training effect was specific to the experience provided because no significant difference in verbal and visual-spatial memory between the two groups was observed. This pattern of findings is consistent with the prediction and the principle of experience-dependent neuroplasticity. Findings of our study provided further support to the notion that the neural plastic potential continues until older age. The baseline cognitive status did not correlate with pre- versus posttraining changes to any cognitive variables studied, suggesting that the initial cognitive status may not limit the neuroplastic potential of the brain at an old age. PMID:26417460

  15. The Aging Brain Care Medical Home: Preliminary Data.

    PubMed

    LaMantia, Michael A; Alder, Catherine A; Callahan, Christopher M; Gao, Sujuan; French, Dustin D; Austrom, Mary G; Boustany, Karim; Livin, Lee; Bynagari, Bharath; Boustani, Malaz A

    2015-06-01

    The Aging Brain Care (ABC) Medical Home aims to improve the care, health outcomes, and medical costs of Medicare beneficiaries with dementia or depression across central Indiana. This population health management program, funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center, expanded an existing collaborative dementia and depression care program to serve 1,650 older adults in a local safety-net hospital system. During the first year, 20 full-time clinical staff were hired, trained, and deployed to deliver a collaborative care intervention. In the first 18 months, an average of 13 visits was provided per person. Thirty percent of the sample had a diagnosis of dementia, and 77% had a diagnosis of depression. Sixty-six percent of participants with high depression scores (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≥14) had at least a 50% reduction in their depressive symptoms. Fifty-one percent of caregivers of individuals with dementia had at least a 50% reduction in caregiver stress symptoms (measured by the Healthy Aging Brain Care Monitor-Caregiver Version). After 18 months, the ABC Medical Home has demonstrated progress toward improving the health of older adults with dementia and depression. Scalable and practical models like this show initial promise for answering the challenges posed by the nation's rapidly aging population. PMID:26096394

  16. Thyroid Function and Cognition during Aging.

    PubMed

    Bégin, M E; Langlois, M F; Lorrain, D; Cunnane, S C

    2008-01-01

    We summarize here the studies examining the association between thyroid function and cognitive performance from an aging perspective. The available data suggest that there may be a continuum in which cognitive dysfunction can result from increased or decreased concentrations of thyroid hormones. Clinical and subclinical hypothyroidism as well as hyperthyroidism in middle-aged and elderly adults are both associated with decreased cognitive functioning, especially memory, visuospatial organization, attention, and reaction time. Mild variations of thyroid function, even within normal limits, can have significant consequences for cognitive function in the elderly. Different cognitive deficits possibly related to thyroid failure do not necessarily follow a consistent pattern, and L-thyroxine treatment may not always completely restore normal functioning in patients with hypothyroidism. There is little or no consensus in the literature regarding how thyroid function is associated with cognitive performance in the elderly. PMID:19415145

  17. Changes of individual BrainAGE during the course of the menstrual cycle.

    PubMed

    Franke, Katja; Hagemann, Georg; Schleussner, Ekkehard; Gaser, Christian

    2015-07-15

    Brain morphology varies during the course of the menstrual cycle, with increases in individual gray matter volume at the time of ovulation. This study implemented our previously presented BrainAGE framework to analyze short-term neuroanatomical changes in healthy young women due to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. The BrainAGE approach determines the complex multidimensional aging pattern within the whole brain by applying established kernel regression methods to anatomical brain MRIs. The "Brain Age Gap Estimation" (i.e., BrainAGE) score is then calculated as the difference between chronological age and estimated brain age. Eight women (21-31 years) completed three to four MRI scans during their menstrual cycle (i.e., at (t1) menses, (t2) time of ovulation, (t3) midluteal phase, (t4) next menses). Serum levels of estradiol and progesterone were evaluated at each scanning session. Individual BrainAGE scores significantly differed during the course of the menstrual cycle (p<0.05), with a significant decrease of -1.3 years at ovulation (p<0.05). Moreover, higher estradiol levels significantly correlated with lower BrainAGE scores (r=-0.42, p<0.05). In future, the BrainAGE approach may serve as a sensitive as well as easily implementable tool to further explore the short-term and maybe long-term effects of hormones on brain plasticity and its modulating effects in lifestyle-related diseases and dementia. PMID:25913700

  18. Aging modifies brain region-specific vulnerability to experimental oxidative stress induced by low dose hydrogen peroxide

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Our previous studies demonstrated a significant decline in brain function and behavior in Fischer 344 (F344) rats with age. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that dysregulation in calcium homeostasis (as assessed through 45Ca flux) may contribute to the increase in age-related vu...

  19. Serum metabolites from walnut-fed aged rats attenuate stress-induced neurotoxicity in brain cells in vitro

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The shift in equilibrium towards excess reactive oxygen or nitrogen species production from innate antioxidant defense in brain is a critical factor in the declining neural functions and cognitive deficits accompanying age. In aging, there are noticeable alterations in the membrane microenvironment,...

  20. Mapping distributed brain function and networks with diffuse optical tomography

    PubMed Central

    Eggebrecht, Adam T.; Ferradal, Silvina L.; Robichaux-Viehoever, Amy; Hassanpour, Mahlega S.; Dehghani, Hamid; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Hershey, Tamara; Culver, Joseph P.

    2014-01-01

    Mapping of human brain function has revolutionized systems neuroscience. However, traditional functional neuroimaging by positron emission tomography or functional magnetic resonance imaging cannot be used when applications require portability, or are contraindicated because of ionizing radiation (positron emission tomography) or implanted metal (functional magnetic resonance imaging). Optical neuroimaging offers a non-invasive alternative that is radiation free and compatible with implanted metal and electronic devices (for example, pacemakers). However, optical imaging technology has heretofore lacked the combination of spatial resolution and wide field of view sufficient to map distributed brain functions. Here, we present a high-density diffuse optical tomography imaging array that can map higher-order, distributed brain function. The system was tested by imaging four hierarchical language tasks and multiple resting-state networks including the dorsal attention and default mode networks. Finally, we imaged brain function in patients with Parkinson’s disease and implanted deep brain stimulators that preclude functional magnetic resonance imaging. PMID:25083161

  1. Mapping distributed brain function and networks with diffuse optical tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eggebrecht, Adam T.; Ferradal, Silvina L.; Robichaux-Viehoever, Amy; Hassanpour, Mahlega S.; Dehghani, Hamid; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Hershey, Tamara; Culver, Joseph P.

    2014-06-01

    Mapping of human brain function has revolutionized systems neuroscience. However, traditional functional neuroimaging by positron emission tomography or functional magnetic resonance imaging cannot be used when applications require portability, or are contraindicated because of ionizing radiation (positron emission tomography) or implanted metal (functional magnetic resonance imaging). Optical neuroimaging offers a non-invasive alternative that is radiation free and compatible with implanted metal and electronic devices (for example, pacemakers). However, optical imaging technology has heretofore lacked the combination of spatial resolution and wide field of view sufficient to map distributed brain functions. Here, we present a high-density diffuse optical tomography imaging array that can map higher-order, distributed brain function. The system was tested by imaging four hierarchical language tasks and multiple resting-state networks including the dorsal attention and default mode networks. Finally, we imaged brain function in patients with Parkinson's disease and implanted deep brain stimulators that preclude functional magnetic resonance imaging.

  2. [Normal aging of frontal lobe functions].

    PubMed

    Calso, Cristina; Besnard, Jérémy; Allain, Philippe

    2016-03-01

    Normal aging in individuals is often associated with morphological, metabolic and cognitive changes, which particularly concern the cerebral frontal regions. Starting from the "frontal lobe hypothesis of cognitive aging" (West, 1996), the present review is based on the neuroanatomical model developed by Stuss (2008), introducing four categories of frontal lobe functions: executive control, behavioural and emotional self-regulation and decision-making, energization and meta-cognitive functions. The selected studies only address the changes of one at least of these functions. The results suggest a deterioration of several cognitive frontal abilities in normal aging: flexibility, inhibition, planning, verbal fluency, implicit decision-making, second-order and affective theory of mind. Normal aging seems also to be characterised by a general reduction in processing speed observed during neuropsychological assessment (Salthouse, 1996). Nevertheless many cognitive functions remain preserved such as automatic or non-conscious inhibition, specific capacities of flexibility and first-order theory of mind. Therefore normal aging doesn't seem to be associated with a global cognitive decline but rather with a selective change in some frontal systems, conclusion which should be taken into account for designing caring programs in normal aging. PMID:27005339

  3. An Annotated Bibliography of Literature Dealing with Brain Functions and Brain Growth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kryder, James S.

    This document discusses the problem of teachers who teach primarily to the left hemisphere of the brain, not allowing the right-brain dominant student to expand his creative ability. It presents information about brain structure and function for educators. A glossary of 25 terms is provided with sources of the definitions. Annotations summarizing…

  4. Using autopsy brain tissue to study alcohol-related brain damage in the genomic age

    PubMed Central

    Sutherland, Greg T; Sheedy, Donna; Kril, Jillian J

    2013-01-01

    The New South Wales Tissue Resource Centre (NSW TRC) at the University of Sydney, Australia is one of the few human brain banks dedicated to the study of the effects of chronic alcoholism. The bank was affiliated in 1994 as a member of the National Network of Brain Banks and also focuses on schizophrenia and healthy control tissue. Alcohol abuse is a major problem worldwide, manifesting in such conditions as fetal alcohol syndrome, adolescent binge drinking, alcohol dependency and alcoholic neurodegeneration. The latter is also referred to as alcohol-related brain disease (ARBD). The study of postmortem brain tissue is ideally suited to determining the effects of long-term alcohol abuse, but it also makes an important contribution to understanding pathogenesis across the spectrum of alcohol misuse disorders and potentially other neurodegenerative diseases. Tissue from the bank has contributed to 330 peer-reviewed journal articles including 120 related to alcohol research. Using the results of these articles, this review chronicles advances in alcohol-related brain research since 2003, the so-called genomic age. In particular it concentrates on transcriptomic approaches to the pathogenesis of ARBD and builds on earlier reviews of structural changes (Harper et al. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2003;27:951–61) and proteomics (Matsumoto et al. Expert Rev Proteomics 2007;4:539–52). PMID:24033426

  5. A review of cardiorespiratory fitness-related neuroplasticity in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Scott M.; Hayes, Jasmeet P.; Cadden, Margaret; Verfaellie, Mieke

    2013-01-01

    The literature examining the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and the brain in older adults has increased rapidly, with 30 of 34 studies published since 2008. Here we review cross-sectional and exercise intervention studies in older adults examining the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and brain structure and function, typically assessed using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Studies of patients with Alzheimer's disease are discussed when available. The structural MRI studies revealed a consistent positive relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and brain volume in cortical regions including anterior cingulate, lateral prefrontal, and lateral parietal cortex. Support for a positive relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and medial temporal lobe volume was less consistent, although evident when a region-of-interest approach was implemented. In fMRI studies, cardiorespiratory fitness in older adults was associated with activation in similar regions as those identified in the structural studies, including anterior cingulate, lateral prefrontal, and lateral parietal cortex, despite heterogeneity among the functional tasks implemented. This comprehensive review highlights the overlap in brain regions showing a positive relationship with cardiorespiratory fitness in both structural and functional imaging modalities. The findings suggest that aerobic exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness contribute to healthy brain aging, although additional studies in Alzheimer's disease are needed. PMID:23874299

  6. Disrupted Brain Functional Network Architecture in Chronic Tinnitus Patients

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yu-Chen; Feng, Yuan; Xu, Jin-Jing; Mao, Cun-Nan; Xia, Wenqing; Ren, Jun; Yin, Xindao

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have demonstrated the disruptions of multiple brain networks in tinnitus patients. Nonetheless, several studies found no differences in network processing between tinnitus patients and healthy controls (HCs). Its neural bases are poorly understood. To identify aberrant brain network architecture involved in chronic tinnitus, we compared the resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) patterns of tinnitus patients and HCs. Materials and Methods: Chronic tinnitus patients (n = 24) with normal hearing thresholds and age-, sex-, education- and hearing threshold-matched HCs (n = 22) participated in the current study and underwent the rs-fMRI scanning. We used degree centrality (DC) to investigate functional connectivity (FC) strength of the whole-brain network and Granger causality to analyze effective connectivity in order to explore directional aspects involved in tinnitus. Results: Compared to HCs, we found significantly increased network centrality in bilateral superior frontal gyrus (SFG). Unidirectionally, the left SFG revealed increased effective connectivity to the left middle orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), left posterior lobe of cerebellum (PLC), left postcentral gyrus, and right middle occipital gyrus (MOG) while the right SFG exhibited enhanced effective connectivity to the right supplementary motor area (SMA). In addition, the effective connectivity from the bilateral SFG to the OFC and SMA showed positive correlations with tinnitus distress. Conclusions: Rs-fMRI provides a new and novel method for identifying aberrant brain network architecture. Chronic tinnitus patients have disrupted FC strength and causal connectivity mostly in non-auditory regions, especially the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The current findings will provide a new perspective for understanding the neuropathophysiological mechanisms in chronic tinnitus. PMID:27458377

  7. Mitochondrial Energy Metabolism and Redox Signaling in Brain Aging and Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Fei; Boveris, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Significance: The mitochondrial energy-transducing capacity is essential for the maintenance of neuronal function, and the impairment of energy metabolism and redox homeostasis is a hallmark of brain aging, which is particularly accentuated in the early stages of neurodegenerative diseases. Recent Advances: The communications between mitochondria and the rest of the cell by energy- and redox-sensitive signaling establish a master regulatory device that controls cellular energy levels and the redox environment. Impairment of this regulatory devise is critical for aging and the early stages of neurodegenerative diseases. Critical Issues: This review focuses on a coordinated metabolic network—cytosolic signaling, transcriptional regulation, and mitochondrial function—that controls the cellular energy levels and redox status as well as factors which impair this metabolic network during brain aging and neurodegeneration. Future Directions: Characterization of mitochondrial function and mitochondria-cytosol communications will provide pivotal opportunities for identifying targets and developing new strategies aimed at restoring the mitochondrial energy-redox axis that is compromised in brain aging and neurodegeneration. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 20, 353–371. PMID:22793257

  8. BrainKnowledge: a human brain function mapping knowledge-base system.

    PubMed

    Hsiao, Mei-Yu; Chen, Chien-Chung; Chen, Jyh-Horng

    2011-03-01

    Associating fMRI image datasets with the available literature is crucial for the analysis and interpretation of fMRI data. Here, we present a human brain function mapping knowledge-base system (BrainKnowledge) that associates fMRI data analysis and literature search functions. BrainKnowledge not only contains indexed literature, but also provides the ability to compare experimental data with those derived from the literature. BrainKnowledge provides three major functions: (1) to search for brain activation models by selecting a particular brain function; (2) to query functions by brain structure; (3) to compare the fMRI data with data extracted from the literature. All these functions are based on our literature extraction and mining module developed earlier (Hsiao, Chen, Chen. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 42, 912-922, 2009), which automatically downloads and extracts information from a vast amount of fMRI literature and generates co-occurrence models and brain association patterns to illustrate the relevance of brain structures and functions. BrainKnowledge currently provides three co-occurrence models: (1) a structure-to-function co-occurrence model; (2) a function-to-structure co-occurrence model; and (3) a brain structure co-occurrence model. Each model has been generated from over 15,000 extracted Medline abstracts. In this study, we illustrate the capabilities of BrainKnowledge and provide an application example with the studies of affect. BrainKnowledge, which combines fMRI experimental results with Medline abstracts, may be of great assistance to scientists not only by freeing up resources and valuable time, but also by providing a powerful tool that collects and organizes over ten thousand abstracts into readily usable and relevant sources of information for researchers. PMID:20857233

  9. Mapping brain function in freely moving subjects

    PubMed Central

    Holschneider, Daniel P.; Maarek, Jean-Michel I.

    2014-01-01

    Expression of many fundamental mammalian behaviors such as, for example, aggression, mating, foraging or social behaviors, depend on locomotor activity. A central dilemma in the functional neuroimaging of these behaviors has been the fact that conventional neuroimaging techniques generally rely on immobilization of the subject, which extinguishes all but the simplest activity. Ideally, imaging could occur in freely moving subjects, while presenting minimal interference with the subject’s natural behavior. Here we provide an overview of several approaches that have been undertaken in the past to achieve this aim in both tethered and freely moving animals, as well as in nonrestrained human subjects. Applications of specific radiotracers to single photon emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography are discussed in which brain activation is imaged after completion of the behavioral task and capture of the tracer. Potential applications to clinical neuropsychiatry are discussed, as well as challenges inherent to constraint-free functional neuroimaging. Future applications of these methods promise to increase our understanding of the neural circuits underlying mammalian behavior in health and disease. PMID:15465134

  10. Age Related Changes in Autonomic Functions

    PubMed Central

    Amir, Mohammed; Pakhare, Abhijit; Rathi, Preeti; Chaudhary, Lalita

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) imbalance may trigger or enhance pathology in different organ systems that varies in different age groups hence objective of present study was to evaluate association of different Age-groups with autonomic functions. Materials and Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted in 62 healthy volunteers in Department of Physiology LLRM Medical College Meerut, India. Volunteers were divided into three groups as younger (15-45 years), middle (45-60) and elder age (above 60), Autonomic functions were tested in three domains viz. Cardio-vagal, adrenergic and sudomotor functions. Numerical data was summarized as mean and standard deviation and categorical data as count and percentage. ANOVA and Chi-square test were used to find difference among groups, p<0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results Mean ± standard deviation OHT(Orthostatic Hypotension Test) among of younger, middle and elder age groups were 8.80±2.28, 13.40±4.64 and 21.82±6.04 respectively which represent decrease in sympathetic functions with age (p<0.001). Cardio-vagal or parasympathetic responses indicated by DBT (Deep Breathing Test) Valsalva and 30:15 ratio of HR response to standing tests has shown statistically significant (p<0.001) decrease in mean response with increasing age. Sudomotor response appeared normal in younger and middle group but was interrupted in more than half of elderly people (p<0.001). Conclusion Sympathetic responses & para-sympathetic responses have shown the significant decline with increasing age group. Sudomotor responses were partially interrupted in elderly age group. PMID:27134865

  11. Age-related shifts in brain activity dynamics during task switching.

    PubMed

    Jimura, Koji; Braver, Todd S

    2010-06-01

    Cognitive aging studies have suggested that older adults show declines in both sustained and transient cognitive control processes. However, previous neuroimaging studies have primarily focused on age-related change in the magnitude, but not temporal dynamics, of brain activity. The present study compared brain activity dynamics in healthy old and young adults during task switching. A mixed blocked/event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging design enabled separation of transient and sustained neural activity associated with cognitive control. Relative to young adults, older adults exhibited not only decreased sustained activity in the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) during task-switching blocks but also increased transient activity on task-switch trials. Another pattern of age-related shift in dynamics was present in the lateral PFC (lPFC) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC), with younger adults showing a cue-related response during task-switch trials in lPFC and PPC, whereas older adults exhibited switch-related activation during the cue period in PPC only. In all 3 regions, these qualitatively distinct patterns of brain activity predicted qualitatively distinct patterns of behavioral performance across the 2 age groups. Together, these results suggest that older adults may shift from a proactive to reactive cognitive control strategy as a means of retaining relatively preserved behavioral performance in the face of age-related neurocognitive changes. PMID:19805420

  12. Age-Related Shifts in Brain Activity Dynamics during Task Switching

    PubMed Central

    Braver, Todd S.

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive aging studies have suggested that older adults show declines in both sustained and transient cognitive control processes. However, previous neuroimaging studies have primarily focused on age-related change in the magnitude, but not temporal dynamics, of brain activity. The present study compared brain activity dynamics in healthy old and young adults during task switching. A mixed blocked/event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging design enabled separation of transient and sustained neural activity associated with cognitive control. Relative to young adults, older adults exhibited not only decreased sustained activity in the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) during task-switching blocks but also increased transient activity on task-switch trials. Another pattern of age-related shift in dynamics was present in the lateral PFC (lPFC) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC), with younger adults showing a cue-related response during task-switch trials in lPFC and PPC, whereas older adults exhibited switch-related activation during the cue period in PPC only. In all 3 regions, these qualitatively distinct patterns of brain activity predicted qualitatively distinct patterns of behavioral performance across the 2 age groups. Together, these results suggest that older adults may shift from a proactive to reactive cognitive control strategy as a means of retaining relatively preserved behavioral performance in the face of age-related neurocognitive changes. PMID:19805420

  13. Topographic Brain Mapping: A Window on Brain Function?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karniski, Walt M.

    1989-01-01

    The article reviews the method of topographic mapping of the brain's electrical activity. Multiple electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes and computerized analysis of the EEG signal are used to generate maps of frequency and voltage (evoked potential). This relatively new technique holds promise in the evaluation of children with behavioral and…

  14. Shaping the aging brain: role of auditory input patterns in the emergence of auditory cortical impairments

    PubMed Central

    Kamal, Brishna; Holman, Constance; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne

    2013-01-01

    Age-related impairments in the primary auditory cortex (A1) include poor tuning selectivity, neural desynchronization, and degraded responses to low-probability sounds. These changes have been largely attributed to reduced inhibition in the aged brain, and are thought to contribute to substantial hearing impairment in both humans and animals. Since many of these changes can be partially reversed with auditory training, it has been speculated that they might not be purely degenerative, but might rather represent negative plastic adjustments to noisy or distorted auditory signals reaching the brain. To test this hypothesis, we examined the impact of exposing young adult rats to 8 weeks of low-grade broadband noise on several aspects of A1 function and structure. We then characterized the same A1 elements in aging rats for comparison. We found that the impact of noise exposure on A1 tuning selectivity, temporal processing of auditory signal and responses to oddball tones was almost indistinguishable from the effect of natural aging. Moreover, noise exposure resulted in a reduction in the population of parvalbumin inhibitory interneurons and cortical myelin as previously documented in the aged group. Most of these changes reversed after returning the rats to a quiet environment. These results support the hypothesis that age-related changes in A1 have a strong activity-dependent component and indicate that the presence or absence of clear auditory input patterns might be a key factor in sustaining adult A1 function. PMID:24062649

  15. The Role of Mitochondria in Brain Aging and the Effects of Melatonin

    PubMed Central

    Escames, Germaine; López, Ana; García, José Antonio; García, Laura; Acuña-Castroviejo, Darío; García, José Joaquín; López, Luis Carlos

    2010-01-01

    Melatonin is an endogenous indoleamine present in different tissues, cellular compartments and organelles including mitochondria. When melatonin is administered orally, it is readily available to the brain where it counteracts different processes that occur during aging and age-related neurodegenerative disorders. These aging processes include oxidative stress and oxidative damage, chronic and acute inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction and loss of neural regeneration. This review summarizes age related changes in the brain and the importance of oxidative/nitrosative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in brain aging. The data and mechanisms of action of melatonin in relation to aging of the brain are reviewed as well. PMID:21358969

  16. Altered resting-state whole-brain functional networks of neonates with intrauterine growth restriction.

    PubMed

    Batalle, Dafnis; Muñoz-Moreno, Emma; Tornador, Cristian; Bargallo, Nuria; Deco, Gustavo; Eixarch, Elisenda; Gratacos, Eduard

    2016-04-01

    The feasibility to use functional MRI (fMRI) during natural sleep to assess low-frequency basal brain activity fluctuations in human neonates has been demonstrated, although its potential to characterise pathologies of prenatal origin has not yet been exploited. In the present study, we used intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) as a model of altered neurodevelopment due to prenatal condition to show the suitability of brain networks to characterise functional brain organisation at neonatal age. Particularly, we analysed resting-state fMRI signal of 20 neonates with IUGR and 13 controls, obtaining whole-brain functional networks based on correlations of blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in 90 grey matter regions of an anatomical atlas (AAL). Characterisation of the networks obtained with graph theoretical features showed increased network infrastructure and raw efficiencies but reduced efficiency after normalisation, demonstrating hyper-connected but sub-optimally organised IUGR functional brain networks. Significant association of network features with neurobehavioral scores was also found. Further assessment of spatiotemporal dynamics displayed alterations into features associated to frontal, cingulate and lingual cortices. These findings show the capacity of functional brain networks to characterise brain reorganisation from an early age, and their potential to develop biomarkers of altered neurodevelopment. PMID:26927726

  17. Effects of age, dietary, and behavioral enrichment on brain mitochondria in a canine model of human aging.

    PubMed

    Head, E; Nukala, V N; Fenoglio, K A; Muggenburg, B A; Cotman, C W; Sullivan, P G

    2009-11-01

    Dogs develop cognitive decline and a progressive accumulation of oxidative damage. In a previous longitudinal study, we demonstrated that aged dogs treated with either an antioxidant diet or with behavioral enrichment show cognitive improvement. The antioxidant diet included cellular antioxidants (vitamins E and C, fruits and vegetables) and mitochondrial cofactors (lipoic acid and carnitine). Behavioral enrichment consisted of physical exercise, social enrichment, and cognitive training. We hypothesized that the antioxidant treatment improved neuronal function through increased mitochondrial function. Thus, we measured reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and bioenergetics in mitochondria isolated from young, aged, and treated aged animals. Aged canine brain mitochondria show significant increases in ROS production and a reduction in NADH-linked respiration. Mitochondrial function (ROS and NADH-linked respiration) was improved selectively in aged dogs treated with an antioxidant diet. In contrast, behavioral enrichment had no effect on any mitochondrial parameters. These results suggest that an antioxidant diet improves cognition by maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis, which may be an independent molecular pathway not engaged by behavioral enrichment. PMID:19703441

  18. The modular and integrative functional architecture of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Bertolero, Maxwell A; Yeo, B T Thomas; D'Esposito, Mark

    2015-12-01

    Network-based analyses of brain imaging data consistently reveal distinct modules and connector nodes with diverse global connectivity across the modules. How discrete the functions of modules are, how dependent the computational load of each module is to the other modules' processing, and what the precise role of connector nodes is for between-module communication remains underspecified. Here, we use a network model of the brain derived from resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data and investigate the modular functional architecture of the human brain by analyzing activity at different types of nodes in the network across 9,208 experiments of 77 cognitive tasks in the BrainMap database. Using an author-topic model of cognitive functions, we find a strong spatial correspondence between the cognitive functions and the network's modules, suggesting that each module performs a discrete cognitive function. Crucially, activity at local nodes within the modules does not increase in tasks that require more cognitive functions, demonstrating the autonomy of modules' functions. However, connector nodes do exhibit increased activity when more cognitive functions are engaged in a task. Moreover, connector nodes are located where brain activity is associated with many different cognitive functions. Connector nodes potentially play a role in between-module communication that maintains the modular function of the brain. Together, these findings provide a network account of the brain's modular yet integrated implementation of cognitive functions. PMID:26598686

  19. Brain network characterization of high-risk preterm-born school-age children

    PubMed Central

    Fischi-Gomez, Elda; Muñoz-Moreno, Emma; Vasung, Lana; Griffa, Alessandra; Borradori-Tolsa, Cristina; Monnier, Maryline; Lazeyras, François; Thiran, Jean-Philippe; Hüppi, Petra S.

    2016-01-01

    Higher risk for long-term cognitive and behavioral impairments is one of the hallmarks of extreme prematurity (EP) and pregnancy-associated fetal adverse conditions such as intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). While neurodevelopmental delay and abnormal brain function occur in the absence of overt brain lesions, these conditions have been recently associated with changes in microstructural brain development. Recent imaging studies indicate changes in brain connectivity, in particular involving the white matter fibers belonging to the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic loop. Furthermore, EP and IUGR have been related to altered brain network architecture in childhood, with reduced network global capacity, global efficiency and average nodal strength. In this study, we used a connectome analysis to characterize the structural brain networks of these children, with a special focus on their topological organization. On one hand, we confirm the reduced averaged network node degree and strength due to EP and IUGR. On the other, the decomposition of the brain networks in an optimal set of clusters remained substantially different among groups, talking in favor of a different network community structure. However, and despite the different community structure, the brain networks of these high-risk school-age children maintained the typical small-world, rich-club and modularity characteristics in all cases. Thus, our results suggest that brain reorganizes after EP and IUGR, prioritizing a tight modular structure, to maintain the small-world, rich-club and modularity characteristics. By themselves, both extreme prematurity and IUGR bear a similar risk for neurocognitive and behavioral impairment, and the here defined modular network alterations confirm similar structural changes both by IUGR and EP at school age compared to control. Interestingly, the combination of both conditions (IUGR + EP) does not result in a worse outcome. In such cases, the alteration in network

  20. Mitochondrial Complex 1 Activity Measured by Spectrophotometry Is Reduced across All Brain Regions in Ageing and More Specifically in Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Chakrabarti, Lisa

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial function, in particular complex 1 of the electron transport chain (ETC), has been shown to decrease during normal ageing and in neurodegenerative disease. However, there is some debate concerning which area of the brain has the greatest complex 1 activity. It is important to identify the pattern of activity in order to be able to gauge the effect of age or disease related changes. We determined complex 1 activity spectrophotometrically in the cortex, brainstem and cerebellum of middle aged mice (70–71 weeks), a cerebellar ataxic neurodegeneration model (pcd5J) and young wild type controls. We share our updated protocol on the measurements of complex1 activity and find that mitochondrial fractions isolated from frozen tissues can be measured for robust activity. We show that complex 1 activity is clearly highest in the cortex when compared with brainstem and cerebellum (p<0.003). Cerebellum and brainstem mitochondria exhibit similar levels of complex 1 activity in wild type brains. In the aged brain we see similar levels of complex 1 activity in all three-brain regions. The specific activity of complex 1 measured in the aged cortex is significantly decreased when compared with controls (p<0.0001). Both the cerebellum and brainstem mitochondria also show significantly reduced activity with ageing (p<0.05). The mouse model of ataxia predictably has a lower complex 1 activity in the cerebellum, and although reductions are measured in the cortex and brain stem, the remaining activity is higher than in the aged brains. We present clear evidence that complex 1 activity decreases across the brain with age and much more specifically in the cerebellum of the pcd5j mouse. Mitochondrial impairment can be a region specific phenomenon in disease, but in ageing appears to affect the entire brain, abolishing the pattern of higher activity in cortical regions. PMID:27333203

  1. Infrared Imaging System for Studying Brain Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mintz, Frederick; Mintz, Frederick; Gunapala, Sarath

    2007-01-01

    A proposed special-purpose infrared imaging system would be a compact, portable, less-expensive alternative to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) systems heretofore used to study brain function. Whereas a typical fMRI system fills a large room, and must be magnetically isolated, this system would fit into a bicycle helmet. The system would include an assembly that would be mounted inside the padding in a modified bicycle helmet or other suitable headgear. The assembly would include newly designed infrared photodetectors and data-acquisition circuits on integrated-circuit chips on low-thermal-conductivity supports in evacuated housings (see figure) arranged in multiple rows and columns that would define image coordinates. Each housing would be spring-loaded against the wearer s head. The chips would be cooled by a small Stirling Engine mounted contiguous to, but thermally isolated from, the portions of the assembly in thermal contact with the wearer s head. Flexible wires or cables for transmitting data from the aforementioned chips would be routed to an integrated, multichannel transmitter and thence through the top of the assembly to a patch antenna on the outside of the helmet. The multiple streams of data from the infrared-detector chips would be sent to a remote site, where they would be processed, by software, into a three-dimensional display of evoked potentials that would represent firing neuronal bundles and thereby indicate locations of neuronal activity associated with mental or physical activity. The 3D images will be analogous to current fMRI images. The data would also be made available, in real-time, for comparison with data in local or internationally accessible relational databases that already exist in universities and research centers. Hence, this system could be used in research on, and for the diagnosis of response from the wearer s brain to physiological, psychological, and environmental changes in real time. The images would also be

  2. Brain serotonin and pituitary-adrenal functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vernikos-Danellis, J.; Berger, P.; Barchas, J. D.

    1973-01-01

    It had been concluded by Scapagnini et al. (1971) that brain serotonin (5-HT) was involved in the regulation of the diurnal rhythm of the pituitary-adrenal system but not in the stress response. A study was conducted to investigate these findings further by evaluating the effects of altering brain 5-HT levels on the daily fluctuation of plasma corticosterone and on the response of the pituitary-adrenal system to a stressful or noxious stimulus in the rat. In a number of experiments brain 5-HT synthesis was inhibited with parachlorophenylalanine. In other tests it was tried to raise the level of brain 5-HT with precursors.

  3. Exercise-Related Changes of Networks in Aging and Mild Cognitive Impairment Brain

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Pei; Fang, Rong; Li, Bin-Yin; Chen, Sheng-Di

    2016-01-01

    Aging and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are accompanied by decline of cognitive functions. Meanwhile, the most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which is characterized by loss of memory and other intellectual abilities serious to make difficulties for patients in their daily life. MCI is a transition period between normal aging and dementia, which has been used for early detection of emerging dementia. It converts to dementia with an annual rate of 5–15% as compared to normal aging with 1% rate. Small decreases in the conversion rate of MCI to AD might significantly reduce the prevalence of dementia. Thus, it is important to intervene at the preclinical stage. Since there are still no effective drugs to treat AD, non-drug intervention is crucial for the prevention and treatment of cognitive decline in aging and MCI populations. Previous studies have found some cognitive brain networks disrupted in aging and MCI population, and physical exercise (PE) could effectively remediate the function of these brain networks. Understanding the exercise-related mechanisms is crucial to design efficient and effective PE programs for treatment/intervention of cognitive decline. In this review, we provide an overview of the neuroimaging studies on physical training in normal aging and MCI to identify the potential mechanisms underlying current physical training procedures. Studies of functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography and positron emission tomography on brain networks were all included. Based on our review, the default mode network, fronto-parietal network and fronto-executive network are probably the three most valuable targets for efficiency evaluation of interventions. PMID:27014055

  4. Gender- and region-dependent changes of redox biomarkers in the brain of successfully aging LOU/C rats.

    PubMed

    Moyse, Emmanuel; Arseneault, Madeleine; Gaudreau, Pierrette; Ferland, Guylaine; Ramassamy, Charles

    2015-07-01

    The LOU/C (LOU) rat is an obesity resistant strain with higher longevity and healthspan than common rats. The management of oxidative stress being important to successful aging, we characterized this process in the aging LOU rat. Male/female LOU rats were euthanized at 4, 20, and 29 months. Macrodissected hippocampus, striatum, parietal cortex, cerebellum were assayed for tissue concentrations of glutathione (GSH), gamma-glutamyl-cysteine-synthetase (γ-GCS), total thiols, protein carbonyls, mRNAs of clusterin and the known protective enzymes thioredoxine-1 (TRX-1), glutaredoxine-1 (GLRX-1), superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD-1). Brain levels of GSH, γ-GCS, total thiols remained constant with age, except for GSH and γ-GCS which decreases in females. Clusterin, TRX-1, GLRX-1, SOD-1 mRNA levels were maintained or increased in the hippocampus with age. Age-dependency of the markers differed between sexes, with SOD-1 and TRX-1 decreases out of hippocampus in females. Since antioxidants were reported to decrease with age in the brain of Wistar rats, maintenance of GSH levels and of protective enzymes mRNA levels in the LOU rat brain could contribute to the preservation of cognitive functions in old age. Altogether, the successful aging of LOU rats may, at least in part, involve the conservation of functional antioxidant mechanisms in the brain, supporting the oxidative stress theory of aging. PMID:25956602

  5. Childhood cognitive ability accounts for associations between cognitive ability and brain cortical thickness in old age.

    PubMed

    Karama, S; Bastin, M E; Murray, C; Royle, N A; Penke, L; Muñoz Maniega, S; Gow, A J; Corley, J; Valdés Hernández, M del C; Lewis, J D; Rousseau, M-É; Lepage, C; Fonov, V; Collins, D L; Booth, T; Rioux, P; Sherif, T; Adalat, R; Starr, J M; Evans, A C; Wardlaw, J M; Deary, I J

    2014-05-01

    Associations between brain cortical tissue volume and cognitive function in old age are frequently interpreted as suggesting that preservation of cortical tissue is the foundation of successful cognitive aging. However, this association could also, in part, reflect a lifelong association between cognitive ability and cortical tissue. We analyzed data on 588 subjects from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 who had intelligence quotient (IQ) scores from the same cognitive test available at both 11 and 70 years of age as well as high-resolution brain magnetic resonance imaging data obtained at approximately 73 years of age. Cortical thickness was estimated at 81 924 sampling points across the cortex for each subject using an automated pipeline. Multiple regression was used to assess associations between cortical thickness and the IQ measures at 11 and 70 years. Childhood IQ accounted for more than two-third of the association between IQ at 70 years and cortical thickness measured at age 73 years. This warns against ascribing a causal interpretation to the association between cognitive ability and cortical tissue in old age based on assumptions about, and exclusive reference to, the aging process and any associated disease. Without early-life measures of cognitive ability, it would have been tempting to conclude that preservation of cortical thickness in old age is a foundation for successful cognitive aging when, instead, it is a lifelong association. This being said, results should not be construed as meaning that all studies on aging require direct measures of childhood IQ, but as suggesting that proxy measures of prior cognitive function can be useful to take into consideration. PMID:23732878

  6. Human brain networks in physiological aging: a graph theoretical analysis of cortical connectivity from EEG data.

    PubMed

    Vecchio, Fabrizio; Miraglia, Francesca; Bramanti, Placido; Rossini, Paolo Maria

    2014-01-01

    Modern analysis of electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythms provides information on dynamic brain connectivity. To test the hypothesis that aging processes modulate the brain connectivity network, EEG recording was conducted on 113 healthy volunteers. They were divided into three groups in accordance with their ages: 36 Young (15-45 years), 46 Adult (50-70 years), and 31 Elderly (>70 years). To evaluate the stability of the investigated parameters, a subgroup of 10 subjects underwent a second EEG recording two weeks later. Graph theory functions were applied to the undirected and weighted networks obtained by the lagged linear coherence evaluated by eLORETA on cortical sources. EEG frequency bands of interest were: delta (2-4 Hz), theta (4-8 Hz), alpha1 (8-10.5 Hz), alpha2 (10.5-13 Hz), beta1 (13-20 Hz), beta2 (20-30 Hz), and gamma (30-40 Hz). The spectral connectivity analysis of cortical sources showed that the normalized Characteristic Path Length (λ) presented the pattern Young > Adult>Elderly in the higher alpha band. Elderly also showed a greater increase in delta and theta bands than Young. The correlation between age and λ showed that higher ages corresponded to higher λ in delta and theta and lower in the alpha2 band; this pattern reflects the age-related modulation of higher (alpha) and decreased (delta) connectivity. The Normalized Clustering coefficient (γ) and small-world network modeling (σ) showed non-significant age-modulation. Evidence from the present study suggests that graph theory can aid in the analysis of connectivity patterns estimated from EEG and can facilitate the study of the physiological and pathological brain aging features of functional connectivity networks. PMID:24820018

  7. Brain white matter damage in aging and cognitive ability in youth and older age.

    PubMed

    Valdés Hernández, Maria Del C; Booth, Tom; Murray, Catherine; Gow, Alan J; Penke, Lars; Morris, Zoe; Maniega, Susana Muñoz; Royle, Natalie A; Aribisala, Benjamin S; Bastin, Mark E; Starr, John M; Deary, Ian J; Wardlaw, Joanna M

    2013-12-01

    Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMH) reflect accumulating white matter damage with aging and impair cognition. The role of childhood intelligence is rarely considered in associations between cognitive impairment and WMH. We studied community-dwelling older people all born in 1936, in whom IQ had been assessed at age 11 years. We assessed medical histories, current cognitive ability and quantified WMH on MR imaging. Among 634 participants, mean age 72.7 (SD 0.7), age 11 IQ was the strongest predictor of late life cognitive ability. After accounting for age 11 IQ, greater WMH load was significantly associated with lower late life general cognitive ability (β = -0.14, p < 0.01) and processing speed (β = -0.19, p < 0.001). WMH were also associated independently with lower age 11 IQ (β = -0.08, p < 0.05) and hypertension. In conclusion, having more WMH is significantly associated with lower cognitive ability, after accounting for prior ability, age 11IQ. Early-life IQ also influenced WMH in later life. Determining how lower IQ in youth leads to increasing brain damage with aging is important for future successful cognitive aging. PMID:23850341

  8. Brain Activation during Semantic Processing in Autism Spectrum Disorders via Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Gordon J.; Chabris, Christopher F.; Clark, Jill; Urban, Trinity; Aharon, Itzhak; Steele, Shelley; McGrath, Lauren; Condouris, Karen; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2006-01-01

    Language and communication deficits are core features of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), even in high-functioning adults with ASD. This study investigated brain activation patterns using functional magnetic resonance imaging in right-handed adult males with ASD and a control group, matched on age, handedness, and verbal IQ. Semantic processing in…

  9. Monozygotic Twins with Asperger Syndrome: Differences in Behaviour Reflect Variations in Brain Structure and Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belmonte, Matthew K.; Carper, Ruth A.

    2006-01-01

    A pair of monozygotic twins discordant for symptoms of Asperger syndrome was evaluated at the age of 13.45 years using psychometric, morphometric, behavioural, and functional imaging methods. The lower-functioning twin had a smaller brain overall, a smaller right cerebellum, and a disproportionately large left frontal lobe, and manifested almost…

  10. Decreased Functional Brain Activation in Friedreich Ataxia Using the Simon Effect Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Akhlaghi, H.; Corben, L. A.; Delatycki, M. B.; Storey, E.; Bradshaw, J. L.; Egan, G. F.

    2012-01-01

    The present study applied the Simon effect task to examine the pattern of functional brain reorganization in individuals with Friedreich ataxia (FRDA), using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Thirteen individuals with FRDA and 14 age and sex matched controls participated, and were required to respond to either congruent or incongruent…

  11. Inputs to prefrontal cortex support visual recognition in the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Jessica R; Moran, Rosalyn J

    2016-01-01

    Predictive coding models of brain function propose that top-down cortical signals promote efficient neural codes by carrying predictions of upcoming sensory events. We hypothesized that older brains would employ these codes more prominently given their longer repertoire of sensory experience. We measured the connectivity underlying stimulus-evoked responses in cortical visual networks using electroencephalography and dynamic causal modeling and found that in young adults with reported normal or corrected-to-normal vision, signals propagated from early visual regions and reverberated along reciprocal connections to temporal, parietal and frontal cortices, while in contrast, the network was driven by both early visual and prefrontal inputs in older adults with reported normal or corrected-to-normal vision. Previously thought of as exceptions to the rule of bottom-up signal propagation, our results demonstrate a prominent role for prefrontal inputs in driving vision in aged brains in line with lifespan-dependent predictive neural codes. PMID:27550752

  12. Inputs to prefrontal cortex support visual recognition in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Jessica R.; Moran, Rosalyn J.

    2016-01-01

    Predictive coding models of brain function propose that top-down cortical signals promote efficient neural codes by carrying predictions of upcoming sensory events. We hypothesized that older brains would employ these codes more prominently given their longer repertoire of sensory experience. We measured the connectivity underlying stimulus-evoked responses in cortical visual networks using electroencephalography and dynamic causal modeling and found that in young adults with reported normal or corrected-to-normal vision, signals propagated from early visual regions and reverberated along reciprocal connections to temporal, parietal and frontal cortices, while in contrast, the network was driven by both early visual and prefrontal inputs in older adults with reported normal or corrected-to-normal vision. Previously thought of as exceptions to the rule of bottom-up signal propagation, our results demonstrate a prominent role for prefrontal inputs in driving vision in aged brains in line with lifespan-dependent predictive neural codes. PMID:27550752

  13. Acute brain slice methods for adult and aging animals: application of targeted patch clampanalysis and optogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Daigle, Tanya L.; Chen, Qian; Feng, Guoping

    2014-01-01

    Summary The development of the living acute brain slice preparation for analyzing synaptic function roughly a half century ago was a pivotal achievement that greatly influenced the landscape of modern neuroscience. Indeed, many neuroscientists regard brain slices as the gold-standard model system for detailed cellular, molecular, and circuitry level analysis and perturbation of neuronal function. A critical limitation of this model system is the difficulty in preparing slices from adult and aging animals, and over the past several decades few substantial methodological improvements have emerged to facilitate patch clamp analysis in the mature adult stage. In this chapter we describe a robust and practical protocol for preparing brain slices from mature adult mice that are suitable for patch clamp analysis. This method reduces swelling and damage in superficial layers of the slices and improves the success rate for targeted patch clamp recordings, including recordings from fluorescently labeled populations in slices derived from transgenic mice. This adult brain slice method is suitable for diverse experimental applications, including both monitoring and manipulating neuronal activity with genetically encoded calcium indicators and optogenetic actuators, respectively. We describe the application of this adult brain slice platform and associated methods for screening kinetic properties of Channelrhodopsin (ChR) variants expressed in genetically-defined neuronal subtypes. PMID:25023312

  14. Dietary and behavioral interventions protect against age related activation of caspase cascades in the canine brain.

    PubMed

    Snigdha, Shikha; Berchtold, Nicole; Astarita, Giuseppe; Saing, Tommy; Piomelli, Daniele; Cotman, Carl W

    2011-01-01

    Lifestyle interventions such as diet, exercise, and cognitive training represent a quietly emerging revolution in the modern approach to counteracting age-related declines in brain health. Previous studies in our laboratory have shown that long-term dietary supplementation with antioxidants and mitochondrial cofactors (AOX) or behavioral enrichment with social, cognitive, and exercise components (ENR), can effectively improve cognitive performance and reduce brain pathology of aged canines, including oxidative damage and Aβ accumulation. In this study, we build on and extend our previous findings by investigating if the interventions reduce caspase activation and ceramide accumulation in the aged frontal cortex, since caspase activation and ceramide accumulation are common convergence points for oxidative damage and Aβ, among other factors associated with the aged and AD brain. Aged beagles were placed into one of four treatment groups: CON--control environment/control diet, AOX--control environment/antioxidant diet, ENR--enriched environment/control diet, AOX/ENR--enriched environment/antioxidant diet for 2.8 years. Following behavioral testing, brains were removed and frontal cortices were analyzed to monitor levels of active caspase 3, active caspase 9 and their respective cleavage products such as tau and semaphorin7a, and ceramides. Our results show that levels of activated caspase-3 were reduced by ENR and AOX interventions with the largest reduction occurring with combined AOX/ENR group. Further, reductions in caspase-3 correlated with reduced errors in a reversal learning task, which depends on frontal cortex function. In addition, animals treated with an AOX arm showed reduced numbers of cells expressing active caspase 9 or its cleavage product semaphorin 7A, while ENR (but not AOX) reduced ceramide levels. Overall, these data demonstrate that lifestyle interventions curtail activation of pro-degenerative pathways to improve cellular health and are the

  15. Testosterone and Vascular Function in Aging

    PubMed Central

    Lopes, Rhéure A. M.; Neves, Karla B.; Carneiro, Fernando S.; Tostes, Rita C.

    2012-01-01

    Androgen receptors are widely distributed in several tissues, including vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Through classic cytosolic androgen receptors or membrane receptors, testosterone induces genomic and non-genomic effects, respectively. Testosterone interferes with the vascular function by increasing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and arterial thickness. Experimental evidence indicates that sex steroid hormones, such as testosterone modulate the synthesis and bioavailability of NO and, consequently, endothelial function, which is key for a healthy vasculature. Of interest, aging itself is accompanied by endothelial and vascular smooth muscle dysfunction. Aging-associated decline of testosterone levels is accompanied by age-related diseases, such as metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, indicating that very low levels of androgens may contribute to cardiovascular dysfunction observed in these age-related disorders or, in other words, that testosterone may have beneficial effects in the cardiovascular system. However, testosterone seems to play a negative role in the severity of renal disease. In this mini-review, we briefly comment on the interplay between aging and testosterone levels, the vascular actions of testosterone and its implications for vascular aging. Renal effects of testosterone and the use of testosterone to prevent vascular dysfunction in elderly are also addressed. PMID:22514541

  16. Brain Research: The Necessity for Separating Sites, Actions and Functions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meeker, Mary

    Educators, as applied scientists, must work in partnership with investigative scientists who are researching brain functions in order to reach a better understanding of gifted students and students who are intelligent but do not learn. Improper understanding of brain functions can cause gross errors in educational placement. Until recently, the…

  17. Brief Report: Brain Mechanisms in Autism: Functional and Structural Abnormalities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minshew, Nancy J.

    1996-01-01

    This paper summarizes results of research on functional and structural abnormalities of the brain in autism. The current concept of causation is seen to involve multiple biologic levels. A consistent profile of brain function and dysfunction across methods has been found and specific neuropathologic findings have been found; but some research…

  18. Roles of unsaturated fatty acids (especially omega-3 fatty acids) in the brain at various ages and during ageing.

    PubMed

    Bourre, J M

    2004-01-01

    Among various organs, in the brain, the fatty acids most extensively studied are omega-3 fatty acids. Alpha-linolenic acid (18:3omega3) deficiency alters the structure and function of membranes and induces minor cerebral dysfunctions, as demonstrated in animal models and subsequently in human infants. Even though the brain is materially an organ like any other, that is to say elaborated from substances present in the diet (sometimes exclusively), for long it was not accepted that food can have an influence on brain structure, and thus on its function. Lipids, and especially omega-3 fatty acids, provided the first coherent experimental demonstration of the effect of diet (nutrients) on the structure and function of the brain. In fact the brain, after adipose tissue, is the organ richest in lipids, whose only role is to participate in membrane structure. First it was shown that the differentiation and functioning of cultured brain cells requires not only alpha-linolenic acid (the major component of the omega-3, omega3 family), but also the very long omega-3 and omega-6 carbon chains (1). It was then demonstrated that alpha-linolenic acid deficiency alters the course of brain development, perturbs the composition and physicochemical properties of brain cell membranes, neurones, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes (2). This leads to physicochemical modifications, induces biochemical and physiological perturbations, and results in neurosensory and behavioural upset (3). Consequently, the nature of polyunsaturated fatty acids (in particular omega-3) present in formula milks for infants (premature and term) conditions the visual and cerebral abilities, including intellectual. Moreover, dietary omega-3 fatty acids are certainly involved in the prevention of some aspects of cardiovascular disease (including at the level of cerebral vascularization), and in some neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly depression, as well as in dementia, notably Alzheimer's disease. Recent

  19. Age- and brain-region-specific effects of dietary vitamin K on myelin sulfatides

    PubMed Central

    Crivello, Natalia A.; Casseus, Sherley L.; Peterson, James W.; Smith, Donald E.; Booth, Sarah L.

    2009-01-01

    Dysregulation of myelin sulfatides is a risk factor for cognitive decline with age. Vitamin K is present in high concentrations in the brain and has been implicated in the regulation of sulfatide metabolism. Our objective was to investigate the age-related interrelation between dietary vitamin K and sulfatides in myelin fractions isolated from the brain regions of Fischer 344 male rats fed one of two dietary forms of vitamin K: phylloquinone or its hydrogenated form, dihydrophylloquinone for 28 days. Both dietary forms of vitamin K were converted to menaquinone-4 in the brain. The efficiency of dietary dihydrophylloquinone conversion to menaquinone-4 compared to dietary phylloquinone was lower in the striatum and cortex, and was similar to those in the hippocampus. There were significant positive correlations between sulfatides and menaquinone-4 in the hippocampus (phylloquinone-supplemented diet -12mo and 24mo; dihydrophylloquinone -supplemented diet - 12mo) and cortex (phylloquinone-supplemented diet -12mo and 24 mo). No significant correlations were observed in the striatum. Furthermore, sulfatides in the hippocampus were significantly positively correlated with MK-4 in serum. This is the first attempt to establish and characterize a novel animal model that exploits the inability of dietary dihydrophylloquinone to convert to brain menaquinone-4 to study the dietary effects of vitamin K on brain sulfatide in brain regions controlling motor and cognitive functions. Our findings suggest that this animal model may be useful for investigation of the effect of the dietary vitamin K on sulfatide metabolism, myelin structure, and behavior functions. PMID:20092997

  20. Sex hormones and brain dopamine functions.

    PubMed

    Sotomayor-Zarate, Ramon; Cruz, Gonzalo; Renard, Georgina M; Espinosa, Pedro; Ramirez, Victor D

    2014-01-01

    Sex hormones exert differential effects on a variety of sensitive tissues like the reproductive tract, gonads, liver, bone and adipose tissue, among others. In the brain, sex hormones act as neuroactive steroids regulating the function of neuroendocrine diencephalic structures like the hypothalamus. In addition, steroids can exert physiological effects upon cortical, limbic and midbrain structures, influencing different behaviors such as memory, learning, mood and reward. In the last three decades, the role of sex hormones on monoamine neurotransmitters in extra-hypothalamic areas related to motivated behaviors, learning and locomotion has been the focus of much research. The purpose of this thematic issue is to present the state of art concerning the effects of sex hormones on the neurochemical regulation of dopaminergic midbrain areas involved in neurobiological and pathological processes, such as addiction to drugs of abuse. We also discuss evidence of how neonatal exposure to sex hormones or endocrine disrupting chemicals can produce long-term changes on the neurochemical regulation of dopaminergic neurons in the limbic and midbrain areas. PMID:25540983

  1. Functional development in the infant brain for auditory pitch processing.

    PubMed

    Homae, Fumitaka; Watanabe, Hama; Nakano, Tamami; Taga, Gentaro

    2012-03-01

    Understanding how the developing brain processes auditory information is a critical step toward the clarification of infants' perception of speech and music. We have reported that the infant brain perceives pitch information in speech sounds. Here, we used multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy to examine whether the infant brain is sensitive to information of pitch changes in auditory sequences. Three types of auditory sequences with distinct temporal structures of pitch changes were presented to 3- and 6-month-old infants: a long condition of 12 successive tones constructing a chromatic scale (600 ms), a short condition of four successive tones constructing a chromatic scale (200 ms), and a random condition of random tone sequences (50 ms per tone). The difference among the conditions was only in the sequential order of the tones, which causes pitch changes between the successive tones. We found that the bilateral temporal regions of both ages of infants showed significant activation under the three conditions. The stimulus-dependent activation was observed in the right temporoparietal region of the both infant groups; the 3- and 6-month-old infants showed the most prominent activation under the random and short conditions, respectively. Our findings indicate that the infant brain, which shows functional differentiation and lateralization in auditory-related areas, is capable of responding to more than single tones of pitch information. These results suggest that the right temporoparietal region of the infants increases sensitivity to auditory sequences, which have temporal structures similar to those of syllables in speech sounds, in the course of development. PMID:21488136

  2. Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men

    MedlinePlus

    ... and Updates News from the RSNA Annual Meeting Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men ... Using functional MRI, researchers have found that playing violent video games for one week causes changes in ...

  3. A look inside the diabetic brain: Contributors to diabetes-induced brain aging

    PubMed Central

    Wrighten, Shayna A.; Piroli, Gerardo G.; Grillo, Claudia A.; Reagan, Lawrence P.

    2014-01-01

    Central nervous system (CNS) complications resulting from diabetes is a problem that is gaining more acceptance and attention. Recent evidence suggests morphological, electrophysiological and cognitive changes, often observed in the hippocampus, in diabetic individuals. Many of the CNS changes observed in diabetic patients and animal models of diabetes are reminiscent of the changes seen in normal aging. The central commonalities between diabetes-induced and age-related CNS changes have led to the theory of advanced brain aging in diabetic patients. This review summarizes the findings of the literature as they relate to the relationship between diabetes and dementia and discusses some of the potential contributors to diabetes-induced CNS impairments. PMID:19022375

  4. Brain metabolism and memory in age differentiated healthy adults

    SciTech Connect

    Riege, W.H.; Metter, E.J.; Kuhl, D.E.; Phelps, M.E.

    1984-01-01

    The (F-18)-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) scan method with positron emission tomography was used to determine age differences in factors underlying both the performances on 18 multivariate memory tests and the rates of cerebral glucose utilization in 9 left and 9 right hemispheric regions of 23 healthy adults in the age range of 27-78 years. Young persons below age 42 had higher scores than middle-aged (age 48-65 yrs) or old (age 66-78 yrs) persons on two of seven factors, reflecting memory for sequences of words or events together with metabolic indices of Broca's (and its mirror region) and Thalamic areas. Reliable correlations (critical r = 0.48, p<0.02) indicated that persons with high Superior Frontal and low Caudate-Thalamic metabolic measures were the same who performed well in tests of memory for sentences, story, designs, and complex patterns; while metabolic indices of Occipital and Posterior Temporal regions were correlated with the decision criteria adopted in testing. The mean metabolic ratio (b = -0.033, F = 5.47, p<0.03) and those of bilateral Broca's regions (b = -0.002, F = 13.65, p<0.001) significantly declined with age. The functional interrelation of frontal-subcortical metabolic ratios with memory processing was more prominent in younger persons under study and implicates decreasing thalamo-frontal interaction with age.

  5. Structural and functional connectivity in traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Hui; Yang, Yang; Xi, Ji-hui; Chen, Zi-qian

    2015-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury survivors often experience cognitive deficits and neuropsychiatric symptoms. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying specific impairments are not fully understood. Advances in neuroimaging techniques (such as diffusion tensor imaging and functional MRI) have given us new insights on structural and functional connectivity patterns of the human brain in both health and disease. The connectome derived from connectivity maps reflects the entire constellation of distributed brain networks. Using these powerful neuroimaging approaches, changes at the microstructural level can be detected through regional and global properties of neuronal networks. Here we will review recent developments in the study of brain network abnormalities in traumatic brain injury, mainly focusing on structural and functional connectivity. Some connectomic studies have provided interesting insights into the neurological dysfunction that occurs following traumatic brain injury. These techniques could eventually be helpful in developing imaging biomarkers of cognitive and neurobehavioral sequelae, as well as predicting outcome and prognosis. PMID:26889200

  6. Graph Analysis of Functional Brain Networks for Cognitive Control of Action in Traumatic Brain Injury

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caeyenberghs, Karen; Leemans, Alexander; Heitger, Marcus H.; Leunissen, Inge; Dhollander, Thijs; Sunaert, Stefan; Dupont, Patrick; Swinnen, Stephan P.

    2012-01-01

    Patients with traumatic brain injury show clear impairments in behavioural flexibility and inhibition that often persist beyond the time of injury, affecting independent living and psychosocial functioning. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown that patients with traumatic brain injury typically show increased and more broadly…

  7. The connection between rhythmicity and brain function.

    PubMed

    Thaut, M H; Kenyon, G P; Schauer, M L; McIntosh, G C

    1999-01-01

    endeavor with important ramifications for the study of brain function, sensory perception, and motor behavior. One of the most exciting findings in this research, however, may be the evidence that the interaction between auditory rhythm and physical response can be effectively harnessed for specific therapeutic purposes in the rehabilitation of persons with movement disorders. PMID:10101675

  8. Hippocampal glucocorticoid receptor activation enhances voltage-dependent Ca2+ conductances: relevance to brain aging.

    PubMed Central

    Kerr, D S; Campbell, L W; Thibault, O; Landfield, P W

    1992-01-01

    Glucocorticoids (GCs) activate several biochemical/molecular processes in the hippocampus through two receptor types. In addition, GCs influence cognitive behaviors and hippocampal neural activity and can also increase the rate of aging-dependent cell loss in the hippocampus. However, the ionic mechanisms through which GCs modulate hippocampal neuronal function are not well understood. We report here direct evidence that activation of cytosolic steroid receptors, specifically of the type II GC receptor, can enhance voltage-dependent Ca2+ conductances in brain neurons. Ca2+ current was assessed by current-clamp measures of Ca2+ action potentials and by sharp electrode voltage-clamp analyses of voltage-sensitive currents in cesium-, tetrodotoxin-, and tetraethylammonium-treated CA1 neurons in hippocampal slices. Both Ca2+ action potentials and voltage-activated Ca2+ currents (N- and L-like) were increased by 2-hr exposure to the synthetic GC receptor agonist, RU 28362. This effect of RU 28362 was blocked by coincubation with cycloheximide, indicating that the GC receptor-Ca2+ channel interaction depends on de novo protein synthesis. Dysregulated calcium homeostasis is also viewed as a candidate mechanism in brain aging. Thus, present results are consistent with the hypothesis that excessive GC-receptor activation and resultant increased Ca2+ influx may be two sequential phases of a brain-aging process that results initially in impairment of function and eventually in neuronal loss. PMID:1528857

  9. Spatiotemporal Dependency of Age-Related Changes in Brain Signal Variability

    PubMed Central

    McIntosh, A. R.; Vakorin, V.; Kovacevic, N.; Wang, H.; Diaconescu, A.; Protzner, A. B.

    2014-01-01

    Recent theoretical and empirical work has focused on the variability of network dynamics in maturation. Such variability seems to reflect the spontaneous formation and dissolution of different functional networks. We sought to extend these observations into healthy aging. Two different data sets, one EEG (total n = 48, ages 18–72) and one magnetoencephalography (n = 31, ages 20–75) were analyzed for such spatiotemporal dependency using multiscale entropy (MSE) from regional brain sources. In both data sets, the changes in MSE were timescale dependent, with higher entropy at fine scales and lower at more coarse scales with greater age. The signals were parsed further into local entropy, related to information processed within a regional source, and distributed entropy (information shared between two sources, i.e., functional connectivity). Local entropy increased for most regions, whereas the dominant change in distributed entropy was age-related reductions across hemispheres. These data further the understanding of changes in brain signal variability across the lifespan, suggesting an inverted U-shaped curve, but with an important qualifier. Unlike earlier in maturation, where the changes are more widespread, changes in adulthood show strong spatiotemporal dependence. PMID:23395850

  10. Heritability of the network architecture of intrinsic brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Benjamin; Hansell, Narelle K; Blokland, Gabriëlla A M; Martin, Nicholas G; Thompson, Paul M; Breakspear, Michael; de Zubicaray, Greig I; Wright, Margaret J; McMahon, Katie L

    2015-11-01

    The brain's functional network exhibits many features facilitating functional specialization, integration, and robustness to attack. Using graph theory to characterize brain networks, studies demonstrate their small-world, modular, and "rich-club" properties, with deviations reported in many common neuropathological conditions. Here we estimate the heritability of five widely used graph theoretical metrics (mean clustering coefficient (γ), modularity (Q), rich-club coefficient (ϕnorm), global efficiency (λ), small-worldness (σ)) over a range of connection densities (k=5-25%) in a large cohort of twins (N=592, 84 MZ and 89 DZ twin pairs, 246 single twins, age 23 ± 2.5). We also considered the effects of global signal regression (GSR). We found that the graph metrics were moderately influenced by genetic factors h(2) (γ=47-59%, Q=38-59%, ϕnorm=0-29%, λ=52-64%, σ=51-59%) at lower connection densities (≤ 15%), and when global signal regression was implemented, heritability estimates decreased substantially h(2) (γ=0-26%, Q=0-28%, ϕnorm=0%, λ=23-30%, σ=0-27%). Distinct network features were phenotypically correlated (|r|=0.15-0.81), and γ, Q, and λ were found to be influenced by overlapping genetic factors. Our findings suggest that these metrics may be potential endophenotypes for psychiatric disease and suitable for genetic association studies, but that genetic effects must be interpreted with respect to methodological choices. PMID:26226088

  11. Therapeutics with SPION-labeled stem cells for the main diseases related to brain aging: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Alvarim, Larissa T; Nucci, Leopoldo P; Mamani, Javier B; Marti, Luciana C; Aguiar, Marina F; Silva, Helio R; Silva, Gisele S; Nucci-da-Silva, Mariana P; DelBel, Elaine A; Gamarra, Lionel F

    2014-01-01

    The increase in clinical trials assessing the efficacy of cell therapy for structural and functional regeneration of the nervous system in diseases related to the aging brain is well known. However, the results are inconclusive as to the best cell type to be used or the best methodology for the homing of these stem cells. This systematic review analyzed published data on SPION (superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle)-labeled stem cells as a therapy for brain diseases, such as ischemic stroke, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and dementia. This review highlights the therapeutic role of stem cells in reversing the aging process and the pathophysiology of brain aging, as well as emphasizing nanotechnology as an important tool to monitor stem cell migration in affected regions of the brain. PMID:25143726

  12. Sugar for the brain: the role of glucose in physiological and pathological brain function

    PubMed Central

    Mergenthaler, Philipp; Lindauer, Ute; Dienel, Gerald A.; Meisel, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    The mammalian brain depends upon glucose as its main source of energy, and tight regulation of glucose metabolism is critical for brain physiology. Consistent with its critical role for physiological brain function, disruption of normal glucose metabolism as well as its interdependence with cell death pathways forms the pathophysiological basis for many brain disorders. Here, we review recent advances in understanding how glucose metabolism sustains basic brain physiology. We aim at synthesizing these findings to form a comprehensive picture of the cooperation required between different systems and cell types, and the specific breakdowns in this cooperation which lead to disease. PMID:23968694

  13. Medial Temporal Lobe Contributions to Intra-Item Associative Recognition Memory in the Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Dalton, Marshall Axel; Tu, Sicong; Hornberger, Michael; Hodges, John Russel; Piguet, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Aging is associated with a decline in episodic memory function. This is accompanied by degradation of and functional changes in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) which subserves mnemonic processing. To date no study has investigated age-related functional change in MTL substructures during specific episodic memory processes such as intra-item associative memory. The aim of this study was to characterize age-related change in the neural correlates of intra-item associative memory processing. Sixteen young and 10 older subjects participated in a compound word intra-item associative memory task comprising a measure of associative recognition memory and a measure of recognition memory. There was no difference in performance between groups on the associative memory measure but each group recruited different MTL regions while performing the task. The young group recruited the left anterior hippocampus and posterior parahippocampal gyrus whereas the older participants recruited the hippocampus bilaterally. In contrast, recognition memory was significantly worse in the older subjects. The left anterior hippocampus was recruited in the young group during successful recognition memory whereas the older group recruited a more posterior region of the left hippocampus and showed a more bilateral activation of frontal brain regions than was observed in the young group. Our results suggest a reorganization of the neural correlates of intra-item associative memory in the aging brain. PMID:24427127

  14. BrainAGE in Mild Cognitive Impaired Patients: Predicting the Conversion to Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Klöppel, Stefan; Koutsouleris, Nikolaos; Sauer, Heinrich

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, shares many aspects of abnormal brain aging. We present a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based biomarker that predicts the individual progression of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to AD on the basis of pathological brain aging patterns. By employing kernel regression methods, the expression of normal brain-aging patterns forms the basis to estimate the brain age of a given new subject. If the estimated age is higher than the chronological age, a positive brain age gap estimation (BrainAGE) score indicates accelerated atrophy and is considered a risk factor for conversion to AD. Here, the BrainAGE framework was applied to predict the individual brain ages of 195 subjects with MCI at baseline, of which a total of 133 developed AD during 36 months of follow-up (corresponding to a pre-test probability of 68%). The ability of the BrainAGE framework to correctly identify MCI-converters was compared with the performance of commonly used cognitive scales, hippocampus volume, and state-of-the-art biomarkers derived from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). With accuracy rates of up to 81%, BrainAGE outperformed all cognitive scales and CSF biomarkers in predicting conversion of MCI to AD within 3 years of follow-up. Each additional year in the BrainAGE score was associated with a 10% greater risk of developing AD (hazard rate: 1.10 [CI: 1.07–1.13]). Furthermore, the post-test probability was increased to 90% when using baseline BrainAGE scores to predict conversion to AD. The presented framework allows an accurate prediction even with multicenter data. Its fast and fully automated nature facilitates the integration into the clinical workflow. It can be exploited as a tool for screening as well as for monitoring treatment options. PMID:23826273

  15. The modular and integrative functional architecture of the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Bertolero, Maxwell A.; Yeo, B. T. Thomas; D’Esposito, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Network-based analyses of brain imaging data consistently reveal distinct modules and connector nodes with diverse global connectivity across the modules. How discrete the functions of modules are, how dependent the computational load of each module is to the other modules’ processing, and what the precise role of connector nodes is for between-module communication remains underspecified. Here, we use a network model of the brain derived from resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data and investigate the modular functional architecture of the human brain by analyzing activity at different types of nodes in the network across 9,208 experiments of 77 cognitive tasks in the BrainMap database. Using an author–topic model of cognitive functions, we find a strong spatial correspondence between the cognitive functions and the network’s modules, suggesting that each module performs a discrete cognitive function. Crucially, activity at local nodes within the modules does not increase in tasks that require more cognitive functions, demonstrating the autonomy of modules’ functions. However, connector nodes do exhibit increased activity when more cognitive functions are engaged in a task. Moreover, connector nodes are located where brain activity is associated with many different cognitive functions. Connector nodes potentially play a role in between-module communication that maintains the modular function of the brain. Together, these findings provide a network account of the brain’s modular yet integrated implementation of cognitive functions. PMID:26598686

  16. Prion Protein Accumulation in Lipid Rafts of Mouse Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Agostini, Federica; Dotti, Carlos G.; Pérez-Cañamás, Azucena; Ledesma, Maria Dolores; Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    The cellular form of the prion protein (PrPC) is a normal constituent of neuronal cell membranes. The protein misfolding causes rare neurodegenerative disorders known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious. Sporadic prion diseases are the most common form mainly affecting aging people. In this work, we investigate the biochemical environment in which sporadic prion diseases may develop, focusing our attention on the cell membrane of neurons in the aging brain. It is well established that with aging the ratio between the most abundant lipid components of rafts undergoes a major change: while cholesterol decreases, sphingomyelin content rises. Our results indicate that the aging process modifies the compartmentalization of PrPC. In old mice, this change favors PrPC accumulation in detergent-resistant membranes, particularly in hippocampi. To confirm the relationship between lipid content changes and PrPC translocation into detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs), we looked at PrPC compartmentalization in hippocampi from acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) knockout (KO) mice and synaptosomes enriched in sphingomyelin. In the presence of high sphingomyelin content, we observed a significant increase of PrPC in DRMS. This process is not due to higher levels of total protein and it could, in turn, favor the onset of sporadic prion diseases during aging as it increases the PrP intermolecular contacts into lipid rafts. We observed that lowering sphingomyelin in scrapie-infected cells by using fumonisin B1 led to a 50% decrease in protease-resistant PrP formation. This may suggest an involvement of PrP lipid environment in prion formation and consequently it may play a role in the onset or development of sporadic forms of prion diseases. PMID:24040215

  17. Caloric restriction impedes age-related decline of mitochondrial function and neuronal activity

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Ai-Ling; Coman, Daniel; Jiang, Lihong; Rothman, Douglas L; Hyder, Fahmeed

    2014-01-01

    Caloric restriction (CR) prolongs lifespan and retards many detrimental effects of aging, but its effect on brain mitochondrial function and neuronal activity—especially in healthy aging—remains unexplored. Here we measured rates of neuronal glucose oxidation and glutamate–glutamine neurotransmitter cycling in young control, old control (i.e., healthy aging), and old CR rats using in vivo nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. We found that, compared with the young control, neuronal energy production and neurotransmission rates were significantly reduced in healthy aging, but were preserved in old CR rats. The results suggest that CR mitigated the age-related deceleration of brain physiology. PMID:24984898

  18. Predicting healthy older adult's brain age based on structural connectivity networks using artificial neural networks.

    PubMed

    Lin, Lan; Jin, Cong; Fu, Zhenrong; Zhang, Baiwen; Bin, Guangyu; Wu, Shuicai

    2016-03-01

    Brain ageing is followed by changes of the connectivity of white matter (WM) and changes of the grey matter (GM) concentration. Neurodegenerative disease is more vulnerable to an accelerated brain ageing, which is associated with prospective cognitive decline and disease severity. Accurate detection of accelerated ageing based on brain network analysis has a great potential for early interventions designed to hinder atypical brain changes. To capture the brain ageing, we proposed a novel computational approach for modeling the 112 normal older subjects (aged 50-79 years) brain age by connectivity analyses of networks of the brain. Our proposed method applied principal component analysis (PCA) to reduce the redundancy in network topological parameters. Back propagation artificial neural network (BPANN) improved by hybrid genetic algorithm (GA) and Levenberg-Marquardt (LM) algorithm is established to model the relation among principal components (PCs) and brain age. The predicted brain age is strongly correlated with chronological age (r=0.8). The model has mean absolute error (MAE) of 4.29 years. Therefore, we believe the method can provide a possible way to quantitatively describe the typical and atypical network organization of human brain and serve as a biomarker for presymptomatic detection of neurodegenerative diseases in the future. PMID:26718834

  19. Social Determinants, Race, and Brain Health Outcomes: Findings from the Chicago Health and Aging Project.

    PubMed

    Aggarwal, Neelum T; Everson-Rose, Susan A; Evans, Denis A

    2015-01-01

    The broad spectrum of economic and cultural diversity in the U.S. population correlates with and affects the study of behavioral aspects of health. The purpose of this article is to provide a selective overview of research findings from the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP), which covers a socio-demographically diverse population in Chicago, with a focus on role-related psychosocial factors and observed racial/ethnic differences in aging outcomes. CHAP is a longitudinal, epidemiological study of common chronic conditions of aging with an emphasis on medical, psychosocial, and environmental risk factors for the decline in cognitive function across the older adult lifespan. We briefly summarize the study design and methods used in the CHAP study and characterize the study population and describe the psychosocial data, noting black-white associations as they relate to three common brain health outcomes: cognitive function and Alzheimer's Disease, stroke, and subclinical vascular disease as noted on neuroimaging. PMID:26239039

  20. Gut Microbiota and Brain Function: An Evolving Field in Neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Foster, Jane A; Lyte, Mark; Meyer, Emeran; Cryan, John F

    2016-05-01

    There is a growing appreciation of the importance of gut microbiota to health and disease. This has been driven by advances in sequencing technology and recent findings demonstrating the important role of microbiota in common health disorders such as obesity. Moreover, the potential role of gut microbiota in influencing brain function, behavior, and mental health has attracted the attention of neuroscientists and psychiatrists. At the 29(th) International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP) World Congress held in Vancouver, Canada, in June 2014, a group of experts presented the symposium, "Gut microbiota and brain function: Relevance to psychiatric disorders" to review the latest findings in how gut microbiota may play a role in brain function, behavior, and disease. The symposium covered a broad range of topics, including gut microbiota and neuroendocrine function, the influence of gut microbiota on behavior, probiotics as regulators of brain and behavior, and imaging the gut-brain axis in humans. This report provides an overview of these presentations. PMID:26438800

  1. Cognitive dysfunction syndrome: a disease of canine and feline brain aging.

    PubMed

    Landsberg, Gary M; Nichol, Jeff; Araujo, Joseph A

    2012-07-01

    Brain aging is a degenerative process manifest by impairment of cognitive function; although not all pets are affected at the same level, once cognitive decline begins it is generally a progressive disorder. Diagnosis of cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) is based on recognition of behavioral signs and exclusion of other medical causes that might mimic CDS or complicate its diagnosis. Drugs, diets, and supplements are now available that might slow CDS progression by various mechanisms including reducing oxidative stress and inflammation or improving mitochondrial and neuronal function. Moreover, available therapeutics may provide some level of improvement in cognitive and clinical signs of CDS. PMID:22720812

  2. Age, Intelligence, and Event-Related Brain Potentials during Late Childhood: A Longitudinal Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stauder, Johannes E. A.; van der Molen, Maurits W.; Molenaar, Peter C. M.

    2003-01-01

    Studied the relationship between event-related brain activity, age, and intelligence using a visual oddball task presented to girls at 9, 10, and 11 years of age. Findings for 26 girls suggest a qualitative shift in the relation between event-related brain activity and intelligence between 9 and 10 years of age. (SLD)

  3. Dedifferentiation of emotion regulation strategies in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Ponzio, Allison; Velasco, Ricardo; Kaplan, Jonas; Mather, Mara

    2015-01-01

    Different emotion regulation strategies are distinctly represented in the brains of younger adults. Decreasing a reaction to a negative situation by reinterpreting it (reappraisal) relies on cognitive control regions in the prefrontal cortex, while distracting away from a stressor involves more posterior medial structures. In this study, we used Multi-Voxel pattern analyses (MVPA) to examine whether reappraisal and distraction strategies have distinct representations in the older adult brain, or whether emotion regulation strategies become more dedifferentiated in later life. MVPA better differentiated the two emotion regulation strategies for younger adults than for older adults, and revealed the greatest age-related differences in differentiation in the posterior medial cortex (PMC). Univariate analyses revealed equal PMC recruitment across strategies for older adults, but greater activity during distraction than reappraisal for younger adults. The PMC is central to self-focused processing, and thus our findings are consistent with the possibility that focusing on the self may be a default mechanism across emotion regulation strategies for older people. PMID:25380765

  4. Imaging local brain function with emission computed tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhl, D.E.

    1984-03-01

    Positron emission tomography (PET) using /sup 18/F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) was used to map local cerebral glucose utilization in the study of local cerebral function. This information differs fundamentally from structural assessment by means of computed tomography (CT). In normal human volunteers, the FDG scan was used to determine the cerebral metabolic response to conrolled sensory stimulation and the effects of aging. Cerebral metabolic patterns are distinctive among depressed and demented elderly patients. The FDG scan appears normal in the depressed patient, studded with multiple metabolic defects in patients with multiple infarct dementia, and in the patients with Alzheimer disease, metabolism is particularly reduced in the parietal cortex, but only slightly reduced in the caudate and thalamus. The interictal FDG scan effectively detects hypometabolic brain zones that are sites of onset for seizures in patients with partial epilepsy, even though these zones usually appear normal on CT scans. The future prospects of PET are discussed.

  5. A Systematic Investigation into Aging Related Genes in Brain and Their Relationship with Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Guofeng; Zhong, Xiaoyan; Mei, Hongkang

    2016-01-01

    Aging, as a complex biological process, is accompanied by the accumulation of functional loses at different levels, which makes age to be the biggest risk factor to many neurological diseases. Even following decades of investigation, the process of aging is still far from being fully understood, especially at a systematic level. In this study, we identified aging related genes in brain by collecting the ones with sustained and consistent gene expression or DNA methylation changes in the aging process. Functional analysis with Gene Ontology to these genes suggested transcriptional regulators to be the most affected genes in the aging process. Transcription regulation analysis found some transcription factors, especially Specificity Protein 1 (SP1), to play important roles in regulating aging related gene expression. Module-based functional analysis indicated these genes to be associated with many well-known aging related pathways, supporting the validity of our approach to select aging related genes. Finally, we investigated the roles of aging related genes on Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). We found that aging and AD related genes both involved some common pathways, which provided a possible explanation why aging made the brain more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s Disease. PMID:26937969

  6. Functional brain imaging of trigeminal neuralgia.

    PubMed

    Moisset, Xavier; Villain, Nicolas; Ducreux, Denis; Serrie, Alain; Cunin, Gérard; Valade, Dominique; Calvino, Bernard; Bouhassira, Didier

    2011-02-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to analyze changes in brain activity associated with stimulation of the cutaneous trigger zone in patients with classic trigeminal neuralgia (CTN). Fifteen consecutive patients with CTN in the second or third division of the nerve, were included in this study. The fMRI paradigm consisted of light tactile stimuli of the trigger zone and the homologous contralateral area. Stimulation of the affected side induced pain in seven patients, but was not painful in eight patients on the day of the experiment. Painful stimuli were associated with significantly increased activity in the spinal trigeminal nucleus (SpV), thalamus, primary and secondary somatosensory cortices (S1, S2), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), insula, premotor/motor cortex, prefrontal areas, putamen, hippocampus and brainstem. Nonpainful stimulation of the trigger zone activated all but three of these structures (SpV, brainstem and ACC). After a successful surgical treatment, activation induced by stimulation of the operated side was confined to S1 and S2. Our data demonstrate the pathological hyperexcitability of the trigeminal nociceptive system, including the second order trigeminal sensory neurons during evoked attacks of CTN. Such sensitization may depend on pain modulatory systems involving both the brainstem (i.e. periaqueductal gray and adjacent structures) and interconnected cortical structures (i.e. ACC). The fact that large portions of the classical 'pain neuromatrix' were also activated during nonpainful stimulation of the trigger zone, could reflect a state of maintained sensitization of the trigeminal nociceptive systems in CTN. PMID:20609605

  7. Aging, Functional Capacity and Eccentric Exercise Training

    PubMed Central

    Gault, Mandy L.; Willems, Mark E.T.

    2013-01-01

    Aging is a multi-factorial process that ultimately induces a decline in our physiological functioning, causing a decreased health-span, quality of life and independence for older adults. Exercise participation is seen as a way to reduce the impact of aging through maintenance of physiological parameters. Eccentric exercise is a model that can be employed with older adults, due to the muscle’s ability to combine high muscle force production with a low energy cost. There may however be a risk of muscle damage before the muscle is able to adapt. The first part of this review describes the process of aging and how it reduces aerobic capacity, muscle strength and therefore functional mobility. The second part highlights eccentric exercise and the associated muscle damage, in addition to the repeated bout effect. The final section reviews eccentric exercise interventions that have been completed by older adults with a focus on the changes in functional mobility. In conclusion, eccentric endurance exercise is a potential training modality that can be applied to older adults for improving muscle strength, aerobic capacity and functional ability. However, further research is needed to assess the effects on aerobic capacity and the ideal prescription for eccentric endurance exercise. PMID:24307968

  8. High frequency functional brain networks in neonates revealed by rapid acquisition resting state fMRI.

    PubMed

    Smith-Collins, Adam P R; Luyt, Karen; Heep, Axel; Kauppinen, Risto A

    2015-07-01

    Understanding how spatially remote brain regions interact to form functional brain networks, and how these develop during the neonatal period, provides fundamental insights into normal brain development, and how mechanisms of brain disorder and recovery may function in the immature brain. A key imaging tool in characterising functional brain networks is examination of T2*-weighted fMRI signal during rest (resting state fMRI, rs-fMRI). The majority of rs-fMRI studies have concentrated on slow signal fluctuations occurring at <0.1 Hz, even though neuronal rhythms, and haemodynamic responses to these fluctuate more rapidly, and there is emerging evidence for crucial information about functional brain connectivity occurring more rapidly than these limits. The characterisation of higher frequency components has been limited by the sampling frequency achievable with standard T2* echoplanar imaging (EPI) sequences. We describe patterns of neonatal functional brain network connectivity derived using accelerated T2*-weighted EPI MRI. We acquired whole brain rs-fMRI data, at subsecond sampling frequency, from preterm infants at term equivalent age and compared this to rs-fMRI data acquired with standard EPI acquisition protocol. We provide the first evidence that rapid rs-fMRI acquisition in neonates, and adoption of an extended frequency range for analysis, allows identification of a substantial proportion of signal power residing above 0.2 Hz. We thereby describe changes in brain connectivity associated with increasing maturity which are not evident using standard rs-fMRI protocols. Development of optimised neonatal fMRI protocols, including use of high speed acquisition sequences, is crucial for understanding the physiology and pathophysiology of the developing brain. PMID:25787931

  9. Age- and brain region-dependent α-synuclein oligomerization is attributed to alterations in intrinsic enzymes regulating α-synuclein phosphorylation in aging monkey brains

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Min; Yang, Weiwei; Li, Xin; Li, Xuran; Wang, Peng; Yue, Feng; Yang, Hui; Chan, Piu; Yu, Shun

    2016-01-01

    We previously reported that the levels of α-syn oligomers, which play pivotal pathogenic roles in age-related Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies, increase heterogeneously in the aging brain. Here, we show that exogenous α-syn incubated with brain extracts from older cynomolgus monkeys and in Lewy body pathology (LBP)-susceptible brain regions (striatum and hippocampus) forms higher amounts of phosphorylated and oligomeric α-syn than that in extracts from younger monkeys and LBP-insusceptible brain regions (cerebellum and occipital cortex). The increased α-syn phosphorylation and oligomerization in the brain extracts from older monkeys and in LBP-susceptible brain regions were associated with higher levels of polo-like kinase 2 (PLK2), an enzyme promoting α-syn phosphorylation, and lower activity of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), an enzyme inhibiting α-syn phosphorylation, in these brain extracts. Further, the extent of the age- and brain-dependent increase in α-syn phosphorylation and oligomerization was reduced by inhibition of PLK2 and activation of PP2A. Inversely, phosphorylated α-syn oligomers reduced the activity of PP2A and showed potent cytotoxicity. In addition, the activity of GCase and the levels of ceramide, a product of GCase shown to activate PP2A, were lower in brain extracts from older monkeys and in LBP-susceptible brain regions. Our results suggest a role for altered intrinsic metabolic enzymes in age- and brain region-dependent α-syn oligomerization in aging brains. PMID:27032368

  10. Biondi ring tangles in the choroid plexus of Alzheimer's disease and normal aging brains: a quantitative study.

    PubMed

    Wen, G Y; Wisniewski, H M; Kascsak, R J

    1999-06-19

    The choroid plexus (CP) performs the vital function of producing up to 90% (450-1000 ml/day) of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to nourish and to protect the brain in the CSF suspension. The CP also acts as a selective barrier between blood and CSF to regulate ions and other essential molecules. However, the accumulation of intracellular inclusions called Biondi ring tangles (BRTs) in CP cells of Alzheimer's disease (AD)/aging brains may affect these vital functions of the CP. Statistical analysis of quantitative data on the numbers of CP cells containing BRTs from 54 brains (29 AD and 25 normal control), age range 1-100 years, indicated a significant difference (p<0.00004) between AD and control brains, using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with age as covariate. This study compiled the first set of archives to reveal the distribution pattern of BRTs in the CP of AD brains at various ages. Electron microscopy of negatively stained isolated BRTs revealed that these tangles are made of tightly packed bundles of long filaments with diameter around 10 nm that are morphologically distinct from the more loosely packed/shorter bundles of 6-8 nm amyloid fibrils of neuritic plaques (NPs) and from the 24 nm paired helical filaments of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in AD brain. These data suggest that BRTs may represent a significant and measurable biomarker for AD in addition to NPs and NFTs. PMID:10375650

  11. Beyond localized and distributed accounts of brain functions. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cauda, Franco; Costa, Tommaso; Tamietto, Marco

    2014-09-01

    Recent evidence in cognitive neuroscience lends support to the idea that network models of brain architecture provide a privileged access to the understanding of the relation between brain organization and cognitive processes [1]. The core perspective holds that cognitive processes depend on the interactions among distributed neuronal populations and brain structures, and that the impact of a given region on behavior largely depends on its pattern of anatomical and functional connectivity [2,3].

  12. Evidence for hubs in human functional brain networks

    PubMed Central

    Power, Jonathan D; Schlaggar, Bradley L; Lessov-Schlaggar, Christina N; Petersen, Steven E

    2013-01-01

    Summary Hubs integrate and distribute information in powerful ways due to the number and positioning of their contacts in a network. Several resting state functional connectivity MRI reports have implicated regions of the default mode system as brain hubs; we demonstrate that previous degree-based approaches to hub identification may have identified portions of large brain systems rather than critical nodes of brain networks. We utilize two methods to identify hub-like brain regions: 1) finding network nodes that participate in multiple sub-networks of the brain, and 2) finding spatial locations where several systems are represented within a small volume. These methods converge on a distributed set of regions that differ from previous reports on hubs. This work identifies regions that support multiple systems, leading to spatially constrained predictions about brain function that may be tested in terms of lesions, evoked responses, and dynamic patterns of activity. PMID:23972601

  13. How Do Immune Cells Support and Shape the Brain in Health, Disease, and Aging?

    PubMed Central

    Kipnis, Jonathan; Rivest, Serge; Prat, Alexandre

    2013-01-01

    For decades, several axioms have prevailed with respect to the relationships between the CNS and circulating immune cells. Specifically, immune cell entry was largely considered to be pathological or to mark the beginning of pathology within the brain. Moreover, local inflammation associated with neurodegenerative diseases such Alzheimer's disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, were considered similar in their etiology to inflammatory diseases, such as remitting relapsing-multiple sclerosis. The ensuing confusion reflected a lack of awareness that the etiology of the disease as well as the origin of the immune cells determines the nature of the inflammatory response, and that inflammation resolution is an active cellular process. The last two decades have seen a revolution in these prevailing dogmas, with a significant contribution made by the authors. Microglia and infiltrating monocyte-derived macrophages are now known to be functionally distinct and of separate origin. Innate and adaptive immune cells are now known to have protective/healing properties in the CNS, as long as their activity is regulated, and their recruitment is well controlled; their role is appreciated in maintenance of brain plasticity in health, aging, and chronic neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, it is now understood that the barriers of the brain are not uniform in their interactions with the circulating immune cells. The implications of these new findings to the basic understanding of CNS repair processes, brain aging, and a wide spectrum of CNS disorders, including acute injuries, Rett syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis, will be discussed. PMID:24198349

  14. Combined Cognitive-Psychological-Physical Intervention Induces Reorganization of Intrinsic Functional Brain Architecture in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Zhiwei; Zhu, Xinyi; Yin, Shufei; Wang, Baoxi; Niu, Yanan; Huang, Xin; Li, Rui; Li, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that enriched mental, physical, and socially stimulating activities are beneficial for counteracting age-related decreases in brain function and cognition in older adults. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to demonstrate the functional plasticity of brain activity in response to a combined cognitive-psychological-physical intervention and investigated the contribution of the intervention-related brain changes to individual performance in healthy older adults. The intervention was composed of a 6-week program of combined activities including cognitive training, Tai Chi exercise, and group counseling. The results showed improved cognitive performance and reorganized regional homogeneity of spontaneous fluctuations in the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signals in the superior and middle temporal gyri, and the posterior lobe of the cerebellum, in the participants who attended the intervention. Intriguingly, the intervention-induced changes in the coherence of local spontaneous activity correlated with the improvements in individual cognitive performance. Taken together with our previous findings of enhanced resting-state functional connectivity between the medial prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe regions following a combined intervention program in older adults, we conclude that the functional plasticity of the aging brain is a rather complex process, and an effective cognitive-psychological-physical intervention is helpful for maintaining a healthy brain and comprehensive cognition during old age. PMID:25810927

  15. The effects of vitamin D on brain development and adult brain function.

    PubMed

    Kesby, James P; Eyles, Darryl W; Burne, Thomas H J; McGrath, John J

    2011-12-01

    A role for vitamin D in brain development and function has been gaining support over the last decade. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that this vitamin is actually a neuroactive steroid that acts on brain development, leading to alterations in brain neurochemistry and adult brain function. Early deficiencies have been linked with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, and adult deficiencies have been associated with a host of adverse brain outcomes, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, depression and cognitive decline. This review summarises the current state of research on the actions of vitamin D in the brain and the consequences of deficiencies in this vitamin. Furthermore, we discuss specific implications of vitamin D status on the neurotransmitter, dopamine. PMID:21664231

  16. How the brain attunes to sentence processing: Relating behavior, structure, and function.

    PubMed

    Fengler, Anja; Meyer, Lars; Friederici, Angela D

    2016-04-01

    Unlike other aspects of language comprehension, the ability to process complex sentences develops rather late in life. Brain maturation as well as verbal working memory (vWM) expansion have been discussed as possible reasons. To determine the factors contributing to this functional development, we assessed three aspects in different age-groups (5-6years, 7-8years, and adults): first, functional brain activity during the processing of increasingly complex sentences; second, brain structure in language-related ROIs; and third, the behavioral comprehension performance on complex sentences and the performance on an independent vWM test. At the whole-brain level, brain functional data revealed a qualitatively similar neural network in children and adults including the left pars opercularis (PO), the left inferior parietal lobe together with the posterior superior temporal gyrus (IPL/pSTG), the supplementary motor area, and the cerebellum. While functional activation of the language-related ROIs PO and IPL/pSTG predicted sentence comprehension performance for all age-groups, only adults showed a functional selectivity in these brain regions with increased activation for more complex sentences. The attunement of both the PO and IPL/pSTG toward a functional selectivity for complex sentences is predicted by region-specific gray matter reduction while that of the IPL/pSTG is additionally predicted by vWM span. Thus, both structural brain maturation and vWM expansion provide the basis for the emergence of functional selectivity in language-related brain regions leading to more efficient sentence processing during development. PMID:26777477

  17. How the brain attunes to sentence processing: Relating behavior, structure, and function

    PubMed Central

    Fengler, Anja; Meyer, Lars; Friederici, Angela D.

    2016-01-01

    Unlike other aspects of language comprehension, the ability to process complex sentences develops rather late in life. Brain maturation as well as verbal working memory (vWM) expansion have been discussed as possible reasons. To determine the factors contributing to this functional development, we assessed three aspects in different age-groups (5–6 years, 7–8 years, and adults): first, functional brain activity during the processing of increasingly complex sentences; second, brain structure in language-related ROIs; and third, the behavioral comprehension performance on complex sentences and the performance on an independent vWM test. At the whole-brain level, brain functional data revealed a qualitatively similar neural network in children and adults including the left pars opercularis (PO), the left inferior parietal lobe together with the posterior superior temporal gyrus (IPL/pSTG), the supplementary motor area, and the cerebellum. While functional activation of the language-related ROIs PO and IPL/pSTG predicted sentence comprehension performance for all age-groups, only adults showed a functional selectivity in these brain regions with increased activation for more complex sentences. The attunement of both the PO and IPL/pSTG toward a functional selectivity for complex sentences is predicted by region-specific gray matter reduction while that of the IPL/pSTG is additionally predicted by vWM span. Thus, both structural brain maturation and vWM expansion provide the basis for the emergence of functional selectivity in language-related brain regions leading to more efficient sentence processing during development. PMID:26777477

  18. Lack of DREAM protein enhances learning and memory and slows brain aging.

    PubMed

    Fontán-Lozano, Angela; Romero-Granados, Rocío; del-Pozo-Martín, Yaiza; Suárez-Pereira, Irene; Delgado-García, José María; Penninger, Josef M; Carrión, Angel Manuel

    2009-01-13

    Memory deficits in aging affect millions of people and are often disturbing to those concerned. Dissection of the molecular control of learning and memory is paramount to understand and possibly enhance cognitive functions. Old-age memory loss also has been recently linked to altered Ca(2+) homeostasis. We have previously identified DREAM (downstream regulatory element antagonistic modulator), a member of the neuronal Ca(2+) sensor superfamily of EF-hand proteins, with specific roles in different cell compartments. In the nucleus, DREAM is a Ca(2+)-dependent transcriptional repressor, binding to specific DNA signatures, or interacting with nucleoproteins regulating their transcriptional properties. Also, we and others have shown that dream mutant (dream(-/-)) mice exhibit marked analgesia. Here we report that dream(-/-) mice exhibit markedly enhanced learning and synaptic plasticity related to improved cognition. Mechanistically, DREAM functions as a negative regulator of the key memory factor CREB in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner, and loss of DREAM facilitates CREB-dependent transcription during learning. Intriguingly, 18-month-old dream(-/-) mice display learning and memory capacities similar to young mice. Moreover, loss of DREAM protects from brain degeneration in aging. These data identify the Ca(2+)-regulated "pain gene" DREAM as a novel key regulator of memory and brain aging. PMID:19110430

  19. Microglial brain region-dependent diversity and selective regional sensitivities to ageing

    PubMed Central

    Grabert, Kathleen; Michoel, Tom; Karavolos, Michail H; Clohisey, Sara; Baillie, J Kenneth; Stevens, Mark P; Freeman, Tom C; Summers, Kim M; McColl, Barry W

    2015-01-01

    Microglia play critical roles in neural development, homeostasis and neuroinflammation and are increasingly implicated in age-related neurological dysfunction. Neurodegeneration often occurs in disease-specific spatially-restricted patterns, the origins of which are unknown. We performed the first genome-wide analysis of microglia from discrete brain regions across the adult lifespan of the mouse and reveal that microglia have distinct region-dependent transcriptional identities and age in a regionally variable manner. In the young adult brain, differences in bioenergetic and immunoregulatory pathways were the major sources of heterogeneity and suggested that cerebellar and hippocampal microglia exist in a more immune vigilant state. Immune function correlated with regional transcriptional patterns. Augmentation of the distinct cerebellar immunophenotype and a contrasting loss in distinction of the hippocampal phenotype among forebrain regions were key features during ageing. Microglial diversity may enable regionally localised homeostatic functions but could also underlie region-specific sensitivities to microglial dysregulation and involvement in age-related neurodegeneration. PMID:26780511

  20. Microglial brain region-dependent diversity and selective regional sensitivities to aging.

    PubMed

    Grabert, Kathleen; Michoel, Tom; Karavolos, Michail H; Clohisey, Sara; Baillie, J Kenneth; Stevens, Mark P; Freeman, Tom C; Summers, Kim M; McColl, Barry W

    2016-03-01

    Microglia have critical roles in neural development, homeostasis and neuroinflammation and are increasingly implicated in age-related neurological dysfunction. Neurodegeneration often occurs in disease-specific, spatially restricted patterns, the origins of which are unknown. We performed to our knowledge the first genome-wide analysis of microglia from discrete brain regions across the adult lifespan of the mouse, and found that microglia have distinct region-dependent transcriptional identities and age in a regionally variable manner. In the young adult brain, differences in bioenergetic and immunoregulatory pathways were the major sources of heterogeneity and suggested that cerebellar and hippocampal microglia exist in a more immune-vigilant state. Immune function correlated with regional transcriptional patterns. Augmentation of the distinct cerebellar immunophenotype and a contrasting loss in distinction of the hippocampal phenotype among forebrain regions were key features during aging. Microglial diversity may enable regionally localized homeostatic functions but could also underlie region-specific sensitivities to microglial dysregulation and involvement in age-related neurodegeneration. PMID:26780511

  1. Changes in Brain Network Efficiency and Working Memory Performance in Aging

    PubMed Central

    Stanley, Matthew L.; Simpson, Sean L.; Dagenbach, Dale; Lyday, Robert G.; Burdette, Jonathan H.; Laurienti, Paul J.

    2015-01-01

    Working memory is a complex psychological construct referring to the temporary storage and active processing of information. We used functional connectivity brain network metrics quantifying local and global efficiency of information transfer for predicting individual variability in working memory performance on an n-back task in both young (n = 14) and older (n = 15) adults. Individual differences in both local and global efficiency during the working memory task were significant predictors of working memory performance in addition to age (and an interaction between age and global efficiency). Decreases in local efficiency during the working memory task were associated with better working memory performance in both age cohorts. In contrast, increases in global efficiency were associated with much better working performance for young participants; however, increases in global efficiency were associated with a slight decrease in working memory performance for older participants. Individual differences in local and global efficiency during resting-state sessions were not significant predictors of working memory performance. Significant group whole-brain functional network decreases in local efficiency also were observed during the working memory task compared to rest, whereas no significant differences were observed in network global efficiency. These results are discussed in relation to recently developed models of age-related differences in working memory. PMID:25875001

  2. Trajectories of brain aging in middle-aged and older adults: Regional and individual differences

    PubMed Central

    Raz, Naftali; Ghisletta, Paolo; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Kennedy, Kristen M.; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2010-01-01

    The human brain changes with age. However, the rate and the trajectories of change vary among the brain regions and among individuals, and the reasons for these differences are unclear. In a sample of healthy middle-aged and older adults, we examined mean volume change and individual differences in the rate of change in 12 regional brain volumes over approximately 30 months. In addition to the baseline assessment, there were two follow-ups, 15 months apart. We observed significant average shrinkage of the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, orbital–frontal cortex, and cerebellum in each of the intervals. Shrinkage of the hippocampus accelerated with time, whereas shrinkage of the caudate nucleus, prefrontal subcortical white matter, and corpus callosum emerged only at the second follow-up. Throughout both assessment intervals, the mean volumes of the lateral prefrontal and primary visual cortices, putamen, and pons did not change. Significant individual differences in shrinkage rates were observed in the lateral prefrontal cortex, the cerebellum, and all the white matter regions throughout the study, whereas additional regions (medial–temporal structures, the insula, and the basal ganglia) showed significant individual variation in change during the second follow-up. No individual variability was noted in the change of orbital frontal and visual cortices. In two white matter regions, we were able to identify factors associated with individual differences in brain shrinkage. In corpus callosum, shrinkage rate was greater in persons with hypertension, and in the pons, women and carriers of the ApoEε4 allele exhibited declines not noted in the whole sample. PMID:20298790

  3. Phonemic fluency and brain connectivity in age-related macular degeneration: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Whitson, Heather E; Chou, Ying-Hui; Potter, Guy G; Diaz, Michele T; Chen, Nan-Kuei; Lad, Eleonora M; Johnson, Micah A; Cousins, Scott W; Zhuang, Jie; Madden, David J

    2015-03-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in developed nations, has been associated with poor performance on tests of phonemic fluency. This pilot study sought to (1) characterize the relationship between phonemic fluency and resting-state functional brain connectivity in AMD patients and (2) determine whether regional connections associated with phonemic fluency in AMD patients were similarly linked to phonemic fluency in healthy participants. Behavior-based connectivity analysis was applied to resting-state, functional magnetic resonance imaging data from seven patients (mean age=79.9±7.5 years) with bilateral AMD who completed fluency tasks prior to imaging. Phonemic fluency was inversely related to the strength of functional connectivity (FC) among six pairs of brain regions, representing eight nodes: left opercular portion of inferior frontal gyrus (which includes Broca's area), left superior temporal gyrus (which includes part of Wernicke's area), inferior parietal lobe (bilaterally), right superior parietal lobe, right supramarginal gyrus, right supplementary motor area, and right precentral gyrus. The FC of these reference links was not related to phonemic fluency among 32 healthy individuals (16 younger adults, mean age=23.5±4.6 years and 16 older adults, mean age=68.3±3.4 years). Compared with healthy individuals, AMD patients exhibited higher mean connectivity within the reference links and within the default mode network, possibly reflecting compensatory changes to support performance in the setting of reduced vision. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that phonemic fluency deficits in AMD reflect underlying brain changes that develop in the context of AMD. PMID:25313954

  4. Phonemic Fluency and Brain Connectivity in Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Chou, Ying-hui; Potter, Guy G.; Diaz, Michele T.; Chen, Nan-kuei; Lad, Eleonora M.; Johnson, Micah A.; Cousins, Scott W.; Zhuang, Jie; Madden, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in developed nations, has been associated with poor performance on tests of phonemic fluency. This pilot study sought to (1) characterize the relationship between phonemic fluency and resting-state functional brain connectivity in AMD patients and (2) determine whether regional connections associated with phonemic fluency in AMD patients were similarly linked to phonemic fluency in healthy participants. Behavior-based connectivity analysis was applied to resting-state, functional magnetic resonance imaging data from seven patients (mean age=79.9±7.5 years) with bilateral AMD who completed fluency tasks prior to imaging. Phonemic fluency was inversely related to the strength of functional connectivity (FC) among six pairs of brain regions, representing eight nodes: left opercular portion of inferior frontal gyrus (which includes Broca's area), left superior temporal gyrus (which includes part of Wernicke's area), inferior parietal lobe (bilaterally), right superior parietal lobe, right supramarginal gyrus, right supplementary motor area, and right precentral gyrus. The FC of these reference links was not related to phonemic fluency among 32 healthy individuals (16 younger adults, mean age=23.5±4.6 years and 16 older adults, mean age=68.3±3.4 years). Compared with healthy individuals, AMD patients exhibited higher mean connectivity within the reference links and within the default mode network, possibly reflecting compensatory changes to support performance in the setting of reduced vision. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that phonemic fluency deficits in AMD reflect underlying brain changes that develop in the context of AMD. PMID:25313954

  5. Aging and vascular endothelial function in humans

    PubMed Central

    SEALS, Douglas R.; JABLONSKI, Kristen L.; DONATO, Anthony J.

    2012-01-01

    Advancing age is the major risk factor for the development of CVD (cardiovascular diseases). This is attributable, in part, to the development of vascular endothelial dysfunction, as indicated by reduced peripheral artery EDD (endothelium-dependent dilation) in response to chemical [typically ACh (acetylcholine)] or mechanical (intravascular shear) stimuli. Reduced bioavailability of the endothelium-synthesized dilating molecule NO (nitric oxide) as a result of oxidative stress is the key mechanism mediating reduced EDD with aging. Vascular oxidative stress increases with age as a consequence of greater production of reactive oxygen species (e.g. superoxide) without a compensatory increase in antioxidant defences. Sources of increased superoxide production include up-regulation of the oxidant enzyme NADPH oxidase, uncoupling of the normally NO-producing enzyme, eNOS (endothelial NO synthase) (due to reduced availability of the cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin) and increased mitochondrial synthesis during oxidative phosphorylation. Increased bioactivity of the potent endothelial-derived constricting factor ET-1 (endothelin-1), reduced endothelial production of/responsiveness to dilatory prostaglandins, the development of vascular inflammation, formation of AGEs (advanced glycation end-products), an increased rate of endothelial apoptosis and reduced expression of oestrogen receptor α (in postmenopausal females) also probably contribute to impaired EDD with aging. Several lifestyle and biological factors modulate vascular endothelial function with aging, including regular aerobic exercise, dietary factors (e.g. processed compared with non-processed foods), body weight/fatness, vitamin D status, menopause/oestrogen deficiency and a number of conventional and non-conventional risk factors for CVD. Given the number of older adults now and in the future, more information is needed on effective strategies for the prevention and treatment of vascular endothelial aging. PMID

  6. Connectivity and functional profiling of abnormal brain structures in pedophilia

    PubMed Central

    Poeppl, Timm B.; Eickhoff, Simon B.; Fox, Peter T.; Laird, Angela R.; Rupprecht, Rainer; Langguth, Berthold; Bzdok, Danilo

    2015-01-01

    Despite its 0.5–1% lifetime prevalence in men and its general societal relevance, neuroimaging investigations in pedophilia are scarce. Preliminary findings indicate abnormal brain structure and function. However, no study has yet linked structural alterations in pedophiles to both connectional and functional properties of the aberrant hotspots. The relationship between morphological alterations and brain function in pedophilia as well as their contribution to its psychopathology thus remain unclear. First, we assessed bimodal connectivity of structurally altered candidate regions using meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) and resting-state correlations employing openly accessible data. We compared the ensuing connectivity maps to the activation likelihood estimation (ALE) maps of a recent quantitative meta-analysis of brain activity during processing of sexual stimuli. Second, we functionally characterized the structurally altered regions employing meta-data of a large-scale neuroimaging database. Candidate regions were functionally connected to key areas for processing of sexual stimuli. Moreover, we found that the functional role of structurally altered brain regions in pedophilia relates to nonsexual emotional as well as neurocognitive and executive functions, previously reported to be impaired in pedophiles. Our results suggest that structural brain alterations affect neural networks for sexual processing by way of disrupted functional connectivity, which may entail abnormal sexual arousal patterns. The findings moreover indicate that structural alterations account for common affective and neurocognitive impairments in pedophilia. The present multi-modal integration of brain structure and function analyses links sexual and nonsexual psychopathology in pedophilia. PMID:25733379

  7. Connectivity and functional profiling of abnormal brain structures in pedophilia.

    PubMed

    Poeppl, Timm B; Eickhoff, Simon B; Fox, Peter T; Laird, Angela R; Rupprecht, Rainer; Langguth, Berthold; Bzdok, Danilo

    2015-06-01

    Despite its 0.5-1% lifetime prevalence in men and its general societal relevance, neuroimaging investigations in pedophilia are scarce. Preliminary findings indicate abnormal brain structure and function. However, no study has yet linked structural alterations in pedophiles to both connectional and functional properties of the aberrant hotspots. The relationship between morphological alterations and brain function in pedophilia as well as their contribution to its psychopathology thus remain unclear. First, we assessed bimodal connectivity of structurally altered candidate regions using meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) and resting-state correlations employing openly accessible data. We compared the ensuing connectivity maps to the activation likelihood estimation (ALE) maps of a recent quantitative meta-analysis of brain activity during processing of sexual stimuli. Second, we functionally characterized the structurally altered regions employing meta-data of a large-scale neuroimaging database. Candidate regions were functionally connected to key areas for processing of sexual stimuli. Moreover, we found that the functional role of structurally altered brain regions in pedophilia relates to nonsexual emotional as well as neurocognitive and executive functions, previously reported to be impaired in pedophiles. Our results suggest that structural brain alterations affect neural networks for sexual processing by way of disrupted functional connectivity, which may entail abnormal sexual arousal patterns. The findings moreover indicate that structural alterations account for common affective and neurocognitive impairments in pedophilia. The present multimodal integration of brain structure and function analyses links sexual and nonsexual psychopathology in pedophilia. PMID:25733379

  8. Anaerobic function of CNS white matter declines with age.

    PubMed

    Hamner, Margaret A; Möller, Thomas; Ransom, Bruce R

    2011-04-01

    The mammalian central nervous system (CNS) is generally believed to be completely dependent on the presence of oxygen (O(2)) to maintain energy levels necessary for excitability. However, previous studies on CNS white matter (WM) have shown that a large subset of CNS-myelinated axons of mice aged 4 to 6 weeks remains excitable in the absence of O(2). We investigated whether this surprising WM tolerance to anoxia varied with age. Acutely isolated mouse optic nerve (MON), a purely myelinated WM tract, was studied electrophysiologically. Excitability in the MONs from 1-month-, 4-month-, and 8-month-old mice was assessed quantitatively as the area under the supramaximal compound action potential (CAP). Anoxia-resistant WM function declined with age. After 60  minutes of anoxia, ∼23% of the CAP remained in 1-month-old mice, 8% in 4-month-old mice, and ∼0 in the 8-month-old group. Our results indicated that although some CNS axons function anaerobically in young adult animals, they lose this ability in later adulthood. This finding may help explain the clinical impression that favorable outcome after stroke and other brain injuries declines with age. PMID:21179073

  9. Memory Networks in Tinnitus: A Functional Brain Image Study

    PubMed Central

    Laureano, Maura Regina; Onishi, Ektor Tsuneo; Bressan, Rodrigo Affonseca; Castiglioni, Mario Luiz Vieira; Batista, Ilza Rosa; Reis, Marilia Alves; Garcia, Michele Vargas; de Andrade, Adriana Neves; de Almeida, Roberta Ribeiro; Garrido, Griselda J.; Jackowski, Andrea Parolin

    2014-01-01

    Tinnitus is characterized by the perception of sound in the absence of an external auditory stimulus. The network connectivity of auditory and non-auditory brain structures associated with emotion, memory and attention are functionally altered in debilitating tinnitus. Current studies suggest that tinnitus results from neuroplastic changes in the frontal and limbic temporal regions. The objective of this study was to use Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) to evaluate changes in the cerebral blood flow in tinnitus patients with normal hearing compared with healthy controls. Methods: Twenty tinnitus patients with normal hearing and 17 healthy controls, matched for sex, age and years of education, were subjected to Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography using the radiotracer ethylenedicysteine diethyl ester, labeled with Technetium 99 m (99 mTc-ECD SPECT). The severity of tinnitus was assessed using the “Tinnitus Handicap Inventory” (THI). The images were processed and analyzed using “Statistical Parametric Mapping” (SPM8). Results: A significant increase in cerebral perfusion in the left parahippocampal gyrus (pFWE <0.05) was observed in patients with tinnitus compared with healthy controls. The average total THI score was 50.8+18.24, classified as moderate tinnitus. Conclusion: It was possible to identify significant changes in the limbic system of the brain perfusion in tinnitus patients with normal hearing, suggesting that central mechanisms, not specific to the auditory pathway, are involved in the pathophysiology of symptoms, even in the absence of clinically diagnosed peripheral changes. PMID:24516567

  10. Brain activation by visual erotic stimuli in healthy middle aged males.

    PubMed

    Kim, S W; Sohn, D W; Cho, Y-H; Yang, W S; Lee, K-U; Juh, R; Ahn, K-J; Chung, Y-A; Han, S-I; Lee, K H; Lee, C U; Chae, J-H

    2006-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to identify brain centers, whose activity changes are related to erotic visual stimuli in healthy, heterosexual, middle aged males. Ten heterosexual, right-handed males with normal sexual function were entered into the present study (mean age 52 years, range 46-55). All potential subjects were screened over 1 h interview, and were encouraged to fill out questionnaires including the Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory. All subjects with a history of sexual arousal disorder or erectile dysfunction were excluded. We performed functional brain magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in male volunteers when an alternatively combined erotic and nonerotic film was played for 14 min and 9 s. The major areas of activation associated with sexual arousal to visual stimuli were occipitotemporal area, anterior cingulate gyrus, insula, orbitofrontal cortex, caudate nucleus. However, hypothalamus and thalamus were not activated. We suggest that the nonactivation of hypothalamus and thalamus in middle aged males may be responsible for the lesser physiological arousal in response to the erotic visual stimuli. PMID:16467858

  11. Structural brain aging and speech production: a surface-based brain morphometry study.

    PubMed

    Tremblay, Pascale; Deschamps, Isabelle

    2016-07-01

    While there has been a growing number of studies examining the neurofunctional correlates of speech production over the past decade, the neurostructural correlates of this immensely important human behaviour remain less well understood, despite the fact that previous studies have established links between brain structure and behaviour, including speech and language. In the present study, we thus examined, for the first time, the relationship between surface-based cortical thickness (CT) and three different behavioural indexes of sublexical speech production: response duration, reaction times and articulatory accuracy, in healthy young and older adults during the production of simple and complex meaningless sequences of syllables (e.g., /pa-pa-pa/ vs. /pa-ta-ka/). The results show that each behavioural speech measure was sensitive to the complexity of the sequences, as indicated by slower reaction times, longer response durations and decreased articulatory accuracy in both groups for the complex sequences. Older adults produced longer speech responses, particularly during the production of complex sequence. Unique age-independent and age-dependent relationships between brain structure and each of these behavioural measures were found in several cortical and subcortical regions known for their involvement in speech production, including the bilateral anterior insula, the left primary motor area, the rostral supramarginal gyrus, the right inferior frontal sulcus, the bilateral putamen and caudate, and in some region less typically associated with speech production, such as the posterior cingulate cortex. PMID:26336952

  12. Intrinsic functional brain architecture derived from graph theoretical analysis in the human fetus.

    PubMed

    Thomason, Moriah E; Brown, Jesse A; Dassanayake, Maya T; Shastri, Rupal; Marusak, Hilary A; Hernandez-Andrade, Edgar; Yeo, Lami; Mody, Swati; Berman, Susan; Hassan, Sonia S; Romero, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    The human brain undergoes dramatic maturational changes during late stages of fetal and early postnatal life. The importance of this period to the establishment of healthy neural connectivity is apparent in the high incidence of neural injury in preterm infants, in whom untimely exposure to ex-uterine factors interrupts neural connectivity. Though the relevance of this period to human neuroscience is apparent, little is known about functional neural networks in human fetal life. Here, we apply graph theoretical analysis to examine human fetal brain connectivity. Utilizing resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from 33 healthy human fetuses, 19 to 39 weeks gestational age (GA), our analyses reveal that the human fetal brain has modular organization and modules overlap functional systems observed postnatally. Age-related differences between younger (GA <31 weeks) and older (GA≥31 weeks) fetuses demonstrate that brain modularity decreases, and connectivity of the posterior cingulate to other brain networks becomes more negative, with advancing GA. By mimicking functional principles observed postnatally, these results support early emerging capacity for information processing in the human fetal brain. Current technical limitations, as well as the potential for fetal fMRI to one day produce major discoveries about fetal origins or antecedents of neural injury or disease are discussed. PMID:24788455

  13. Decreased Brain Levels of Vitamin B12 in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yiting; Hodgson, Nathaniel W; Trivedi, Malav S; Abdolmaleky, Hamid M; Fournier, Margot; Cuenod, Michel; Do, Kim Quang; Deth, Richard C

    2016-01-01

    Many studies indicate a crucial role for the vitamin B12 and folate-dependent enzyme methionine synthase (MS) in brain development and function, but vitamin B12 status in the brain across the lifespan has not been previously investigated. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin, Cbl) exists in multiple forms, including methylcobalamin (MeCbl) and adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl), serving as cofactors for MS and methylmalonylCoA mutase, respectively. We measured levels of five Cbl species in postmortem human frontal cortex of 43 control subjects, from 19 weeks of fetal development through 80 years of age, and 12 autistic and 9 schizophrenic subjects. Total Cbl was significantly lower in older control subjects (> 60 yrs of age), primarily reflecting a >10-fold age-dependent decline in the level of MeCbl. Levels of inactive cyanocobalamin (CNCbl) were remarkably higher in fetal brain samples. In both autistic and schizophrenic subjects MeCbl and AdoCbl levels were more than 3-fold lower than age-matched controls. In autistic subjects lower MeCbl was associated with decreased MS activity and elevated levels of its substrate homocysteine (HCY). Low levels of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) have been linked to both autism and schizophrenia, and both total Cbl and MeCbl levels were decreased in glutamate-cysteine ligase modulatory subunit knockout (GCLM-KO) mice, which exhibit low GSH levels. Thus our findings reveal a previously unrecognized decrease in brain vitamin B12 status across the lifespan that may reflect an adaptation to increasing antioxidant demand, while accelerated deficits due to GSH deficiency may contribute to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:26799654

  14. Decreased Brain Levels of Vitamin B12 in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yiting; Hodgson, Nathaniel W.; Trivedi, Malav S.; Abdolmaleky, Hamid M.; Fournier, Margot; Cuenod, Michel; Do, Kim Quang; Deth, Richard C.

    2016-01-01

    Many studies indicate a crucial role for the vitamin B12 and folate-dependent enzyme methionine synthase (MS) in brain development and function, but vitamin B12 status in the brain across the lifespan has not been previously investigated. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin, Cbl) exists in multiple forms, including methylcobalamin (MeCbl) and adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl), serving as cofactors for MS and methylmalonylCoA mutase, respectively. We measured levels of five Cbl species in postmortem human frontal cortex of 43 control subjects, from 19 weeks of fetal development through 80 years of age, and 12 autistic and 9 schizophrenic subjects. Total Cbl was significantly lower in older control subjects (> 60 yrs of age), primarily reflecting a >10-fold age-dependent decline in the level of MeCbl. Levels of inactive cyanocobalamin (CNCbl) were remarkably higher in fetal brain samples. In both autistic and schizophrenic subjects MeCbl and AdoCbl levels were more than 3-fold lower than age-matched controls. In autistic subjects lower MeCbl was associated with decreased MS activity and elevated levels of its substrate homocysteine (HCY). Low levels of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) have been linked to both autism and schizophrenia, and both total Cbl and MeCbl levels were decreased in glutamate-cysteine ligase modulatory subunit knockout (GCLM-KO) mice, which exhibit low GSH levels. Thus our findings reveal a previously unrecognized decrease in brain vitamin B12 status across the lifespan that may reflect an adaptation to increasing antioxidant demand, while accelerated deficits due to GSH deficiency may contribute to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:26799654

  15. The construction of MRI brain/head templates for Chinese children from 7 to 16 years of age.

    PubMed

    Xie, Wanze; Richards, John E; Lei, Du; Zhu, Hongyan; Lee, Kang; Gong, Qiyong

    2015-10-01

    Population-specific brain templates that provide detailed brain information are beneficial to both structural and functional neuroimaging research. However, age-specific MRI templates have not been constructed for Chinese or any Asian developmental populations. This study developed novel T1-weighted average brain and head templates for Chinese children from 7 to 16 years of age in two-year increments using high quality magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and well-validated image analysis techniques. A total of 138 Chinese children (51 F/87 M) were included in this study. The internally and externally validated registrations show that these Chinese age-specific templates fit Chinese children's MR images significantly better than age-specific templates created from U.S. children, or adult templates based on either Chinese or North American adults. It implies that age-inappropriate (e.g., the Chinese56 template, the US20-24 template) and nationality-inappropriate brain templates (e.g., U.S. children's templates, the US20-24 template) do not provide optimal reference MRIs for processing MR brain images of Chinese pediatric populations. Thus, our age-specific MRI templates are the first of the kind and should be useful in neuroimaging studies with children from Chinese or other Asian populations. These templates can also serve as the foundations for the construction of more comprehensive sets of nationality-specific templates for Asian developmental populations. These templates are available for use in our database. PMID:26343862

  16. The construction of MRI brain/head templates for Chinese children from 7 to 16 years of age

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Wanze; Richards, John E.; Lei, Du; Zhu, Hongyan; Lee, Kang; Gong, Qiyong

    2015-01-01

    Population-specific brain templates that provide detailed brain information are beneficial to both structural and functional neuroimaging research. However, age-specific MRI templates have not been constructed for Chinese or any Asian developmental populations. This study developed novel T1-weighted average brain and head templates for Chinese children from 7 to 16 years of age in two-year increments using high quality magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and well-validated image analysis techniques. A total of 138 Chinese children (51 F/87 M) were included in this study. The internally and externally validated registrations show that these Chinese age-specific templates fit Chinese children’s MR images significantly better than age-specific templates created from U.S. children, or adult templates based on either Chinese or North American adults. It implies that age-inappropriate (e.g., the Chinese56 template, the US20–24 template) and nationality-inappropriate brain templates (e.g., U.S. children’s templates, the US20–24 template) do not provide optimal reference MRIs for processing MR brain images of Chinese pediatric populations. Thus, our age-specific MRI templates are the first of the kind and should be useful in neuroimaging studies with children from Chinese or other Asian populations. These templates can also serve as the foundations for the construction of more comprehensive sets of nationality-specific templates for Asian developmental populations. These templates are available for use in our database. PMID:26343862

  17. Accelerated brain aging in schizophrenia and beyond: a neuroanatomical marker of psychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Koutsouleris, Nikolaos; Davatzikos, Christos; Borgwardt, Stefan; Gaser, Christian; Bottlender, Ronald; Frodl, Thomas; Falkai, Peter; Riecher-Rössler, Anita; Möller, Hans-Jürgen; Reiser, Maximilian; Pantelis, Christos; Meisenzahl, Eva

    2014-09-01

    Structural brain abnormalities are central to schizophrenia (SZ), but it remains unknown whether they are linked to dysmaturational processes crossing diagnostic boundaries, aggravating across disease stages, and driving the neurodiagnostic signature of the illness. Therefore, we investigated whether patients with SZ (N = 141), major depression (MD; N = 104), borderline personality disorder (BPD; N = 57), and individuals in at-risk mental states for psychosis (ARMS; N = 89) deviated from the trajectory of normal brain maturation. This deviation was measured as difference between chronological and the neuroanatomical age (brain age gap estimation [BrainAGE]). Neuroanatomical age was determined by a machine learning system trained to individually estimate age from the structural magnetic resonance imagings of 800 healthy controls. Group-level analyses showed that BrainAGE was highest in SZ (+5.5 y) group, followed by MD (+4.0), BPD (+3.1), and the ARMS (+1.7) groups. Earlier disease onset in MD and BPD groups correlated with more pronounced BrainAGE, reaching effect sizes of the SZ group. Second, BrainAGE increased across at-risk, recent onset, and recurrent states of SZ. Finally, BrainAGE predicted both patient status as well as negative and disorganized symptoms. These findings suggest that an individually quantifiable "accelerated aging" effect may particularly impact on the neuroanatomical signature of SZ but may extend also to other mental disorders. PMID:24126515

  18. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    ScienceCinema

    Olaf Sporns

    2010-01-08

    The brain is a complex network of neurons, engaging in spontaneous and evoked activity that is thought to be the main substrate of mental life.  How this complex system works together to process information and generate coherent cognitive states, even consciousness, is not yet well understood.  In my talk I will review recent studies that have revealed characteristic structural and functional attributes of brain networks, and discuss efforts to build computational models of the brain that are informed by our growing knowledge of brain anatomy and physiology.

  19. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    SciTech Connect

    Sporns, Olaf

    2008-01-23

    The brain is a complex network of neurons, engaging in spontaneous and evoked activity that is thought to be the main substrate of mental life. How this complex system works together to process information and generate coherent cognitive states, even consciousness, is not yet well understood. In my talk I will review recent studies that have revealed characteristic structural and functional attributes of brain networks, and discuss efforts to build computational models of the brain that are informed by our growing knowledge of brain anatomy and physiology.

  20. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    SciTech Connect

    Olaf Sporns

    2008-01-23

    The brain is a complex network of neurons, engaging in spontaneous and evoked activity that is thought to be the main substrate of mental life.  How this complex system works together to process information and generate coherent cognitive states, even consciousness, is not yet well understood.  In my talk I will review recent studies that have revealed characteristic structural and functional attributes of brain networks, and discuss efforts to build computational models of the brain that are informed by our growing knowledge of brain anatomy and physiology.

  1. Mapping Functional Brain Development: Building a Social Brain through Interactive Specialization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Mark H.; Grossmann, Tobias; Kadosh, Kathrin Cohen

    2009-01-01

    The authors review a viewpoint on human functional brain development, interactive specialization (IS), and its application to the emerging network of cortical regions referred to as the "social brain." They advance the IS view in 2 new ways. First, they extend IS into a domain to which it has not previously been applied--the emergence of social…

  2. Immune dysregulation and cognitive vulnerability in the aging brain: Interactions of microglia, IL-1β, BDNF and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Susan L

    2015-09-01

    Older individuals often experience declines in cognitive function after events (e.g. infection, or injury) that trigger activation of the immune system. This occurs at least in part because aging sensitizes the response of microglia (the brain's resident immune cells) to signals triggered by an immune challenge. In the aging brain, microglia respond to these signals by producing more pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g. interleukin-1beta or IL-1β) and producing them for longer than microglia in younger brains. This exaggerated inflammatory response can compromise processes critical for optimal cognitive functioning. Interleukin-1β is central to the inflammatory response and is a key mediator and modulator of an array of associated biological functions; thus its production and release is usually very tightly regulated. This review will focus on the impact of dysregulated production of IL-1β on hippocampus dependent-memory systems and associated synaptic plasticity processes. The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) helps to protect neurons from damage caused by infection or injury, and it plays a critical role in many of the same memory and hippocampal plasticity processes compromised by dysregulated production of IL-1β. This suggests that an exaggerated brain inflammatory response, arising from aging and a secondary immune challenge, may erode the capacity to provide the BDNF needed for memory-related plasticity processes at hippocampal synapses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'. PMID:25549562

  3. Changes in cardiovascular function with aging.

    PubMed

    Lakatta, E G

    1990-05-01

    Overall cardiovascular function at rest in most healthy elderly individuals is adequate to meet the body's need for pressure and flow. The resting heart rate is unchanged. Heart size is essentially not different in younger vs older adults, but heart wall thickness increases modestly, due largely to an increase in myocyte size. While the early diastolic filling rate is reduced, an enhanced atrial contribution to ventricular filling in elderly individuals maintains filling volume at a normal level. Although systolic pressure at rest increases with age, the resting end-systolic volume and election fraction are not altered, due partly to the increase in left ventricular thickness. Physical work capacity declines with advancing age, but the extent to which this can be attributed to a decrement in cardiac reserve is not certain. Part of the age-related decline in maximum oxygen consumption appears to be due to peripheral rather than central circulatory factors, e.g. to a decrease in muscle mass with age during exercise, the ability to direct blood flow to muscles, and the ability of muscle to utilize oxygen. Some elderly individuals exhibit cardiac dilatation which produces an increased stroke volume sufficient to counter the well-known age-related decrease in exercise heart rate, such that high levels of cardiac output can be maintained during exercise. Still, in these individuals, the exercise-induced reduction in end-systolic volume and increase in ejection fraction is less than in younger individuals. A similar haemodynamic profile occurs in individuals of any age who exercise in the presence of beta-adrenergic blockade.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:2188839

  4. Longitudinal regional brain volume loss in schizophrenia: Relationship to antipsychotic medication and change in social function

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Joyce Y.; Huhtaniska, Sanna; Miettunen, Jouko; Jääskeläinen, Erika; Kiviniemi, Vesa; Nikkinen, Juha; Moilanen, Jani; Haapea, Marianne; Mäki, Pirjo; Jones, Peter B.; Veijola, Juha; Isohanni, Matti; Murray, Graham K.

    2015-01-01

    Background Progressive brain volume loss in schizophrenia has been reported in previous studies but its cause and regional distribution remains unclear. We investigated progressive regional brain reductions in schizophrenia and correlations with potential mediators. Method Participants were drawn from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966. A total of 33 schizophrenia individuals and 71 controls were MRI scanned at baseline (mean age = 34.7, SD = 0.77) and at follow-up (mean age = 43.4, SD = 0.44). Regional brain change differences and associations with clinical mediators were examined using FSL voxelwise SIENA. Results Schizophrenia cases exhibited greater progressive brain reductions than controls, mainly in the frontal and temporal lobes. The degree of periventricular brain volume reductions were predicted by antipsychotic medication exposure at the fourth ventricular edge and by the number of days in hospital between the scans (a proxy measure of relapse duration) at the thalamic ventricular border. Decline in social and occupational functioning was associated with right supramarginal gyrus reduction. Conclusion Our findings are consistent with the possibility that antipsychotic medication exposure and time spent in relapse partially explain progressive brain reductions in schizophrenia. However, residual confounding could also account for the findings and caution must be applied before drawing causal inferences from associations demonstrated in observational studies of modest size. Less progressive brain volume loss in schizophrenia may indicate better preserved social and occupational functions. PMID:26189075

  5. Neural Substrate Expansion for the Restoration of Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Chen, H. Isaac; Jgamadze, Dennis; Serruya, Mijail D.; Cullen, D. Kacy; Wolf, John A.; Smith, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    Restoring neurological and cognitive function in individuals who have suffered brain damage is one of the principal objectives of modern translational neuroscience. Electrical stimulation approaches, such as deep-brain stimulation, have achieved the most clinical success, but they ultimately may be limited by the computational capacity of the residual cerebral circuitry. An alternative strategy is brain substrate expansion, in which the computational capacity of the brain is augmented through the addition of new processing units and the reconstitution of network connectivity. This latter approach has been explored to some degree using both biological and electronic means but thus far has not demonstrated the ability to reestablish the function of large-scale neuronal networks. In this review, we contend that fulfilling the potential of brain substrate expansion will require a significant shift from current methods that emphasize direct manipulations of the brain (e.g., injections of cellular suspensions and the implantation of multi-electrode arrays) to the generation of more sophisticated neural tissues and neural-electric hybrids in vitro that are subsequently transplanted into the brain. Drawing from neural tissue engineering, stem cell biology, and neural interface technologies, this strategy makes greater use of the manifold techniques available in the laboratory to create biocompatible constructs that recapitulate brain architecture and thus are more easily recognized and utilized by brain networks. PMID:26834579

  6. Neural Substrate Expansion for the Restoration of Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Chen, H Isaac; Jgamadze, Dennis; Serruya, Mijail D; Cullen, D Kacy; Wolf, John A; Smith, Douglas H

    2016-01-01

    Restoring neurological and cognitive function in individuals who have suffered brain damage is one of the principal objectives of modern translational neuroscience. Electrical stimulation approaches, such as deep-brain stimulation, have achieved the most clinical success, but they ultimately may be limited by the computational capacity of the residual cerebral circuitry. An alternative strategy is brain substrate expansion, in which the computational capacity of the brain is augmented through the addition of new processing units and the reconstitution of network connectivity. This latter approach has been explored to some degree using both biological and electronic means but thus far has not demonstrated the ability to reestablish the function of large-scale neuronal networks. In this review, we contend that fulfilling the potential of brain substrate expansion will require a significant shift from current methods that emphasize direct manipulations of the brain (e.g., injections of cellular suspensions and the implantation of multi-electrode arrays) to the generation of more sophisticated neural tissues and neural-electric hybrids in vitro that are subsequently transplanted into the brain. Drawing from neural tissue engineering, stem cell biology, and neural interface technologies, this strategy makes greater use of the manifold techniques available in the laboratory to create biocompatible constructs that recapitulate brain architecture and thus are more easily recognized and utilized by brain networks. PMID:26834579

  7. Autophagy and the immune function in aging.

    PubMed

    Cuervo, Ana Maria; Macian, Fernando

    2014-08-01

    Just when you thought that you had heard it all about autophagy-the conserved cellular process that mediates turnover of cellular constituents in the lysosomes - studies keep coming out highlighting new types of autophagy, new functions for autophagy or even new autophagy-independent roles for the proteins associated with this process. The field of immunology has been riding the autophagic wave since the beginning of its revival; first due to its role in the host defense against pathogens, and more recently through the better understanding of the unique characteristics and functions of different autophagic pathways in immune cells. Here, we describe some of these new functions that are tightening the connection between autophagy and acquired or innate immunity and their malfunctioning with age. PMID:24929664

  8. Hyper-connectivity of functional networks for brain disease diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Jie, Biao; Wee, Chong-Yaw; Shen, Dinggang; Zhang, Daoqiang

    2016-08-01

    Exploring structural and functional interactions among various brain regions enables better understanding of pathological underpinnings of neurological disorders. Brain connectivity network, as a simplified representation of those structural and functional interactions, has been widely used for diagnosis and classification of neurodegenerative diseases, especially for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and its early stage - mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, the conventional functional connectivity network is usually constructed based on the pairwise correlation among different brain regions and thus ignores their higher-order relationships. Such loss of high-order information could be important for disease diagnosis, since neurologically a brain region predominantly interacts with more than one other brain regions. Accordingly, in this paper, we propose a novel framework for estimating the hyper-connectivity network of brain functions and then use this hyper-network for brain disease diagnosis. Here, the functional connectivity hyper-network denotes a network where each of its edges representing the interactions among multiple brain regions (i.e., an edge can connect with more than two brain regions), which can be naturally represented by a hyper-graph. Specifically, we first construct connectivity hyper-networks from the resting-state fMRI (R-fMRI) time series by using sparse representation. Then, we extract three sets of brain-region specific features from the connectivity hyper-networks, and further exploit a manifold regularized multi-task feature selection method to jointly select the most discriminative features. Finally, we use multi-kernel support vector machine (SVM) for classification. The experimental results on both MCI dataset and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) dataset demonstrate that, compared with the conventional connectivity network-based methods, the proposed method can not only improve the classification performance, but also help

  9. Brain Hemispheric Functions and the Native American.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Allen Chuck

    1982-01-01

    Uses brain research conducted by Dr. Roger Sperry to show that traditional Native Americans are more dominant in right hemisphere thinking, setting them apart from a modern left hemisphere-oriented society (especially emphasized in schools). Describes some characteristics of Native American thinking that illustrate a right hemisphere orientation…

  10. Generating Text from Functional Brain Images

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Francisco; Detre, Greg; Botvinick, Matthew

    2011-01-01

    Recent work has shown that it is possible to take brain images acquired during viewing of a scene and reconstruct an approximation of the scene from those images. Here we show that it is also possible to generate text about the mental content reflected in brain images. We began with images collected as participants read names of concrete items (e.g., “Apartment’’) while also seeing line drawings of the item named. We built a model of the mental semantic representation of concrete concepts from text data and learned to map aspects of such representation to patterns of activation in the corresponding brain image. In order to validate this mapping, without accessing information about the items viewed for left-out individual brain images, we were able to generate from each one a collection of semantically pertinent words (e.g., “door,” “window” for “Apartment’’). Furthermore, we show that the ability to generate such words allows us to perform a classification task and thus validate our method quantitatively. PMID:21927602

  11. Generating text from functional brain images.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Francisco; Detre, Greg; Botvinick, Matthew

    2011-01-01

    Recent work has shown that it is possible to take brain images acquired during viewing of a scene and reconstruct an approximation of the scene from those images. Here we show that it is also possible to generate text about the mental content reflected in brain images. We began with images collected as participants read names of concrete items (e.g., "Apartment'') while also seeing line drawings of the item named. We built a model of the mental semantic representation of concrete concepts from text data and learned to map aspects of such representation to patterns of activation in the corresponding brain image. In order to validate this mapping, without accessing information about the items viewed for left-out individual brain images, we were able to generate from each one a collection of semantically pertinent words (e.g., "door," "window" for "Apartment''). Furthermore, we show that the ability to generate such words allows us to perform a classification task and thus validate our method quantitatively. PMID:21927602

  12. Age-Related Differences in the Modulation of Small-World Brain Networks during a Go/NoGo Task

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Xiangfei; Liu, Yuelu; Sun, Junfeng; Tong, Shanbao

    2016-01-01

    Although inter-regional phase synchrony of neural oscillations has been proposed as a plausible mechanism for response control, little is known about the possible effects due to normal aging. We recorded multi-channel electroencephalography (EEG) from healthy younger and older adults in a Go/NoGo task, and examined the aging effects on synchronous brain networks with graph theoretical analysis. We found that in both age groups, brain networks in theta, alpha or beta band for either response execution (Go) or response inhibition (NoGo) condition showed prominent small-world property. Furthermore, small-world property of brain networks showed significant differences between different task conditions. Further analyses of node degree suggested that frontal-central theta band phase synchrony was enhanced during response inhibition, whereas during response execution, increased phase synchrony was observed in beta band over central-parietal regions. More interestingly, these task-related modulations on brain networks were well preserved and even more robust in older adults compared with younger adults. Taken together, our findings not only suggest that response control involves synchronous brain networks in functionally-distinct frequency bands, but also indicate an increase in the recruitment of brain network resources due to normal aging. PMID:27242512

  13. Brain structure-function associations in multi-generational families genetically enriched for bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Fears, Scott C; Schür, Remmelt; Sjouwerman, Rachel; Service, Susan K; Araya, Carmen; Araya, Xinia; Bejarano, Julio; Knowles, Emma; Gomez-Makhinson, Juliana; Lopez, Maria C; Aldana, Ileana; Teshiba, Terri M; Abaryan, Zvart; Al-Sharif, Noor B; Navarro, Linda; Tishler, Todd A; Altshuler, Lori; Bartzokis, George; Escobar, Javier I; Glahn, David C; Thompson, Paul M; Lopez-Jaramillo, Carlos; Macaya, Gabriel; Molina, Julio; Reus, Victor I; Sabatti, Chiara; Cantor, Rita M; Freimer, Nelson B; Bearden, Carrie E

    2015-07-01

    Recent theories regarding the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder suggest contributions of both neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative processes. While structural neuroimaging studies indicate disease-associated neuroanatomical alterations, the behavioural correlates of these alterations have not been well characterized. Here, we investigated multi-generational families genetically enriched for bipolar disorder to: (i) characterize neurobehavioural correlates of neuroanatomical measures implicated in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder; (ii) identify brain-behaviour associations that differ between diagnostic groups; (iii) identify neurocognitive traits that show evidence of accelerated ageing specifically in subjects with bipolar disorder; and (iv) identify brain-behaviour correlations that differ across the age span. Structural neuroimages and multi-dimensional assessments of temperament and neurocognition were acquired from 527 (153 bipolar disorder and 374 non-bipolar disorder) adults aged 18-87 years in 26 families with heavy genetic loading for bipolar disorder. We used linear regression models to identify significant brain-behaviour associations and test whether brain-behaviour relationships differed: (i) between diagnostic groups; and (ii) as a function of age. We found that total cortical and ventricular volume had the greatest number of significant behavioural associations, and included correlations with measures from multiple cognitive domains, particularly declarative and working memory and executive function. Cortical thickness measures, in contrast, showed more specific associations with declarative memory, letter fluency and processing speed tasks. While the majority of brain-behaviour relationships were similar across diagnostic groups, increased cortical thickness in ventrolateral prefrontal and parietal cortical regions was associated with better declarative memory only in bipolar disorder subjects, and not in non-bipolar disorder family

  14. Accelerated Brain Aging in Schizophrenia and Beyond: A Neuroanatomical Marker of Psychiatric Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Koutsouleris, Nikolaos; Davatzikos, Christos; Borgwardt, Stefan; Gaser, Christian; Bottlender, Ronald; Frodl, Thomas; Falkai, Peter; Riecher-Rössler, Anita; Möller, Hans-Jürgen; Reiser, Maximilian; Pantelis, Christos; Meisenzahl, Eva

    2014-01-01

    Structural brain abnormalities are central to schizophrenia (SZ), but it remains unknown whether they are linked to dysmaturational processes crossing diagnostic boundaries, aggravating across disease stages, and driving the neurodiagnostic signature of the illness. Therefore, we investigated whether patients with SZ (N = 141), major depression (MD; N = 104), borderline personality disorder (BPD; N = 57), and individuals in at-risk mental states for psychosis (ARMS; N = 89) deviated from the trajectory of normal brain maturation. This deviation was measured as difference between chronological and the neuroanatomical age (brain age gap estimation [BrainAGE]). Neuroanatomical age was determined by a machine learning system trained to individually estimate age from the structural magnetic resonance imagings of 800 healthy controls. Group-level analyses showed that BrainAGE was highest in SZ (+5.5 y) group, followed by MD (+4.0), BPD (+3.1), and the ARMS (+1.7) groups. Earlier disease onset in MD and BPD groups correlated with more pronounced BrainAGE, reaching effect sizes of the SZ group. Second, BrainAGE increased across at-risk, recent onset, and recurrent states of SZ. Finally, BrainAGE predicted both patient status as well as negative and disorganized symptoms. These findings suggest that an individually quantifiable “accelerated aging” effect may particularly impact on the neuroanatomical signature of SZ but may extend also to other mental disorders. PMID:24126515

  15. Functional brain imaging studies of youth depression: A systematic review☆

    PubMed Central

    Kerestes, Rebecca; Davey, Christopher G.; Stephanou, Katerina; Whittle, Sarah; Harrison, Ben J.

    2013-01-01

    Background There is growing interest in understanding the neurobiology of major depressive disorder (MDD) in youth, particularly in the context of neuroimaging studies. This systematic review provides a timely comprehensive account of the available functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature in youth MDD. Methods A literature search was conducted using PubMED, PsycINFO and Science Direct databases, to identify fMRI studies in younger and older youth with MDD, spanning 13–18 and 19–25 years of age, respectively. Results Twenty-eight studies focusing on 5 functional imaging domains were identified, namely emotion processing, cognitive control, affective cognition, reward processing and resting-state functional connectivity. Elevated activity in “extended medial network” regions including the anterior cingulate, ventromedial and orbitofrontal cortices, as well as the amygdala was most consistently implicated across these five domains. For the most part, findings in younger adolescents did not differ from those in older youth; however a general comparison of findings in both groups compared to adults indicated differences in the domains of cognitive control and affective cognition. Conclusions Youth MDD is characterized by abnormal activations in ventromedial frontal regions, the anterior cingulate and amygdala, which are broadly consistent with the implicated role of medial network regions in the pathophysiology of depression. Future longitudinal studies examining the effects of neurodevelopmental changes and pubertal maturation on brain systems implicated in youth MDD will provide a more comprehensive neurobiological model of youth depression. PMID:24455472

  16. Neuroenhancement of the Aging Brain: Restoring Skill Acquisition in Old Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Zimerman, Máximo; Nitsch, Marie; Giraux, Pascal; Gerloff, Christian; Cohen, Leonardo G.; Hummel, Friedhelm C.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Decline in cognitive functions, including impaired acquisition of novel skills, is a feature of older age that impacts activities of daily living, independence, and integration in modern societies. Methods We tested whether the acquisition of a complex motor skill can be enhanced in old subjects by the application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the motor cortex. Results The main finding was that old participants experienced substantial improvements when training was applied concurrent with tDCS, with effects lasting for at least 24 hours. Interpretation These results suggest noninvasive brain stimulation as a promising and safe tool to potentially assist functional independence of aged individuals in daily life. PMID:23225625

  17. Effects of Flight on Gene Expression and Aging in the Honey Bee Brain and Flight Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Margotta, Joseph W.; Mancinelli, Georgina E.; Benito, Azucena A.; Ammons, Andrew; Roberts, Stephen P.; Elekonich, Michelle M.

    2012-01-01

    Honey bees move through a series of in-hive tasks (e.g., “nursing”) to outside tasks (e.g., “foraging”) that are coincident with physiological changes and higher levels of metabolic activity. Social context can cause worker bees to speed up or slow down this process, and foragers may revert back to their earlier in-hive tasks accompanied by reversion to earlier physiological states. To investigate the effects of flight, behavioral state and age on gene expression, we used whole-genome microarrays and real-time PCR. Brain tissue and flight muscle exhibited different patterns of expression during behavioral transitions, with expression patterns in the brain reflecting both age and behavior, and expression patterns in flight muscle being primarily determined by age. Our data suggest that the transition from behaviors requiring little to no flight (nursing) to those requiring prolonged flight bouts (foraging), rather than the amount of previous flight per se, has a major effect on gene expression. Following behavioral reversion there was a partial reversion in gene expression but some aspects of forager expression patterns, such as those for genes involved in immune function, remained. Combined with our real-time PCR data, these data suggest an epigenetic control and energy balance role in honey bee functional senescence. PMID:26466793

  18. Charac