Decline of fiber tract integrity over the adult age range: a diffusion spectrum imaging study

Teipel, Stefan J., Lerche, Maximilian, Kilimann, Ingo, O'Brien, Kieran, Grothe, Michel, Meyer, Peter, Li, Xingfeng, Saenger, Peter and Hauenstein, Karlheinz (2014) Decline of fiber tract integrity over the adult age range: a diffusion spectrum imaging study. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 40 2: 348-359. doi:10.1002/jmri.24420

Author Teipel, Stefan J.
Lerche, Maximilian
Kilimann, Ingo
O'Brien, Kieran
Grothe, Michel
Meyer, Peter
Li, Xingfeng
Saenger, Peter
Hauenstein, Karlheinz
Title Decline of fiber tract integrity over the adult age range: a diffusion spectrum imaging study
Journal name Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1522-2586
Publication date 2014-08-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/jmri.24420
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 40
Issue 2
Start page 348
End page 359
Total pages 12
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose: We applied a novel diffusion spectrum imaging (DSI) acquisition to determine associations between aging and subcortical fiber tract integrity.

Materials and Methods: We studied 35 cognitively healthy subjects (17 women), spanning the adult age range between 23 and 77 years, using anatomical MRI and a novel DSI acquisition scheme at 3 Tesla. The study was approved by the local institutional review board. DSI data were analyzed using tractography and complementary voxel-based analysis of generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA) maps. We determined the effects of age on generalized fractional anisotropy in selected fiber tracts as well as in a whole brain voxel-based analysis. For comparison, we studied the effects of age on regional gray and white matter volumes.

Results: We found a significant reduction in anterior corpus callosum fiber tract integrity with age (P < 0.001), as well as significant GFA reduction throughout the subcortical white matter (P < 0.05, false discovery rate [FDR] corrected). GFA decline was accompanied by significant gray matter atrophy in frontal and temporal association cortex (P < 0.05, FDR corrected).

Conclusion: Our data suggest that normal aging leads to a regionally specific decline in fiber tract integrity. DSI may become a useful biomarker in healthy and pathological aging.
Keyword Aging
Diffusion spectrum imaging
Generalized fractional anisotropy
White matter microstructure
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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