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Longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging studies of older adults: a shrinking brain.

Abstract

Age-related loss of brain tissue has been inferred from cross-sectional neuroimaging studies, but direct measurements of gray and white matter changes from longitudinal studies are lacking. We quantified longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of 92 nondemented older adults (age 59-85 years at baseline) in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging to determine the rates and regional distribution of gray and white matter tissue loss in older adults. Using images from baseline, 2 year, and 4 year follow-up, we found significant age changes in gray (p < 0.001) and white (p < 0.001) volumes even in a subgroup of 24 very healthy elderly. Annual rates of tissue loss were 5.4 +/- 0.3, 2.4 +/- 0.4, and 3.1 +/- 0.4 cm3 per year for total brain, gray, and white volumes, respectively, and ventricles increased by 1.4 +/- 0.1 cm3 per year (3.7, 1.3, 2.4, and 1.2 cm3, respectively, in very healthy). Frontal and parietal, compared with temporal and occipital, lobar regions showed greater decline. Gray matter loss was most pronounced for orbital and inferior frontal, cingulate, insular, inferior parietal, and to a lesser extent mesial temporal regions, whereas white matter changes were widespread. In this first study of gray and white matter volume changes, we demonstrate significant longitudinal tissue loss for both gray and white matter even in very healthy older adults. These data provide essential information on the rate and regional pattern of age-associated changes against which pathology can be evaluated and suggest slower rates of brain atrophy in individuals who remain medically and cognitively healthy.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Laboratory of Personality and Cognition, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland 21224-6825, USA. susan.resnick@nih.gov

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    Source

    MeSH

    Age Factors
    Aged
    Aged, 80 and over
    Aging
    Baltimore
    Brain
    Brain Mapping
    Cerebral Ventricles
    Female
    Humans
    Longitudinal Studies
    Magnetic Resonance Imaging
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Reference Values
    Regression Analysis
    Sex Factors

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    12716936

    Citation

    Resnick, Susan M., et al. "Longitudinal Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies of Older Adults: a Shrinking Brain." The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, vol. 23, no. 8, 2003, pp. 3295-301.
    Resnick SM, Pham DL, Kraut MA, et al. Longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging studies of older adults: a shrinking brain. J Neurosci. 2003;23(8):3295-301.
    Resnick, S. M., Pham, D. L., Kraut, M. A., Zonderman, A. B., & Davatzikos, C. (2003). Longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging studies of older adults: a shrinking brain. The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 23(8), pp. 3295-301.
    Resnick SM, et al. Longitudinal Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies of Older Adults: a Shrinking Brain. J Neurosci. 2003 Apr 15;23(8):3295-301. PubMed PMID: 12716936.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging studies of older adults: a shrinking brain. AU - Resnick,Susan M, AU - Pham,Dzung L, AU - Kraut,Michael A, AU - Zonderman,Alan B, AU - Davatzikos,Christos, PY - 2003/4/30/pubmed PY - 2003/5/31/medline PY - 2003/4/30/entrez SP - 3295 EP - 301 JF - The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience JO - J. Neurosci. VL - 23 IS - 8 N2 - Age-related loss of brain tissue has been inferred from cross-sectional neuroimaging studies, but direct measurements of gray and white matter changes from longitudinal studies are lacking. We quantified longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of 92 nondemented older adults (age 59-85 years at baseline) in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging to determine the rates and regional distribution of gray and white matter tissue loss in older adults. Using images from baseline, 2 year, and 4 year follow-up, we found significant age changes in gray (p < 0.001) and white (p < 0.001) volumes even in a subgroup of 24 very healthy elderly. Annual rates of tissue loss were 5.4 +/- 0.3, 2.4 +/- 0.4, and 3.1 +/- 0.4 cm3 per year for total brain, gray, and white volumes, respectively, and ventricles increased by 1.4 +/- 0.1 cm3 per year (3.7, 1.3, 2.4, and 1.2 cm3, respectively, in very healthy). Frontal and parietal, compared with temporal and occipital, lobar regions showed greater decline. Gray matter loss was most pronounced for orbital and inferior frontal, cingulate, insular, inferior parietal, and to a lesser extent mesial temporal regions, whereas white matter changes were widespread. In this first study of gray and white matter volume changes, we demonstrate significant longitudinal tissue loss for both gray and white matter even in very healthy older adults. These data provide essential information on the rate and regional pattern of age-associated changes against which pathology can be evaluated and suggest slower rates of brain atrophy in individuals who remain medically and cognitively healthy. SN - 1529-2401 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/12716936/Longitudinal_magnetic_resonance_imaging_studies_of_older_adults:_a_shrinking_brain_ L2 - http://www.jneurosci.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&amp;pmid=12716936 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -