Clinically silent Alzheimer's and vascular pathologies influence brain networks supporting executive function in healthy older adults

Brian T. Gold, Christopher A. Brown, Jonathan G. Hakun, Leslie M. Shaw, John Q. Trojanowski, Charles D. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aging is associated with declines in executive function. We examined how executive functional brain systems are influenced by clinically silent Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology and cerebral white-matter hyperintensities (WMHs). Twenty-nine younger adults and 34 cognitively normal older adults completed a working memory paradigm while functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed. Older adults further underwent lumbar cerebrospinal fluid draw for the assessment of AD pathology and FLAIR imaging for the assessment of WMHs. Accurate working memory performance in both age groups was associated with high fronto-visual functional connectivity (fC). However, in older adults, higher expression of fronto-visual fC was linked with lower levels of clinically silent AD pathology. In addition, AD pathology and WMHs were each independently related to increased functional magnetic resonance imaging response in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a pattern associated with slower task performance. Our results suggest that clinically silent AD pathology is related to lower expression of a fronto-visual fC pattern supporting executive task performance. Further, our findings suggest that AD pathology and WMHs appear to be linked with ineffective increases in frontal response in CN older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume58
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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