An in vivo study on brain microstructure in biological and chronological ageing

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Irmhild Altmann-Schneider
  • Anton J M de Craen
  • Annette A van den Berg-Huysmans
  • Pieternella Slagboom
  • Westendorp, Rudi GJ
  • Mark A van Buchem
  • Jeroen van der Grond

This study aimed to investigate whether magnetization transfer imaging (MTI) parameters of cortical gray and white matter and subcortical gray matter structures differ between subjects enriched for human familial longevity and control subjects to provide a thorough description of the brain phenotype of familial longevity. Moreover, we aimed to describe cerebral ageing effects on MTI parameters in an elderly cohort. All subjects were included from the Leiden Longevity Study and underwent 3 Tesla MTI of the brain. In total, 183 offspring of nonagenarian siblings, who are enriched for familial factors of longevity, were contrasted with 163 environmentally and age-matched controls. No differences in cortical and subcortical gray matter and white matter MTI parameters were found between offspring and control subjects using histogram-based and voxel-wise analyses. Cortical gray matter and white matter MTI parameters decreased with increasing chronological age (all p < 0.001). Decrease of white matter magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) was homogeneous throughout the whole mean white matter skeleton except for parts of the callosal splenium and partly the posterior limb of the internal capsule and superior region of the corona radiata (p < 0.05). Mean MTR of subcortical gray matter structures decreased with increasing age (p amygdala, caudate nucleus and putamen < 0.001; p pallidum = 0.001, p thalamus = 0.002). In conclusion, the brain phenotype of human familial longevity is - at a mean age of 66 years - not characterized by preserved macromolecular brain tissue integrity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0120778
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2015

ID: 140395616