Brain Network Architecture Constrains Age-related Cortical Thinning


Age-related cortical atrophy, approximated by cortical thickness measurements from magnetic resonance imaging, follows a characteristic pattern over the lifespan. Although its determinants remain unknown, mounting evidence demonstrates correspondence between the connectivity profiles of structural and functional brain networks and cortical atrophy in health and neurological disease. Here, we performed a cross-sectional multimodal neuroimaging analysis of 2633 individuals from a large population-based cohort to characterize the association between age-related differences in cortical thickness and functional as well as structural brain network topology. We identified a widespread pattern of age-related cortical thickness differences including “hotspots” of pronounced age effects in sensorimotor areas. Regional age-related differences were strongly correlated within the structurally defined node neighborhood. The overall pattern of thickness differences was found to be anchored in the functional network hierarchy as encoded by macroscale functional connectivity gradients. Lastly, the identified difference pattern covaried significantly with cognitive and motor performance. Our findings indicate that connectivity profiles of functional and structural brain networks act as organizing principles behind age-related cortical thinning as an imaging surrogate of cortical atrophy.

Bibliografische Daten

StatusVeröffentlicht - 29.10.2022

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Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Inc.

PubMed 36341953