: Neurogenesis decline with aging may be associated with brain atrophy. Subventricular zone neuron precursor cells possibly modulate striatal neuronal activity via the release of soluble molecules. Neurogenesis decay in the subventricular zone may result in structural alterations of brain regions connected to the caudate, particularly to its medial component. The aim of this study was to investigate how the functional organization of caudate networks relates to structural brain changes with aging. One hundred and fifty-two normal subjects were recruited: 52 young healthy adults (≤35 years old), 42 middle-aged (36 ≤ 60 years old) and 58 elderly subjects (≥60 years old). In young adults, stepwise functional connectivity was used to characterize regions that connect to the medial and lateral caudate at different levels of link-step distances. A statistical comparison between the connectivity of medial and lateral caudate in young subjects was useful to define medial and lateral caudate connected regions. Atrophy of medial and lateral caudate connected regions was estimated in young, middle-aged and elderly subjects using T1-weighted images. Results showed that middle-aged and elderly adults exhibited decreased stepwise functional connectivity at one-link step from the caudate, particularly in the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital brain regions, compared to young subjects. Elderly individuals showed increased stepwise functional connectivity in frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes compared to both young and middle-aged adults. Additionally, elderly adults displayed decreased stepwise functional connectivity compared to middle-aged subjects in specific parietal and subcortical areas. Moreover, in young adults, the medial caudate showed higher direct connectivity to the basal ganglia (left thalamus), superior, middle and inferior frontal and inferior parietal gyri (medial caudate connected region) relative to the lateral caudate. Considering the opposite contrast, lateral caudate showed stronger connectivity to the basal ganglia (right pallidum), orbitofrontal, rostral anterior cingulate and insula cortices (lateral caudate connected region) compared to medial caudate. In elderly subjects, the medial caudate connected region showed greater atrophy relative to the lateral caudate connected region. Brain regions linked to the medial caudate appear to be more vulnerable to aging than lateral caudate connected areas. The adjacency to the subventricular zone may, at least partially, explain these findings. Stepwise functional connectivity analysis can be useful to evaluate the role of the subventricular zone in network disruptions in age-related neurodegenerative disorders.

Caudate functional networks influence brain structural changes with aging / Basaia, Silvia; Zavarella, Matteo; Rugarli, Giulia; Sferruzza, Giacomo; Cividini, Camilla; Canu, Elisa; Cacciaguerra, Laura; Bacigaluppi, Marco; Martino, Gianvito; Filippi, Massimo; Agosta, Federica. - In: BRAIN COMMUNICATIONS. - ISSN 2632-1297. - 6:2(2024). [10.1093/braincomms/fcae116]

Caudate functional networks influence brain structural changes with aging

Basaia, Silvia
Primo
;
Zavarella, Matteo
Secondo
;
Rugarli, Giulia;Sferruzza, Giacomo;Cividini, Camilla;Cacciaguerra, Laura;Bacigaluppi, Marco;Martino, Gianvito;Filippi, Massimo
Penultimo
;
Agosta, Federica
Ultimo
2024-01-01

Abstract

: Neurogenesis decline with aging may be associated with brain atrophy. Subventricular zone neuron precursor cells possibly modulate striatal neuronal activity via the release of soluble molecules. Neurogenesis decay in the subventricular zone may result in structural alterations of brain regions connected to the caudate, particularly to its medial component. The aim of this study was to investigate how the functional organization of caudate networks relates to structural brain changes with aging. One hundred and fifty-two normal subjects were recruited: 52 young healthy adults (≤35 years old), 42 middle-aged (36 ≤ 60 years old) and 58 elderly subjects (≥60 years old). In young adults, stepwise functional connectivity was used to characterize regions that connect to the medial and lateral caudate at different levels of link-step distances. A statistical comparison between the connectivity of medial and lateral caudate in young subjects was useful to define medial and lateral caudate connected regions. Atrophy of medial and lateral caudate connected regions was estimated in young, middle-aged and elderly subjects using T1-weighted images. Results showed that middle-aged and elderly adults exhibited decreased stepwise functional connectivity at one-link step from the caudate, particularly in the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital brain regions, compared to young subjects. Elderly individuals showed increased stepwise functional connectivity in frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes compared to both young and middle-aged adults. Additionally, elderly adults displayed decreased stepwise functional connectivity compared to middle-aged subjects in specific parietal and subcortical areas. Moreover, in young adults, the medial caudate showed higher direct connectivity to the basal ganglia (left thalamus), superior, middle and inferior frontal and inferior parietal gyri (medial caudate connected region) relative to the lateral caudate. Considering the opposite contrast, lateral caudate showed stronger connectivity to the basal ganglia (right pallidum), orbitofrontal, rostral anterior cingulate and insula cortices (lateral caudate connected region) compared to medial caudate. In elderly subjects, the medial caudate connected region showed greater atrophy relative to the lateral caudate connected region. Brain regions linked to the medial caudate appear to be more vulnerable to aging than lateral caudate connected areas. The adjacency to the subventricular zone may, at least partially, explain these findings. Stepwise functional connectivity analysis can be useful to evaluate the role of the subventricular zone in network disruptions in age-related neurodegenerative disorders.
2024
aging
caudate
connectomics
structural MRI
subventricular zone
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11768/160636
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