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Structural architecture supports functional organization in the human aging brain at a regionwise and network level

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Ritter,  Petra
Department of Neurology, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany;
Minerva Research Group Brain Modes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Berlin, Germany;
Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany;

Rothmeier,  Simon
Department of Neurology, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany;
Minerva Research Group Brain Modes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Zimmermann, J., Ritter, P., Shen, K., Rothmeier, S., Schirner, M., & McIntosh, A. R. (2016). Structural architecture supports functional organization in the human aging brain at a regionwise and network level. Human Brain Mapping, 37(7), 2645-2661. doi:10.1002/hbm.23200.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-A73F-F
Abstract
Functional interactions in the brain are constrained by the underlying anatomical architecture, and structural and functional networks share network features such as modularity. Accordingly, age-related changes of structural connectivity (SC) may be paralleled by changes in functional connectivity (FC). We provide a detailed qualitative and quantitative characterization of the SC–FC coupling in human aging as inferred from resting-state blood oxygen-level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion-weighted imaging in a sample of 47 adults with an age range of 18–82. We revealed that SC and FC decrease with age across most parts of the brain and there is a distinct age-dependency of regionwise SC–FC coupling and network-level SC–FC relations. A specific pattern of SC–FC coupling predicts age more reliably than does regionwise SC or FC alone (r = 0.73, 95% CI = [0.7093, 0.8522]). Hence, our data propose that regionwise SC–FC coupling can be used to characterize brain changes in aging.