Table_5_Lagged Coupled Changes Between White Matter Microstructure and Processing Speed in Healthy Aging: A Longitudinal Investigation.pdf (1.06 MB)

Table_5_Lagged Coupled Changes Between White Matter Microstructure and Processing Speed in Healthy Aging: A Longitudinal Investigation.pdf

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posted on 21.11.2019, 04:06 by Jessica Oschwald, Susan Mérillat, Franziskus Liem, Christina Röcke, Mike Martin, Lutz Jäncke

Age-related differences in white matter (WM) microstructure have been linked to lower performance in tasks of processing speed in healthy older individuals. However, only few studies have examined this link in a longitudinal setting. These investigations have been limited to the correlation of simultaneous changes in WM microstructure and processing speed. Still little is known about the nature of age-related changes in WM microstructure, i.e., regionally distinct vs. global changes. In the present study, we addressed these open questions by exploring whether previous changes in WM microstructure were related to subsequent changes in processing speed: (a) 1 year later; or (b) 2 years later. Furthermore, we investigated whether age-related changes in WM microstructure were regionally specific or global. We used data from four occasions (covering 4 years) of the Longitudinal Healthy Aging Brain (LHAB) database project (N = 232; age range at baseline = 64–86). As a measure of WM microstructure, we used mean fractional anisotropy (FA) in 10 major WM tracts averaged across hemispheres. Processing speed was measured with four cognitive tasks. Statistical analyses were conducted with bivariate latent change score (LCS) models. We found, for the first time, evidence for lagged couplings between preceding changes in FA and subsequent changes in processing speed 2 years, but not 1 year later in some of the WM tracts (anterior thalamic radiation, superior longitudinal fasciculus). Our results supported the notion that FA changes were different between regional WM tracts rather than globally shared, with some tracts showing mean declines in FA, and others remaining relatively stable across 4 years.

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