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  • Francesca Sibilia
    Trinity College Dublin
  • Elizabeth Grace Kehoe
    Trinity College Dublin
  • Dervla Farrell
    Trinity College Dublin
  • Christian Kerskens
    Trinity College Dublin
  • Desmond O'Neill
    Trinity College Dublin
  • Jonathan Paul McNulty
    University College Dublin
  • Paul Gerald Mullins
  • Arun Bokde
    Trinity College Dublin

The aim of this study was to investigate the aging-related structural changes of the cingulum, one of the major components of the limbic network, which has a critical role in emotion, attention and memory. 35 healthy young adults (22.3 ± 2.7 years) and 33 healthy older adults (69.5 ± 3.5 years) were recruited. Diffusion weighted imaging data were acquired with a b-value = 2000 s/mm2, 61 diffusion directions and 4 non-weighted images. The fiber directions in each voxel were based on the constrained spherical deconvolution (CSD) model. The cingulum was segmented into three branches using deterministic tractography (subgenual, retrosplenial and parahippocampal), using a region-of-interest (ROI)-based approach. Atlas-based tractography (ABT) was the method used to obtain the output tracts of each branch of the cingulum. Along-tract analysis was performed on each branch. We found a statistically significant change with aging in the left subgenual branch of the cingulum with a decrease in fractional anisotropy (FA) and axial diffusivity (AD), as well as an increase in radial diffusivity (RD). No statistically significant differences were found between young and older groups in the other two branches. This study adds to knowledge about how the cingulum changes structurally along its entire length during aging in a more detailed way, thanks to an advanced methodological approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-372
JournalBrain connectivity
Volume7
Issue number6
Early online date5 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

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