Late life cognitive control deficits are accentuated by white matter disease burden

Adriane B V Mayda, Andrew Westphal, Cameron S Carter, Charles DeCarli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that age-related impairments in cognition may be mediated by a specific deficit in the ability to maintain goal-relevant information, a critical component of cognitive control dependent on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, although the underlying neural mechanism of these deficits remains unclear. To examine white matter hyperintensities as a neurobiological mechanism of these impairments, older individuals with severe white matter hyperintensity burden, older individuals with low white matter hyperintensity burden, and young adults were assessed in an event-related functional imaging scan while performing the 'AX'-continuous performance task. Individuals with severe white matter hyperintensity burden showed a significant reduction in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity during the high cognitive control cue condition relative to the low white matter hyperintensity group and young individuals. Conversely, those with severe white matter hyperintensity burden showed greater activity in rostral anterior cingulate cortex compared to young individuals. These results are consistent with impaired cognitive control and a possible failure to deactivate default-mode regions in these subjects. Additionally, those with severe white matter hyperintensity burden showed reduced functional connectivity between dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and task-relevant brain regions including middle frontal gyrus, and supramarginal gyrus relative to young subjects and those with minimal white matter hyperintensity burden. These results suggest that age-related goal maintenance impairments and associated dorsolateral prefrontal cortex dysfunction may partly reflect incipient white matter disease of interconnected cognitive networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1673-1683
Number of pages11
JournalBrain
Volume134
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011

Fingerprint

Leukoencephalopathies
Prefrontal Cortex
Parietal Lobe
Aptitude
White Matter
Gyrus Cinguli
Task Performance and Analysis
Cognition
Cues
Young Adult
Maintenance
Brain

Keywords

  • ageing
  • functional connectivity
  • functional MRI
  • white matter hyperintensities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Late life cognitive control deficits are accentuated by white matter disease burden. / Mayda, Adriane B V; Westphal, Andrew; Carter, Cameron S; DeCarli, Charles.

In: Brain, Vol. 134, No. 6, 06.2011, p. 1673-1683.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mayda, Adriane B V ; Westphal, Andrew ; Carter, Cameron S ; DeCarli, Charles. / Late life cognitive control deficits are accentuated by white matter disease burden. In: Brain. 2011 ; Vol. 134, No. 6. pp. 1673-1683.
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