Equivalent disruption of regional white matter microstructure in ageing healthy men and women

Edith V. Sullivan, Elfar Adalsteinsson, Maj Hedehus, Catherine Ju, Michael Moseley, Kelvin O. Lim, Adolf Pfefferbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

316 Scopus citations


Diffusion tensor imaging was used to measure regional differences in brain white matter microstructure (intravoxel coherence) and macrostructure (intervoxel coherence) and age-related differences between men and women. Neuropsychiatrically healthy men and women, spanning the adult age range, showed the same pattern of variation in regional white matter coherence. The greatest coherence measured was in corpus callosum, where commissural fibers have one primary orientation, lower in the centrum semiovale, where fibers cross from multiple axes, and lowest in pericallosal areas, where fibers weave and interstitial fluid commonly pools. Age-related declines in intravoxel coherence was equally strong and strikingly similar in men and women, with evidence for greater age-dependent deterioration in frontal than parietal regions. Degree of regional white matter coherence correlated with gait, balance, and interhemispheric transfer test scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-104
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 22 2001


  • Aging
  • Ataxia
  • Balance
  • Corpus callosum
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Finger tapping
  • Gender
  • Interhemispheric transfer
  • Microstructure
  • White matter


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