Aging is a natural phenomenon that elicits slow and progressive cerebrovascular and neurophysiological changes that eventually lead to cognitive decline. The objective of this pilot study is to examine the association of GABA+ and glutamate–glutamine (Glx) complex with language-based blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) hemodynamics in an aging model. More specifically, using standard BOLD we will first attempt to validate whether previously reported findings for BOLD amplitude and resting neurochemical relationships hold in an aging model. Secondly, we will investigate how our recently established neurosensitized task-BOLD energetics relate to resting GABA+ and Glx, especially accounting for titration of task difficulty. To support the above endeavors, we optimize the baseline fitting for edited magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) difference spectra to sensitize GABA+ and Glx concentrations to aging-related differences. We identify a spline-knot spacing of 0.6ppm to yield the optimal aging-related differences in GABA+ and Glx. The optimized MRS values were then graduated to relate to task-BOLD hemodynamics. Our results did not replicate previous findings that relate task-BOLD amplitude and resting GABA+ and Glx. However, we did identify neurochemistry relationships with the vascularly-driven dispersion component of the hemodynamic response function, specifically in older participants. In terms of neuro-sensitized BOLD energetics and the underlying role of GABA+ and Glx, our data suggests that the task demands are supported by both neurometabolites depending on the difficulty of the task stimuli. Another novelty is that we developed task-based functional parcellation of pre-SMA using both groups. In sum, we are the first to demonstrate that multimodal task-fMRI and MRS studies are beneficial to improve our understanding of the aging brain physiology, and to set the platform to better inform approaches for clinical care in aging-related neurovascular diseases. We also urge future studies to replicate our findings in a larger population incorporating a lifespan framework.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Center grant award (5I50 RX002358) sponsored by Veterans Health Administration. LK received funding from the Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research & Development Service (United States) grant I21RX003581. VK received funding from the Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research & Development Service (United States) grant IK2 RX002934.
Copyright © 2022 Krishnamurthy, Paredes Spir, Rocha, Soher, Auerbach, Crosson and Krishnamurthy.
- pre-supplementary motor area
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article