Age specificity in fornix-to-hippocampus association
- 122 Downloads
Both white and grey matter atrophy with age, but it is still unclear how decline in white matter relates to decline in grey matter, and how this relationship varies with age. In a group of healthy adults from 20 to 80 years old, divided into three age groups by tertiles, we cross-sectionally examined the white-to-grey matter associations in the fornix and the hippocampus, and tested if and how the fornix-to-hippocampus relationship differs across the age groups. Both structures were also tested as predictors for performance on a memory test, the Selective Reminding Task (SRT). Participants were imaged with T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), from which the hippocampal volume, fractional anisotropy (FA), and mean diffusivity (MD) for the bilateral crus and body of the fornix were calculated. Our data showed that even after accounting for age, sex, and motion parameters, fornix integrity predicted hippocampal volume in the two older age groups (middle and old age) for the crus of the fornix, and only in the oldest age group for the body of the fornix. Furthermore, fornix integrity significantly predicted SRT performance, whereas hippocampal volume did not; this relationship was also observed only in the oldest age group, and absent in the two younger age groups. The age specificity of the relationships suggests that the fornix-to-hippocampus relationship only manifests once brain structures begin to atrophy in old age, and that fornix integrity is a more sensitive measure for episodic memory than is hippocampal volume.
KeywordsDiffusion tensor imaging Episodic memory Aging Fornix Hippocampus T1-weighted imaging
This study was funded by National Institute of Health/Aging under grant numbers K01AG051777, RF1AG038465, and R01AG026158.
Compliance with ethical standards
Participants in this study were treated in accordance with the ethical standards of the Columbia University Institutional Review Board. They were only tested after they had a complete understanding of the risks and benefits involved in this research and had provided written consent for participation and use of their data.
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Baumann, P. S., Griffa, A., Fournier, M., Golay, P., Ferrari, C., Alameda, L., . . . Conus, P. (2016). Impaired fornix-hippocampus integrity is linked to peripheral glutathione peroxidase in early psychosis. Translational Psychiatry, 6(7), e859. https://doi.org/10.1038/tp.2016.117.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Billiet, T., Vandenbulcke, M., Madler, B., Peeters, R., Dhollander, T., Zhang, H., . . . Emsell, L. (2015). Age-related microstructural differences quantified using myelin water imaging and advanced diffusion MRI. Neurobiology of Aging, 36(6), 2107–2121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2015.02.029.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Concha, L., Livy, D. J., Beaulieu, C., Wheatley, B. M., & Gross, D. W. (2010). In vivo diffusion tensor imaging and histopathology of the fimbria-fornix in temporal lobe epilepsy. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30(3), 996–1002. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1619-09.2010.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Duvernoy, H., Cattin, F., Risold, P.-Y., & ebrary Inc. (2013). The human hippocampus functional anatomy, vascularization and serial sections with MRI retrieved from http://www.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/cul/resolve?clio10415430.
- Fletcher, E., Raman, M., Huebner, P., Liu, A., Mungas, D., Carmichael, O., & Decarli, C. (2013). Loss of fornix white matter volume as a predictor of cognitive impairment in cognitively normal elderly individuals. JAMA Neurology, 70, 1389–1395. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.3263.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- He, J., Wong, V. S., Fletcher, E., Maillard, P., Lee, D. Y., Iosif, A. M., . . . DeCarli, C. (2012). The contributions of MRI-based measures of gray matter, white matter hyperintensity, and white matter integrity to late-life cognition. AJNR. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 33(9), 1797–1803. https://doi.org/10.3174/ajnr.A3048.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Hong, Z., Ng, K. K., Sim, S. K., Ngeow, M. Y., Zheng, H., Lo, J. C., . . . Zhou, J. (2015). Differential age-dependent associations of gray matter volume and white matter integrity with processing speed in healthy older adults. Neuroimage, 123, 42–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.08.034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mielke, M. M., Okonkwo, O. C., Oishi, K., Mori, S., Tighe, S., Miller, M. I., . . . Lyketsos, C. G. (2012). Fornix integrity and hippocampal volume predict memory decline and progression to Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimers Dement, 8(2), 105–113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2011.05.2416.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Quenon, L., Dricot, L., Woodard, J. L., Hanseeuw, B., Gilis, N., Lhommel, R., & Ivanoiu, A. (2016). Prediction of free and cued selective reminding test performance using volumetric and amyloid-based biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 22(10), 991–1004. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1355617716000813.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Steenwijk, M. D., Daams, M., Pouwels, P. J., L, J. B., Tewarie, P. K., Geurts, J. J., . . . Vrenken, H. (2015). Unraveling the relationship between regional gray matter atrophy and pathology in connected white matter tracts in long-standing multiple sclerosis. Human Brain Mapping, 36(5), 1796–1807. https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.22738.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Stricker, N. H., Salat, D. H., Foley, J. M., Zink, T. A., Kellison, I. L., McFarland, C. P., . . . Leritz, E. C. (2013). Decreased white matter integrity in neuropsychologically defined mild cognitive impairment is independent of cortical thinning. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 19(8), 925–937. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1355617713000660.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Yendiki, A., Panneck, P., Srinivasan, P., Stevens, A., Zollei, L., Augustinack, J., . . . Fischl, B. (2011). Automated probabilistic reconstruction of white-matter pathways in health and disease using an atlas of the underlying anatomy. Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, 5, 23. https://doi.org/10.3389/fninf.2011.00023.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Zhuang, L., Sachdev, P. S., Trollor, J. N., Reppermund, S., Kochan, N. A., Brodaty, H., & Wen, W. (2013). Microstructural white matter changes, not hippocampal atrophy, detect early amnestic mild cognitive impairment. PLoS One, 8(3), e58887. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0058887.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar