Curvilinear locus coeruleus functional connectivity trajectories over the adult lifespan: a 7T MRI study
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The locus coeruleus (LC) plays a crucial role in modulating several higher order cognitive functions via its widespread projections to the entire brain. We set out to investigate the hypothesis that LC functional connectivity (FC) may fluctuate nonlinearly with age and explored its relation to memory function. To that end, 49 cognitively healthy individuals (19-74 years) underwent ultra high-resolution 7T resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and cognitive testing. FC patterns from the LC to regions of the isodendritic core network and cortical regions were examined using region of interest-to-region of interest analyses. Curvilinear patterns with age were observed for FC between the left LC and cortical regions and the nucleus basalis of Meynert. A linear negative association was observed between age and LC-FC and ventral tegmental area. Higher levels of FC between the LC and nucleus basalis of Meynert or ventral tegmental area were associated with lower memory performance from age of 40 years onward. Thus, different LC-FC patterns early in life can signal subtle memory deficits. Furthermore, these results highlight the importance of intact interactions between neurotransmitter systems for optimal cognitive aging.
- Journal Article, HUMAN BRAIN, Memory, ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE, Brainstem, NORADRENERGIC MODULATION, Noradrenalin, SUBSTANTIA-NIGRA, INDEPENDENT COMPONENT ANALYSIS, Resting state, RESTING-STATE NETWORKS, IN-VIVO, Nucleus basalis of meynert, HEALTHY OLDER-ADULTS, BASAL FOREBRAIN, Ventral tegmental area, NORMATIVE DATA