Although age-related effects on brain volume have been extensively investigated post mortem and in vivo using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), regional and temporal patterns of white matter (WM) volume changes with aging are not defined yet. The aim of this study was to assess the topographical distribution of age-related WM volume changes using a recently developed voxel-based method to obtain estimates of WM fiber bundle volumes using diffusion tensor (DT) MRI. Brain conventional and DT MRI were obtained from 84 healthy subjects (mean age = 44 years, range = 13-70). Linear and non-linear relationships between age and WM fiber bundle volume changes were tested. A negative linear correlation was found between age and WM volume decline in the corona radiata, anterior cingulum, body and crus of the fornix and left superior cerebellar peduncle. A positive linear correlation was found between age and volume increase of the right deep temporal association fibers. The non-linear regression analysis also showed age-related changes of the genu of the corpus callosum and fitted better the volume changes of the right deep temporal association fibers. WM volume decline with age is unevenly distributed across brain regions. Our approach holds promise to gain additional information on the pathological changes associated to neurological disorders of the elderly.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience