Navigation Links
Your brain is fine-tuning its wiring throughout your life
Date:2/3/2014

Philadelphia, PA, February 3, 2014 The white matter microstructure, the communication pathways of the brain, continues to develop/mature as one ages. Studies link age-related differences in white matter microstructure to specific cognitive abilities in childhood and adulthood.

Most prior studies, however, did not include individuals from the entire life span or evaluated a limited section of white matter tracts. This knowledge gap prompted a new study published this week in Biological Psychiatry.

Dr. Bart Peters, of the Zucker Hillside Hospital, and his colleagues investigated the relationship of age and neurocognitive performance to nine white matter tracts from childhood to late adulthood.

To accomplish this, they recruited 296 healthy volunteers who ranged from 8 to 68 years of age. The participants completed a comprehensive battery of tests designed to measure their cognitive functioning, including speed, attention, memory, and learning. They also underwent a non-invasive diffusion tensor imaging scan, a technology that allowed the researchers to create maps of the 9 major white matter tracts under investigation.

The combination of this data allowed them to identify the neurocognitive correlates of each white matter tract in relation to its unique aging pattern.

They found that, from childhood into early adulthood, differences in fractional anisotropy a measure of connectivity of the cingulum were associated with executive functioning, whereas fractional anisotropy of the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus was associated with visual learning and global cognitive performance via speed of processing.

"Our study identified key brain circuits that develop during adolescence and young adulthood that are associated with the growth of learning, memory and planning abilities. These findings suggest that young people may not have full capacity of these functions until these connections have completed their normal trajectory of maturation beyond adolescence," explained Peters.

"Our brain is changing throughout our lives. These changes underlie the capacities that emerge and are refined through adulthood," commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. "There are clues that the steps that we take to preserve our medical health and stimulate our minds also serve to further refine and maintain these connections. For good reasons, attending to brain health is increasingly a focus of healthy aging."

In addition, many individuals diagnosed with psychiatric disorders suffer with neurocognitive dysfunction as part of their illness, which is particularly difficult to alleviate with currently available treatments. Studies such as this may help to identify specific brain circuits/pathways that could serve as potential targets for treatment interventions.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rhiannon Bugno
Biol.Psych@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-0880
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Stanford researchers discover how brain regions work together, or alone
2. Making your brain social
3. Study shows autistic brains create more information at rest
4. Cc to the brain: How neurons control fine motor behavior of the arm
5. New molecule protects brain from detrimental effects linked to diabetes and high blood sugar
6. Permanent changes in brain genes may not be so permanent after all
7. Cannabis during pregnancy endangers fetal brain development
8. How does the brain create sequences?
9. Brain on autopilot
10. How metabolism and brain activity are linked
11. Brain regions tune activity to enable attention
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2016)... Jan. 20, 2016  Synaptics Incorporated (NASDAQ: ... solutions, today announced sampling of S1423, its newest ... and small screen applications including smartwatches, fitness trackers, ... round and rectangular shapes, as well as thick ... with moisture on screen, while wearing gloves, and ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... New York , January 13, 2016 ... Market Research has published a new market report titled ... Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2015 - 2023. According to the ... in 2014 and is anticipated to reach US$1,625.8 mn ... 2015 to 2023. In terms of volume, the biometric ...
(Date:1/11/2016)... , Jan. 11, 2016  higi, the leading ... 10,000 retail locations, web and mobile, today announced ... million from existing investors. --> ... devoted to further innovate higi,s health platform – ... web portal – including expanding services and programs ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... EDISON, N.J. , Feb. 4, 2016 ... company focused on the development and commercialization of targeted ... BIO CEO & Investor Conference 2016, to be held ... and Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth & Healthcare ... on February 10-11, 2016. James Sapirstein ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , February 4, 2016 ... Laboratories (ABL), Inc. --> Strasbourg, France ... --> PharmaVentures is pleased to announce that it ... its biopharmaceutical manufacturing unit in Strasbourg, France ... --> --> Transgene (Euronext: ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... -- With the growing need for better therapeutics, and ... such as monoclonal antibodies, recombinant protein therapeutics and ... are in high demand. Conventionally expression systems were ... of these therapeutics. However, due to issues with ... approaches and novel expression systems are currently being ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... February 03, 2016 , ... ... a new office dedicated to the North American healthcare market. , Aerocom Healthcare, ... healthcare facilities. The company will provide new pneumatic tube systems or expand ...
Breaking Biology Technology: