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Neuroimage. 2004 Aug;22(4):1715-21.

Sex and age dependencies of cerebral blood volume changes during cognitive activation: a multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy study.

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Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, 3-39-22 Showa-machi, Maebashi, Gunma 371-8511, Japan.


In this study, we measured the change in cerebral hemoglobin concentrations during a cognitive task using multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), and investigated the relationship between regional cerebral blood volume and sex, age, and task performance. Thirty-nine healthy volunteers (24 males and 15 females; mean age, 33.0 years) participated after giving their informed consent and performed a word fluency task. The relative oxy-hemoglobin concentration ([oxy-Hb]) was measured using frontal and temporal probes with two sets of 24-channel NIRS machines. The effects of sex, age, and task performance on [oxy-Hb] changes were analyzed using analysis of covariance: with sex, age, and task performance as independent variables, and [oxy-Hb] changes as dependent variables, and years of education as covariates. The effects on [oxy-Hb] increase were significant in many channels in the frontal and temporal probes for sex, that is the most prominent effect, and in a few frontal channels for age: [oxy-Hb] increases were larger in males than in females, and in the young than in the middle-aged. The effects on [oxy-Hb] increase were not significant for task performance, but [oxy-Hb] increases in subjects with low performance tended to be larger than those in subjects with high performance. The results demonstrated that multichannel NIRS could detect cerebral activation during cognitive tasks and clarify sex- and age-dependent differences in such cerebral activation. Sex- and age-dependent differences in cerebral activation, as demonstrated in the present study, should be considered when interpreting cerebral blood volume, cerebral blood flow, and cerebral glucose metabolism data.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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