Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Cogn Psychol (Hove). 2011;23(6):760-767.

White matter integrity, as measured by diffusion tensor imaging, distinguishes between impaired and unimpaired older adult decision-makers: A preliminary investigation.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Division of Behavioral Neurology and Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA.
2
Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA ; Department of Radiology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA.

Abstract

In the context of normal ageing, some individuals experience cognitive changes that affect their decision-making abilities. We investigated whether such cognitive changes could be related to the integrity of cortical white matter, as measured by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Participants were administered a well-validated laboratory decision-making task, and were subsequently grouped as either poor decision-makers (older-impaired, n = 9) or strong decision-makers (older-unimpaired, n = 7). Participants also underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that collected high-resolution structural images, including DTI of the brain. The key variable of interest to be contrasted between the groups was fractional anisotropy (FA), as calculated from the tensor images. We hypothesised that FA values would be lower (indicating poorer integrity of tracts) in the older-impaired participants. The results supported our hypothesis, indicating significant differences in FA values between the participant groups for the entire brain as well as several subregions. The results suggest that poorer decision-making abilities are associated with the integrity of cortical white matter across multiple regions of the brain, and support the call for additional research in this area.

KEYWORDS:

Decision making; Diffusion tensor imaging; Elderly; Magnetic resonance imaging

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center