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Neuroimage. 2015 Feb 15;107:311-322. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.12.016. Epub 2014 Dec 13.

The effects of age on resting state functional connectivity of the basal ganglia from young to middle adulthood.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11790, USA.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.
3
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; Medical Service, VA Connecticut Health Care System, West Haven, CT 06516, USA.
4
Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11790, USA.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; Department of Neurobiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA; Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. Electronic address: chiang-shan.li@yale.edu.

Abstract

The basal ganglia nuclei are critical for a variety of cognitive and motor functions. Much work has shown age-related structural changes of the basal ganglia. Yet less is known about how the functional interactions of these regions with the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum change throughout the lifespan. Here, we took advantage of a convenient sample and examined resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 250 adults 18 to 49 years of age, focusing specifically on the caudate nucleus, pallidum, putamen, and ventral tegmental area/substantia nigra (VTA/SN). There are a few main findings to report. First, with age, caudate head connectivity increased with a large region of ventromedial prefrontal/medial orbitofrontal cortex. Second, across all subjects, pallidum and putamen showed negative connectivity with default mode network (DMN) regions such as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex, in support of anti-correlation of the "task-positive" network (TPN) and DMN. This negative connectivity was reduced with age. Furthermore, pallidum, posterior putamen and VTA/SN connectivity to other TPN regions, such as somatomotor cortex, decreased with age. These results highlight a distinct effect of age on cerebral functional connectivity of the dorsal striatum and VTA/SN from young to middle adulthood and may help research investigating the etiologies or monitoring outcomes of neuropsychiatric conditions that implicate dopaminergic dysfunction.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Basal ganglia; Functional connectivity; Resting state; Striatum; fMRI

PMID:
25514518
PMCID:
PMC4300261
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.12.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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