White Matter Hyperintensity Load Associated With Premature Brain Aging

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December 21, 2022

Aging-US published this trending research paper in Volume 14, Issue 23, entitled, "White matter hyperintensity load is associated with premature brain aging" by researchers from Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC; Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC; Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC; Department of Neurology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. DOI - https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.204397 Corresponding author - Natalie Busby - hethern@mailbox.sc.edu Abstract Background: Brain age is an MRI-derived estimate of brain tissue loss that has a similar pattern to aging-related atrophy. White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) are neuroimaging markers of small vessel disease and may represent subtle signs of brain compromise. We tested the hypothesis that WMHs are independently associated with premature brain age in an original aging cohort. Methods: Brain age was calculated using machine-learning on whole-brain tissue estimates from T1-weighted images using the BrainAgeR analysis pipeline in 166 healthy adult participants. WMHs were manually delineated on FLAIR images. WMH load was defined as the cumulative volume of WMHs. A positive difference between estimated brain age and chronological age (BrainGAP) was used as a measure of premature brain aging. Then, partial Pearson correlations between BrainGAP and volume of WMHs were calculated (accounting for chronological age). Results: Brain and chronological age were strongly correlated (r(163)=0.932, p<0.001). There was significant negative correlation between BrainGAP scores and chronological age (r(163)=-0.244, p<0.001) indicating that younger participants had higher BrainGAP (premature brain aging). Chronological age also showed a positive correlation with WMH load (r(163)=0.506, p<0.001) indicating older participants had increased WMH load. Controlling for chronological age, there was a statistically significant relationship between premature brain aging and WMHs load (r(163)=0.216, p=0.003). Each additional year in brain age beyond chronological age corresponded to an additional 1.1mm3 in WMH load. Conclusions: WMHs are an independent factor associated with premature brain aging. This finding underscores the impact of white matter disease on global brain integrity and progressive age-like brain atrophy. Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article - https://aging.altmetric.com/details/email_updates?id=10.18632%2Faging.204397 Keywords - brain age, white matter hyperintensity, brain health, aging, health About Aging-US Launched in 2009, Aging-US publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging-US go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways. Please visit our website at https://www.Aging-US.com​​ and connect with us: SoundCloud - https://soundcloud.com/Aging-Us Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AgingUS/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/AgingJrnl Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/agingjrnl/ YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/agingus​ LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/aging/ Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/AgingUS/ Media Contact 18009220957 MEDIA@IMPACTJOURNALS.COM

Analytical TechniquesCell CultureCell ScienceNeuroscience

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