Loss of Coherence of Low Frequency Fluctuations of BOLD FMRI in Visual Cortex of Healthy Aged Subjects

Lirong Yan1, 2, Yan Zhuo1, Bo Wang1, Danny J.J Wang*, 2
1 Beijing MRI Center for Brain Research, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
2 Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, Department of Neurology, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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© Yan et al; Licensee Bentham Open

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* Address correspondence to this author at the UCLA Department of Neurology, Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, 660 Charles E. Young Drive South, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7085, USA; Tel; 310-983-3667; 310-794-7406; E-mail:


Aging effects on blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) functional MRI (fMRI) have been studied using task induced hemodynamic responses with controversial findings. The present study systematically investigated the normal aging effect in the visual cortex using 3 indices of low frequency fluctuations of resting state BOLD fMRI, i.e., amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF), regional homogeneity (ReHo) and functional connectivity (FC). These 3 resting state measurements were compared with task induced BOLD activation in the visual cortex of 2 groups of 10 young and 10 elderly subjects. Our results showed reduced functional connectivity and regional homogeneity of low frequency fluctuations of BOLD fMRI in aged subjects as compared to young subjects. While the mean magnitude of BOLD activation and the mean amplitude of low frequency fluctuations of BOLD fMRI did not vary between the 2 age groups, larger variances were observed in both measures in aged subjects. These data suggest that normal aging may be associated with “loss of coherence” of low frequency fluctuations of resting state BOLD fMRI in the visual cortex, and may affect task induced BOLD response through increased inter- and intra-subject variability.

Keywords: Blood-Oxygen-Level-Dependent (BOLD), Aging, Amplitude of Low Frequency Fluctuations (ALFF), Regional Homogeneity (ReHo), Functional Connectivity (FC).