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

The Open Neuroimaging Journal 4 Nov 2011 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874440001105010105


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).
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