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Links Between Metabolic and Structural Changes in the Brain of Cognitively Normal Older Adults: A 4-Year Longitudinal Follow-Up

Authors
  • Castellano, Christian-Alexandre1
  • Hudon, Carol2, 3
  • Croteau, Etienne1, 4
  • Fortier, Mélanie1
  • St-Pierre, Valérie1
  • Vandenberghe, Camille1
  • Nugent, Scott2
  • Tremblay, Sébastien5
  • Paquet, Nancy6
  • Lepage, Martin5, 6, 7
  • Fülöp, Tamàs1, 8
  • Turcotte, Éric E.5, 6, 7
  • Dionne, Isabelle J.1, 9
  • Potvin, Olivier2
  • Duchesne, Simon2, 10
  • Cunnane, Stephen C.1, 4, 8
  • 1 Research Center on Aging, Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux de l’Estrie (CIUSSS) de L’Estrie—Centre hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS), Sherbrooke, QC , (Canada)
  • 2 Centre de Recherche sur le Vieillissement (CERVO) Brain Research Centre, Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux (CIUSSS) de la Capitale-Nationale, Québec, QC , (Canada)
  • 3 School of Psychology, Université Laval, Québec, QC , (Canada)
  • 4 Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC , (Canada)
  • 5 Sherbrooke Molecular Imaging Center, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC , (Canada)
  • 6 Department of Nuclear Medicine and Radiobiology, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC , (Canada)
  • 7 CR-Centre hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS), Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux de l’Estrie (CIUSSS) de l’Estrie—Centre hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS), Sherbrooke, QC , (Canada)
  • 8 Department of Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC , (Canada)
  • 9 Faculty of Physical Activity Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC , (Canada)
  • 10 Department of Radiology, Université Laval, Québec, QC , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jan 15, 2019
Volume
11
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2019.00015
Source
Frontiers
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Neuroscience
  • Original Research
License
Green

Abstract

We aimed to longitudinally assess the relationship between changing brain energy metabolism (glucose and acetoacetate) and cognition during healthy aging. Participants aged 71 ± 5 year underwent cognitive evaluation and quantitative positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans at baseline (N = 25) and two (N = 25) and four (N = 16) years later. During the follow-up, the rate constant for brain extraction of glucose (Kglc) declined by 6%–12% mainly in the temporo-parietal lobes and cingulate gyri (p ≤ 0.05), whereas brain acetoacetate extraction (Kacac) and utilization remained unchanged in all brain regions (p ≥ 0.06). Over the 4 years, cognitive results remained within the normal age range but an age-related decline was observed in processing speed. Kglc in the caudate was directly related to performance on several cognitive tests (r = +0.41 to +0.43, all p ≤ 0.04). Peripheral insulin resistance assessed by the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was significantly inversely related to Kglc in the thalamus (r = −0.44, p = 0.04) and in the caudate (r = −0.43, p = 0.05), and also inversely related to executive function, attention and processing speed (r = −0.45 to −0.53, all p ≤ 0.03). We confirm in a longitudinal setting that the age-related decline in Kglc is directly associated with declining performance on some tests of cognition but does not significantly affect Kacac.

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