Raum M8 (Stream/on Demand)
Generation PSY Nachwuchsprogramm
Topic 01: Neurokognitive Erkrankungen, organische psychische Störungen, Demenz, F0
A fundamental problem in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias is that neuropathological changes precede clinical symptoms by years or decades. To allow for early intervention, the development of sensitive, non-invasive, biomarkers is thus warranted. Both animal research and large-scale studies and clinical populations, along with advances in omics approaches and machine learning have paved the way four biomarker research from single molecule to systems level. In this symposium, four young researchers in clinical neuroscience will present recent results from their research on future potential biomarkers, covering early immunological alterations (Frederic Brosseron), PET imaging in animal models (Yvonne Bouter) and patients (Anne Maass), and structural and functional MRI (Joram Soch).
In vivo diagnosis and clinical monitoring of Alzheimer's disease animal models using PET imaging
Y. Bouter (Göttingen, DE)
Complementary roles for structural and functional MRI in the phenotyping of neurocognitive aging
J. Soch (Göttingen, DE)
Human cognitive abilities decline with increasing chronological age, with episodic memory performance being especially affected. However, some older adults show “successful aging”, i.e. relatively preserved cognitive ability in old age. One explanation for this could be higher brain-structural integrity in these individuals. Alternatively, the brain might recruit existing resources more efficiently or employ compensatory cognitive strategies.
Here, we addressed this question by applying magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a large sample of young (N = 106) and older (N = 153) healthy adults. For these subjects, we measured brain activity during a visual incidental memory encoding task using functional MRI (fMRI) and assessed memory performance using a surprise memory test. Additionally, we acquired a structural MRI scan and a resting-state fMRI session from each subject.
Then, we attempted to predict chronological age and memory performance from (i) behavioral response frequencies in the episodic memory test, (ii) four recently described fMRI scores reflecting preservation of functional memory networks, (iii) task-based fMRI contrasts for novelty processing and subsequent memory, (iv) resting-state fMRI maps of voxel-wise signal fluctuation or (v) structural MR image-estimated gray matter volume. While age group could be classified based on all variables, chronological age within older subjects was best predicted from voxel-wise gray matter volume. In contrast, memory performance was best predicted from voxel-wise fMRI contrasts and particularly single-value fMRI scores, whereas gray matter volume has no predictive power with respect to memory performance.
Taken together, our results suggest that superior memory performance in healthy older adults is better explained by efficient recruitment of memory networks rather than preserved brain structure, in line with the cognitive reserve theory of successful aging.