Preserved hippocampus activation in normal aging as revealed by fMRI

Preserved hippocampus activation in normal aging as revealed by fMRI The hippocampus is deteriorated in various pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and such deterioration has been linked to memory impairment. By contrast, the structural and functional effects of normal aging on the hippocampus is a matter of debate, with some findings suggesting deterioration and others providing evidence of preservation. This constitutes a crucial question since many investigations on AD are based on the assumption that the deterioration of the hippocampus is the breaking point between normal and pathological aging. A growing number of fMRI studies specifically aimed at investigating hippocampal engagement in various cognitive tasks, notably memory tasks, but the results have been inconclusive. Here, we optimized the episodic face‐name paired‐associates task in order to test the functioning of the hippocampus in normal aging. Critically, we found no difference in the activation of the hippocampus between the young and a group of older participants. Analysis of individual patterns of activation substantiated this impression. Collectively, these findings provide evidence of preserved hippocampal functioning in normal aging. © 2010 Wiley‐Liss, Inc. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hippocampus Wiley

Preserved hippocampus activation in normal aging as revealed by fMRI

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
ISSN
1050-9631
eISSN
1098-1063
DOI
10.1002/hipo.20794
pmid
20865729
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The hippocampus is deteriorated in various pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and such deterioration has been linked to memory impairment. By contrast, the structural and functional effects of normal aging on the hippocampus is a matter of debate, with some findings suggesting deterioration and others providing evidence of preservation. This constitutes a crucial question since many investigations on AD are based on the assumption that the deterioration of the hippocampus is the breaking point between normal and pathological aging. A growing number of fMRI studies specifically aimed at investigating hippocampal engagement in various cognitive tasks, notably memory tasks, but the results have been inconclusive. Here, we optimized the episodic face‐name paired‐associates task in order to test the functioning of the hippocampus in normal aging. Critically, we found no difference in the activation of the hippocampus between the young and a group of older participants. Analysis of individual patterns of activation substantiated this impression. Collectively, these findings provide evidence of preserved hippocampal functioning in normal aging. © 2010 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Journal

HippocampusWiley

Published: Jul 1, 2011

References

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