Cardiovascular risks and brain function: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study of executive function in older adults

Yi Fang Chuang, Dana Eldreth, Kirk I. Erickson, Vijay Varma, Gregory Harris, Linda P. Fried, George W. Rebok, Elizabeth K. Tanner, Michelle C. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia are associated with cognitive impairment and risk of dementia in older adults. However, the mechanisms linking them are not clear. This study aims to investigate the association between aggregate CV risk, assessed by the Framingham general cardiovascular risk profile, and functional brain activation in a group of community-dwelling older adults. Sixty participants (mean age: 64.6years) from the Brain Health Study, a nested study of the Baltimore Experience Corps Trial, underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging using the Flanker task. We found that participants with higher CV risk had greater task-related activation in the left inferior parietal region, and this increased activation was associated with poorer task performance. Our results provide insights into the neural systems underlying the relationship between CV risk and executive function. Increased activation of the inferior parietal region may offer a pathway through which CV risk increases risk for cognitive impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1396-1403
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume35
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014

Keywords

  • Brain function
  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Executive function
  • FMRI
  • Framingham risk score
  • Older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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