Neurophysiological correlates of age-related changes in human motor function

Venkata Mattay, F. Fera, A. Tessitore, A. R. Hariri, S. Das, J. H. Callicott, Daniel Weinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: There are well-defined and characteristic age-related deficits in motor abilities that may reflect structural and chemical changes in the aging brain. Objective: To delineate age-related changes in the physiology of brain systems subserving simple motor behavior. Methods: Ten strongly right-handed young (<35 years of age) and 12 strongly right-handed elderly (>50 years of age) subjects with no evidence of cognitive or motor deficits participated in the study. Whole-brain functional imaging was performed on a 1.5-T MRI scanner using a spiral pulse sequence while the subjects performed a visually paced "button-press" motor task with their dominant right hand alternating with a rest state. Results: Although the groups did not differ in accuracy, there was an increase in reaction time in the elderly subjects (mean score ± SD, young subjects = 547 ± 97 ms, elderly subjects = 794 ± 280 ms, p < 0.03). There was a greater extent of activation in the contralateral sensorimotor cortex, lateral premotor area, supplementary motor area, and ipsilateral cerebellum in the elderly subjects relative to the young subjects (p < 0.001). Additional areas of activation, absent in the young subjects, were seen in the ipsilateral sensorimotor cortex, putamen (left > right), and contralateral cerebellum of the elderly subjects. Conclusions: The results of this study show that elderly subjects recruit additional cortical and subcortical areas even for the performance of a simple motor task. These changes may represent compensatory mechanisms invoked by the aging brain, such as reorganization and redistribution of functional networks to compensate for age-related structural and neurochemical changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-635
Number of pages6
JournalNeurology
Volume58
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 26 2002
Externally publishedYes

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Brain
Functional Neuroimaging
Aptitude
Cerebellum
Reaction Time
Hand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Mattay, V., Fera, F., Tessitore, A., Hariri, A. R., Das, S., Callicott, J. H., & Weinberger, D. (2002). Neurophysiological correlates of age-related changes in human motor function. Neurology, 58(4), 630-635.

Neurophysiological correlates of age-related changes in human motor function. / Mattay, Venkata; Fera, F.; Tessitore, A.; Hariri, A. R.; Das, S.; Callicott, J. H.; Weinberger, Daniel.

In: Neurology, Vol. 58, No. 4, 26.02.2002, p. 630-635.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mattay, V, Fera, F, Tessitore, A, Hariri, AR, Das, S, Callicott, JH & Weinberger, D 2002, 'Neurophysiological correlates of age-related changes in human motor function', Neurology, vol. 58, no. 4, pp. 630-635.
Mattay V, Fera F, Tessitore A, Hariri AR, Das S, Callicott JH et al. Neurophysiological correlates of age-related changes in human motor function. Neurology. 2002 Feb 26;58(4):630-635.
Mattay, Venkata ; Fera, F. ; Tessitore, A. ; Hariri, A. R. ; Das, S. ; Callicott, J. H. ; Weinberger, Daniel. / Neurophysiological correlates of age-related changes in human motor function. In: Neurology. 2002 ; Vol. 58, No. 4. pp. 630-635.
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