Cerebellar-limbic neurocircuit is the novel biosignature of physiocognitive decline syndrome

Li Kuo Liu, Kun Hsien Chou, Chih Chin Heather Hsu, Li Ning Peng, Wei Ju Lee, Wei Ta Chen, Ching Po Lin, Chih Ping Chung*, Pei Ning Wang, Liang Kung Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Both physical and cognitive deficits occur in the aging process. We operationally defined the phenomenon as physio-cognitive decline syndrome (PCDS) and aimed to decipher its corresponding neuroanatomy patterns and neurocircuit. High resolution 3T brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images from a community-dwelling longitudinal aging cohort were analysed. PCDS was defined as weakness (handgrip strength) and/or slowness (gait speed) concomitant with impairment in any cognitive domain (defined by 1.5 standard deviation below age, sex-matched norms), but without dementia or disability. Among 1196 eligible ≥ 50-year-old (62±9 years, 47.6%men) subjects, 15.9% had PCDS. Compared to the other participants, individuals with PCDS had significantly lower gray-matter volume (GMV) in the bilateral amygdala and thalamus, right hippocampus, right temporo-occipital cortex, and left cerebellum VI and V regions. The regions of reduced GMV in people with PCDS were similar between the middle-aged and older adults; whereas larger clusters with more extensive GMV-depleted regions were observed in ≥65-year-olds with PCDS. Diffusion-weighted tractography showed disrupted hippocampus-amygdala-cerebellum connections in subjects with PCDS. The neuroanatomic characteristics revealed by this study provide evidence for pathophysiological processes associated with concomitant physio-cognitive decline in the elderly. This neurocircuit might constitute a target for future preventive interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25319-25336
Number of pages18
JournalAging
Volume12
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • brain volume
  • cognitive impairment
  • diffusion-weighted tractography
  • frailty
  • magnetic resonance imaging

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