Age-Related difference in functional brain connectivity of mastication

Chia Shu Lin*, Ching Yi Wu, Shih Yun Wu, Hsiao Han Lin, Dong Hui Cheng, Wen Liang Lo


研究成果: Article同行評審

20 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


The age-related decline in motor function is associated with changes in intrinsic brain signatures. Here, we investigated the functional connectivity (FC) associated with masticatory performance, a clinical index evaluating general masticatory function. Twenty-six older adults (OA) and 26 younger (YA) healthy adults were recruited and assessed using the masticatory performance index (MPI) and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). We analyzed the rs-fMRI FC network related to mastication, which was constructed based on 12 bilateral mastication-related brain regions according to the literature. For the OA and the YA group, we identified the mastication-related hubs, i.e., the nodes for which the degree centrality (DC) was positively correlated with the MPI. For each pair of nodes, we identified the inter-nodal link for which the FC was positively correlated with the MPI. The network analysis revealed that, in the YA group, the FC between the sensorimotor cortex, the thalamus (THA) and the cerebellum was positively correlated with the MPI. Consistently, the cerebellum nodes were defined as the mastication-related hubs. In contrast, in the OA group, we found a sparser connection within the sensorimotor regions and cerebellum and a denser connection across distributed regions, including the FC between the superior parietal lobe (SPL), the anterior insula (aINS) and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). Compared to the YA group, the network of the OA group also comprised more mastication-related hubs, which were spatially distributed outside the sensorimotor regions, including the right SPL, the right aINS, and the bilateral dACC. In general, the findings supported the hypothesis that in OA, higher masticatory performance is associated with a widespread pattern of mastication-related hubs. Such a widespread engagement of multiple brain regions associated with the MPI may reflect an increased demand in sensorimotor integration, attentional control and monitoring for OA to maintain good mastication.

期刊Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
出版狀態Published - 3 4月 2017


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