Researchers identify group of brain structural networks linked to loss of cognitive function


Credit: ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, November 2, 2016–The decreased expression of some structural covariance networks (SCNs) in the brain is associated with advancing age, whereas other networks are less affected by age, and a new study now points to the independent effects of cerebral small vessel disease on SCNs. SCNs may be an important indicator of diminished cognitive functioning in older persons, according to an article published in Brain Connectivity, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Brain Connectivity website until December 2, 2016.

In "Structural Covariance Networks and Their Association with Age, Features of Cerebral Small Vessel Disease and Cognitive Functioning in Older Persons," Jessica Foster-Dingley, Jeroen van der Grond, PhD, et al. from Leiden University Medical Center and Leiden University, the Netherlands and CAPRI-University of Antwerp, Belgium, analyzed the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of study participants aged 75-96 years who had mild loss in cognitive function. The researchers assessed the volume of white matter hyperintensities, microbleeds, and other vascular changes associated with small vessel disease. They compared this to the expression of SCNs, age, memory loss, and psychomotor speed.

"Scientific consensus is building that age related cognitive decline is connected to maladaptive changes in the brain's small blood vessels," says Christopher Pawela, PhD, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Brain Connectivity and Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin. "Leiden University researchers have performed an elegant study using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to demonstrate that these micro-scale blood vessel alterations are related to decreased detection of certain imaging brain networks and, furthermore, that decreased detection of these brain networks is correlated to impaired cognitive functioning using standard behavioral testing methods."


About the Journal

Brain Connectivity is the essential peer-reviewed journal covering groundbreaking findings in the rapidly advancing field of connectivity research at the systems and network levels. Published 10 times per year in print and online, the Journal is under the leadership of Founding and Co-Editors-in-Chief Christopher Pawela, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin, and Bharat Biswal, PhD, Chair of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology. It includes original peer-reviewed papers, review articles, point-counterpoint discussions on controversies in the field, and a product/technology review section. To ensure that scientific findings are rapidly disseminated, articles are published Instant Online within 72 hours of acceptance, with fully typeset, fast-track publication within 4 weeks. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Brain Connectivity website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Neurotrauma and Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Media Contact

Jennifer Gatti
[email protected]