Age-associated differences on structural brain MRI in nondemented individuals from 71 to 103 years

Zixuan Yang, Wei Wen, Jiyang Jiang, John D. Crawford, Simone Reppermund, Charlene Levitan, Melissa J. Slavin, Nicole A. Kochan, Robyn L. Richmond, Henry Brodaty, Julian N. Trollor, Perminder S. Sachdev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Successful brain aging in the oldest old (≥90 years) is underexplored. This study examined cross-sectional brain morphological differences from 8th to 11th decades of life in nondemented individuals by high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging. Two hundred seventy-seven nondemented community-dwelling participants (71-103 years) from Sydney Memory and Ageing Study and Sydney Centenarian Study comprised the sample, including a subsample of 160 cognitively high-functioning elders. Relationships between age and magnetic resonance imaging-derived measurements were studied using general linear models; and structural profiles of the ≥90 years were delineated. In full sample and the subsample, significant linear negative relationship of gray matter with age was found, with the greatest age effects in the medial temporal lobe and parietal and occipital cortices. This pattern was further confirmed by comparing directly the ≥90 years to the 71-89 years groups. Significant quadratic age effects on total white matter and white matter hyperintensities were observed. Our study demonstrated heterogeneous differences across brain regions between the oldest old and young old, with an emphasis on hippocampus, temporoposterior cortex, and white matter hyperintensities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-97
Number of pages12
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain aging
  • Gray matter
  • Hippocampus
  • Oldest old
  • Structural MRI
  • White matter hyperintensities


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