Article

Brain Imaging and Behavior

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 123-131

Stability of Default-Mode Network Activity in the Aging Brain

  • L. L. Beason-HeldAffiliated withLaboratory of Personality and Cognition, National Institute on Aging, NIHDept. of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineNIA/LPC Email author 
  • , M. A. KrautAffiliated withDept. of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • , S. M. ResnickAffiliated withLaboratory of Personality and Cognition, National Institute on Aging, NIH

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Abstract

Activity attributed to the default-mode occurs during the resting state and is thought to represent self-referential and other intrinsic processes. Although activity in default-associated regions changes across the lifespan, little is known about the stability of default-mode activity in the healthy aging brain. We investigated changes in rest-specific activity across an 8 year period in older participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) neuroimaging study. Comparison of resting-state and recognition memory PET regional cerebral blood flow conditions from baseline and 8-year follow-up shows relative stability of rest-specific activity over time in medial frontal/anterior cingulate, hippocampal and posterior cingulate regions commonly associated with the default-mode. In contrast, prefrontal, parahippocampal and occipital cortical regions, which are not typically associated with default-mode activity, show changes over time. Overall, activity in the major components of the default-mode network remains stable in healthy older individuals, a finding which may assist in identifying factors that discriminate between normal and pathological aging.

Keywords

Functional imaging Brain function Activation Age fMRI Human Default activity