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Assessment of age-related decline of neurovascular coupling responses by functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in humans

  • Tamas Csipo
  • Peter Mukli
  • Agnes Lipecz
  • Stefano Tarantini
  • Dhay Bahadli
  • Osamah Abdulhussein
  • Cameron Owens
  • Tamas Kiss
  • Priya Balasubramanian
  • Ádám Nyúl-Tóth
  • Rachel A. Hand
  • Valeriya Yabluchanska
  • Farzaneh A. Sorond
  • Anna Csiszar
  • Zoltan Ungvari
  • Andriy YabluchanskiyEmail author


Preclinical studies provide strong evidence that age-related impairment of neurovascular coupling (NVC) plays a causal role in the pathogenesis of vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). NVC is a critical homeostatic mechanism in the brain, responsible for adjustment of local cerebral blood flow to the energetic needs of the active neuronal tissue. Recent progress in geroscience has led to the identification of critical cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in neurovascular aging, identifying these pathways as targets for intervention. In order to translate the preclinical findings to humans, there is a need to assess NVC in geriatric patients as an endpoint in clinical studies. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a non-invasive neuroimaging technique that enables the investigation of local changes in cerebral blood flow, quantifying task-related changes in oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin concentrations. In the present overview, the basic principles of fNIRS are introduced and the application of this technique to assess NVC in older adults with implications for the design of studies on the mechanistic underpinnings of VCI is discussed.


Aging Neurovascular coupling Functional near-infrared spectroscopy fNIRS Vascular cognitive impairment and dementia VCI VCID Cognitive aging 


Funding information

This work was supported by grants from the American Heart Association (ST), the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (to AC, AY, ZU), the National Institute on Aging (R01-AG047879; R01-AG038747; R01-AG055395), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS; R01-NS056218 to AC, R01-NS100782 to ZU, R01-NS085002 to FAS), the Oklahoma Shared Clinical and Translational Resources (OSCTR) program funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (GM104938, to AY), the Presbyterian Health Foundation (to ZU, AC, AY), the NIA-supported Geroscience Training Program in Oklahoma (T32AG052363), the Oklahoma Nathan Shock Center (P30AG050911), and the Cellular and Molecular GeroScience CoBRE (1P20GM125528, sub#5337).


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Copyright information

© American Aging Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tamas Csipo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Peter Mukli
    • 1
    • 4
  • Agnes Lipecz
    • 1
    • 5
  • Stefano Tarantini
    • 1
    • 3
  • Dhay Bahadli
    • 1
  • Osamah Abdulhussein
    • 1
  • Cameron Owens
    • 1
  • Tamas Kiss
    • 1
    • 6
  • Priya Balasubramanian
    • 1
  • Ádám Nyúl-Tóth
    • 1
    • 7
  • Rachel A. Hand
    • 1
  • Valeriya Yabluchanska
    • 1
    • 8
  • Farzaneh A. Sorond
    • 9
  • Anna Csiszar
    • 1
    • 6
  • Zoltan Ungvari
    • 1
    • 3
    • 6
    • 10
  • Andriy Yabluchanskiy
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Vascular Cognitive Impairment and Neurodegeneration Program, Oklahoma Center for Geroscience and Healthy Brain Aging, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterOklahoma CityUSA
  2. 2.Division of Clinical Physiology, Department of Cardiology / Kálmán Laki Doctoral School of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of DebrecenDebrecenHungary
  3. 3.International Training Program in Geroscience, Doctoral School of Basic and Translational Medicine/Department of Public HealthSemmelweis UniversityBudapestHungary
  4. 4.Department of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineSemmelweis UniversityBudapestHungary
  5. 5.Department of OphthalmologyJosa Andras HospitalNyiregyhazaHungary
  6. 6.International Training Program in Geroscience, Theoretical Medicine Doctoral School/Department of Medical Physics and InformaticsUniversity of SzegedSzegedHungary
  7. 7.Institute of BiophysicsBiological Research CentreSzegedHungary
  8. 8.Bon SecoursSt. Francis Family Medicine CenterMidlothianUSA
  9. 9.Department of Neurology, Division of Stroke and Neurocritical CareNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  10. 10.Department of Health Promotion Sciences, College of Public HealthUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterOklahoma CityUSA

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