Neural Correlates of Visuospatial Working Memory in Healthy Young Adults at Risk for Hypertension
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- Haley, A.P., Gunstad, J., Cohen, R.A. et al. Brain Imaging and Behavior (2008) 2: 192. doi:10.1007/s11682-008-9025-4
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Family history of hypertension (FH+) has been associated with subtle deficits in cognitive function. In search of an early marker that may identify individuals predisposed to developing cognitive difficulties, we employed fMRI to test for FH+ related differences in hemodynamic response to a working memory challenge in healthy young adults with intact working memory. Fourteen healthy adults (ages 18 to 40 years) participated in an fMRI study of working memory. Seven of the participants were FH+. Groups were matched for working memory performance. Relative to FH− controls, FH+ participants exhibited lower 2-Back-related activation in the right inferior parietal lobule and the right inferior temporal gyrus as well as significantly more deactivation in the posterior cingulate cortex. These results indicate that FH+ is associated with subtle changes in visuospatial attention even in healthy young adults.