Authors: Mander BA; Rao V; Lu B; Saletin JM; Lindquist JR; Ancoli-Israel S; Jagust W; Walker MP
Abstract: Aging has independently been associated with regional brain atrophy, reduced slow wave activity (SWA) during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and impaired long-term retention of episodic memories. However, whether the interaction of these factors represents a neuropatholgical pathway associated with cognitive decline in later life remains unknown. We found that age-related medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) gray-matter atrophy was associated with reduced NREM SWA in older adults, the extent to which statistically mediated the impairment of overnight sleep-dependent memory retention. Moreover, this memory impairment was further associated with persistent hippocampal activation and reduced task-related hippocampal-prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, potentially representing impoverished hippocampal-neocortical memory transformation. Together, these data support a model in which age-related mPFC atrophy diminishes SWA, the functional consequence of which is impaired long-term memory. Such findings suggest that sleep disruption in the elderly, mediated by structural brain changes, represents a contributing factor to age-related cognitive decline in later life.
Journal: Nature neuroscience
Date: Jan. 29, 2013
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Mander BA, Rao V, Lu B, Saletin JM, Lindquist JR, Ancoli-Israel S, Jagust W, Walker MP (2013) Prefrontal atrophy, disrupted NREM slow waves and impaired hippocampal-dependent memory in aging. Nature neuroscience.