Publications by authors named "David A Hoagey"

10 Publications

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The effect of vascular health factors on white matter microstructure mediates age-related differences in executive function performance.

Cortex 2021 Aug 25;141:403-420. Epub 2021 May 25.

The University of Texas at Dallas, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Center for Vital Longevity, Dallas, TX, USA. Electronic address:

Even within healthy aging, vascular risk factors can detrimentally influence cognition, with executive functions (EF) particularly vulnerable. Fronto-parietal white matter (WM) connectivity in part, supports EF and may be particularly sensitive to vascular risk. Here, we utilized structural equation modeling in 184 healthy adults (aged 20-94 years of age) to test the hypotheses that: 1) fronto-parietal WM microstructure mediates age effects on EF; 2) higher blood pressure (BP) and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) burden influences this association. All participants underwent comprehensive cognitive and neuropsychological testing including tests of processing speed, executive function (with a focus on tasks that require switching and inhibition) and completed an MRI scanning session that included FLAIR imaging for semi-automated quantification of white matter hyperintensity burden and diffusion-weighted imaging for tractography. Structural equation models were specified with age (as a continuous variable) and blood pressure predicting within-tract WMH burden and fractional anisotropy predicting executive function and processing speed. Results indicated that fronto-parietal white matter of the genu of the corpus collosum, superior longitudinal fasciculus, and the inferior frontal occipital fasciculus (but not cortico-spinal tract) mediated the association between age and EF. Additionally, increased systolic blood pressure and white matter hyperintensity burden within these white matter tracts contribute to worsening white matter health and are important factors underlying age-brain-behavior associations. These findings suggest that aging brings about increases in both BP and WMH burden, which may be involved in the degradation of white matter connectivity and in turn, negatively impact executive functions as we age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2021.04.016DOI Listing
August 2021

Frontostriatal white matter connectivity: age differences and associations with cognition and BOLD modulation.

Neurobiol Aging 2020 10 7;94:154-163. Epub 2020 Jun 7.

Center for Vital Longevity, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX, USA. Electronic address:

Despite the importance of cortico-striatal circuits to cognition, investigation of age effects on the structural circuitry connecting these regions is limited. The current study examined age effects on frontostriatal white matter connectivity, and identified associations with both executive function performance and dynamic modulation of blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) activation to task difficulty in a lifespan sample of 169 healthy humans aged 20-94 years. Greater frontostriatal diffusivity was associated with poorer executive function and this negative association strengthened with increasing age. Whole-brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analyses additionally indicated an association between frontostriatal mean diffusivity and BOLD modulation to difficulty selectively in the striatum across 2 independent fMRI tasks. This association was moderated by age, such that younger- and middle-aged individuals showed reduced dynamic range of difficulty modulation as a function of increasing frontostriatal diffusivity. Together these results demonstrate the importance of age-related degradation of frontostriatal circuitry on executive functioning across the lifespan, and highlight the need to capture brain changes occurring in early-to middle-adulthood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2020.05.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483315PMC
October 2020

Contributions of White Matter Connectivity and BOLD Modulation to Cognitive Aging: A Lifespan Structure-Function Association Study.

Cereb Cortex 2020 03;30(3):1649-1661

Center for Vital Longevity, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX 75235, USA.

The ability to flexibly modulate brain activation to increasing cognitive challenge decreases with aging. This age-related decrease in dynamic range of function of regional gray matter may be, in part, due to age-related degradation of regional white matter tracts. Here, a lifespan sample of 171 healthy adults (aged 20-94) underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning including diffusion-weighted imaging (for tractography) and functional imaging (a digit n-back task). We utilized structural equation modeling to test the hypothesis that age-related decrements in white matter microstructure are associated with altered blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) modulation, and both in turn, are associated with scanner-task accuracy and executive function performance. Specified structural equation model evidenced good fit, demonstrating that increased age negatively affects n-back task accuracy and executive function performance in part due to both degraded white matter tract microstructure and reduced task-difficulty-related BOLD modulation. We further demonstrated that poorer white matter microstructure integrity was associated with weakened BOLD modulation, particularly in regions showing positive modulation effects, as opposed to negative modulation effects. This structure-function association study provides further evidence that structural connectivity influences functional activation, and the two mechanisms in tandem are predictive of cognitive performance, both during the task, and for cognition measured outside the scanner environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhz193DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7132902PMC
March 2020

Joint contributions of cortical morphometry and white matter microstructure in healthy brain aging: A partial least squares correlation analysis.

Hum Brain Mapp 2019 12 26;40(18):5315-5329. Epub 2019 Aug 26.

Center for Vital Longevity, The University of Texas at Dallas, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Dallas, Texas.

Cortical atrophy and degraded axonal health have been shown to coincide during normal aging; however, few studies have examined these measures together. To lend insight into both the regional specificity and the relative timecourse of structural degradation of these tissue compartments across the adult lifespan, we analyzed gray matter (GM) morphometry (cortical thickness, surface area, volume) and estimates of white matter (WM) microstructure (fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity) using traditional univariate and more robust multivariate techniques to examine age associations in 186 healthy adults aged 20-94 years old. Univariate analysis of each tissue type revealed that negative age associations were largest in frontal GM and WM tissue and weaker in temporal, cingulate, and occipital regions, representative of not only an anterior-to-posterior gradient, but also a medial-to-lateral gradient. Multivariate partial least squares correlation (PLSC) found the greatest covariance between GM and WM was driven by the relationship between WM metrics in the anterior corpus callosum and projections of the genu, anterior cingulum, and fornix; and with GM thickness in parietal and frontal regions. Surface area was far less susceptible to age effects and displayed less covariance with WM metrics, while regional volume covariance patterns largely mirrored those of cortical thickness. Results support a retrogenesis-like model of aging, revealing a coupled relationship between frontal and parietal GM and the underlying WM, which evidence the most protracted development and the most vulnerability during healthy aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.24774DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6864896PMC
December 2019

The role of hippocampal subfield volume and fornix microstructure in episodic memory across the lifespan.

Hippocampus 2019 12 23;29(12):1206-1223. Epub 2019 Jul 23.

Center for Vital Longevity, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas.

Advancing age is associated with both declines in episodic memory and degradation of medial temporal lobe (MTL) structure. The contribution of MTL to episodic memory is complex and depends upon the interplay among hippocampal subfields and surrounding structures that participate in anatomical connectivity to the cortex through inputs (parahippocampal and entorhinal cortices) and outputs (fornix). However, the differential contributions of MTL system components in mediating age effects on memory remain unclear. In a sample of 177 healthy individuals aged 20-94 we collected high-resolution T1-weighted, ultrahigh-resolution T2/PD, and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) MRI sequences on a 3T Phillips Achieva scanner. Hippocampal subfield and entorhinal cortex (ERC) volumes were measured from T2/PD scans using a combination of manual tracings and training of a semiautomated pipeline. Parahippocampal gyrus volume was estimated using Freesurfer and DTI scans were used to obtain diffusion metrics from tractography of the fornix. Item and associative episodic memory constructs were formed from multiple tests. Competing structural equation models estimating differential association among these structural variables were specified and tested to investigate whether and how fornix diffusion and volume of parahippocampal gyrus, ERC, and hippocampal subfields mediate age effects on associative and/or item memory. The most parsimonious, best-fitting model included an anatomically based path through the MTL as well as a single hippocampal construct which combined all subfields. Results indicated that fornix microstructure independently mediated the effect of age on associative memory, but not item memory. Additionally, all regions and estimated paths (including fornix) combined to significantly mediate the age-associative memory relationship. These findings suggest that preservation of fornix connectivity and MTL structure with aging is important for maintenance of associative memory performance across the lifespan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hipo.23133DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7082831PMC
December 2019

Genetic predisposition for inflammation exacerbates effects of striatal iron content on cognitive switching ability in healthy aging.

Neuroimage 2019 01 25;185:471-478. Epub 2018 Oct 25.

Center for Vital Longevity, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX, USA. Electronic address:

Non-heme iron homeostasis interacts with inflammation bidirectionally, and both contribute to age-related decline in brain structure and function via oxidative stress. Thus, individuals with genetic predisposition for inflammation may be at greater risk for brain iron accumulation during aging and more vulnerable to cognitive decline. We examine this hypothesis in a lifespan sample of healthy adults (N = 183, age 20-94 years) who underwent R2*-weighted magnetic resonance imaging to estimate regional iron content and genotyping of interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), a pro-inflammatory cytokine for which the T allelle of the single nucleotide polymorphism increases risk for chronic neuroinflammation. Older age was associated with greater striatal iron content that in turn accounted for poorer cognitive switching performance. Heterozygote IL-1β T-carriers demonstrated poorer switching performance in relation to striatal iron content as compared to IL-1β C/C counterparts, despite the two groups being of similar age. With increasing genetic inflammation risk, homozygote IL-1β T/T carriers had lesser age-related variance in striatal iron content as compared to the other groups but showed a similar association of greater striatal iron content predicting poorer cognitive switching. Non-heme iron and inflammation, although necessary for normal neuronal function, both promote oxidative stress that when accumulated in excess, drives a complex mechanism of neural and cognitive decline in aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.10.064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6301022PMC
January 2019

Both hyper- and hypo-activation to cognitive challenge are associated with increased beta-amyloid deposition in healthy aging: A nonlinear effect.

Neuroimage 2018 02;166:285-292

Center for Vital Longevity, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX 75235, USA. Electronic address:

Beta-amyloid (Aβ) positive individuals hyper-activate brain regions compared to those not at-risk; however, hyperactivation is then thought to diminish as Alzheimer's disease symptomatology begins, evidencing eventual hypoactivation. It remains unclear when in the disease staging this transition occurs. We hypothesized that differential levels of amyloid burden would be associated with both increased and decreased activation (i.e., a quadratic trajectory) in cognitively-normal adults. Participants (N = 62; aged 51-94) underwent an fMRI spatial distance-judgment task and Amyvid-PET scanning. Voxelwise regression modeled age, linear-Aβ, and quadratic-Aβ as predictors of BOLD activation to difficult spatial distance-judgments. A significant quadratic-Aβ effect on BOLD response explained differential activation in bilateral angular/temporal and medial prefrontal cortices, such that individuals with slightly elevated Aβ burden exhibited hyperactivation whereas even higher Aβ burden was then associated with hypoactivation. Importantly, in high-Aβ individuals, Aβ load moderated the effect of BOLD activation on behavioral task performance, where in lower-elevation, greater deactivation was associated with better accuracy, but in higher-elevation, greater deactivation was associated with poorer accuracy during the task. This study reveals a dose-response, quadratic relationship between increasing Aβ burden and alterations in BOLD activation to cognitive challenge in cognitively-normal individuals that suggests 1) the shift from hyper-to hypo-activation may begin early in disease staging, 2) depends, in part, on degree of Aβ burden, and 3) tracks cognitive performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.10.068DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5747976PMC
February 2018

White Matter Degradation is Associated with Reduced Financial Capacity in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease.

J Alzheimers Dis 2017 ;60(2):537-547

The University of Texas at Dallas, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Center for Vital Longevity, Dallas, TX, USA.

Financial capacity (FC) is a cognitively complex activity of daily living that declines in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD), limiting an individual's ability to manage one's finances and function independently. The neural underpinnings of this decline in function are poorly understood but likely involve age-related and disease-related degradation across structural networks. The purpose of the current study was to determine if altered white matter integrity is associated with declining FC in persons with MCI and AD compared to older controls. Individuals with MCI due to AD (n = 31), mild dementia (n = 39), and cognitively healthy older adults (n = 60) were administered a neuropsychological battery including the FC Instrument, a performance-based measure of FC. All 130 participants also underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) upon which tract-based spatial statistics were performed. Both FC and white matter integrity decreased in accordance with disease severity with little to no effect in healthy elderly, significant effects in MCI, and greater effects in AD. Regional white matter degradation (increased diffusivities and decreased fractional anisotropy) was associated with reduced FC in both MCI and AD groups even after controlling for age, education, and gender. Specifically, in MCI, decreased fractional anisotropy, but not increased diffusivities, was associated with poorer FC in widespread cingulo-parietal-frontal and temporo-occipital areas. In AD, rather than anisotropy, increased mean and axial diffusivities in anterior cingulate, callosum, and frontal areas associated with poorer FC. These findings suggest a severity gradient of white matter degradation across DTI metrics and AD stages that predict declining financial skill and knowledge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-170341DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5642279PMC
April 2018

Sources of disconnection in neurocognitive aging: cerebral white-matter integrity, resting-state functional connectivity, and white-matter hyperintensity volume.

Neurobiol Aging 2017 06 18;54:199-213. Epub 2017 Mar 18.

Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA.

Age-related decline in fluid cognition can be characterized as a disconnection among specific brain structures, leading to a decline in functional efficiency. The potential sources of disconnection, however, are unclear. We investigated imaging measures of cerebral white-matter integrity, resting-state functional connectivity, and white-matter hyperintensity volume as mediators of the relation between age and fluid cognition, in 145 healthy, community-dwelling adults 19-79 years of age. At a general level of analysis, with a single composite measure of fluid cognition and single measures of each of the 3 imaging modalities, age exhibited an independent influence on the cognitive and imaging measures, and the imaging variables did not mediate the age-cognition relation. At a more specific level of analysis, resting-state functional connectivity of sensorimotor networks was a significant mediator of the age-related decline in executive function. These findings suggest that different levels of analysis lead to different models of neurocognitive disconnection, and that resting-state functional connectivity, in particular, may contribute to age-related decline in executive function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.01.027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5401777PMC
June 2017

Frontoparietal activation during visual conjunction search: Effects of bottom-up guidance and adult age.

Hum Brain Mapp 2017 04 4;38(4):2128-2149. Epub 2017 Jan 4.

Department of Psychology, and Social, Life, and Engineering Sciences Imaging Center, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.

We conducted functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with a visual search paradigm to test the hypothesis that aging is associated with increased frontoparietal involvement in both target detection and bottom-up attentional guidance (featural salience). Participants were 68 healthy adults, distributed continuously across 19 to 78 years of age. Frontoparietal regions of interest (ROIs) were defined from resting-state scans obtained prior to task-related fMRI. The search target was defined by a conjunction of color and orientation. Each display contained one item that was larger than the others (i.e., a size singleton) but was not informative regarding target identity. Analyses of search reaction time (RT) indicated that bottom-up attentional guidance from the size singleton (when coincident with the target) was relatively constant as a function of age. Frontoparietal fMRI activation related to target detection was constant as a function of age, as was the reduction in activation associated with salient targets. However, for individuals 35 years of age and older, engagement of the left frontal eye field (FEF) in bottom-up guidance was more prominent than for younger individuals. Further, the age-related differences in left FEF activation were a consequence of decreasing resting-state functional connectivity in visual sensory regions. These findings indicate that age-related compensatory effects may be expressed in the relation between activation and behavior, rather than in the magnitude of activation, and that relevant changes in the activation-RT relation may begin at a relatively early point in adulthood. Hum Brain Mapp 38:2128-2149, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.23509DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5342935PMC
April 2017