Publications by authors named "Mia Anthony"

9 Publications

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Cortical thickness and resting-state cardiac function across the lifespan: A cross-sectional pooled mega-analysis.

Psychophysiology 2020 Oct 10. Epub 2020 Oct 10.

Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research (NORMENT), Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Understanding the association between autonomic nervous system [ANS] function and brain morphology across the lifespan provides important insights into neurovisceral mechanisms underlying health and disease. Resting-state ANS activity, indexed by measures of heart rate [HR] and its variability [HRV] has been associated with brain morphology, particularly cortical thickness [CT]. While findings have been mixed regarding the anatomical distribution and direction of the associations, these inconsistencies may be due to sex and age differences in HR/HRV and CT. Previous studies have been limited by small sample sizes, which impede the assessment of sex differences and aging effects on the association between ANS function and CT. To overcome these limitations, 20 groups worldwide contributed data collected under similar protocols of CT assessment and HR/HRV recording to be pooled in a mega-analysis (N = 1,218 (50.5% female), mean age 36.7 years (range: 12-87)). Findings suggest a decline in HRV as well as CT with increasing age. CT, particularly in the orbitofrontal cortex, explained additional variance in HRV, beyond the effects of aging. This pattern of results may suggest that the decline in HRV with increasing age is related to a decline in orbitofrontal CT. These effects were independent of sex and specific to HRV; with no significant association between CT and HR. Greater CT across the adult lifespan may be vital for the maintenance of healthy cardiac regulation via the ANS-or greater cardiac vagal activity as indirectly reflected in HRV may slow brain atrophy. Findings reveal an important association between CT and cardiac parasympathetic activity with implications for healthy aging and longevity that should be studied further in longitudinal research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13688DOI Listing
October 2020

Autonomic flexibility reflects learning and associated neuroplasticity in old age.

Hum Brain Mapp 2020 Sep 8;41(13):3608-3619. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Elaine C. Hubbard Center for Nursing Research on Aging, School of Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, USA.

Effective learning in old age, particularly in those at risk for dementia, is essential for prolonging independent living. Individual variability in learning, however, is remarkable; that is, months of cognitive training to improve learning may be beneficial for some individuals but not others. So far, little is known about which neurophysiological mechanisms account for the observed variability in learning induced by cognitive training in older adults. By combining Lövdén et al.'s (2010, A theoretical framework for the study of adult cognitive plasticity. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 659-676) framework proposing the role of adaptation capacity in neuroplasticity and a neurovisceral integration model of the relationship between autonomic nervous system (ANS) and brain with a novel shapelet analytical approach that allows for accurate and interpretable analysis of time series data, we discovered an acute, ECG-derived ANS segment in response to cognitive training tasks at baseline that predicted learning outcomes from a 6-week cognitive training intervention. The relationship between the ANS segment and learning was robust in both cross-participant and cross-task analyses among a group of older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Furthermore, the revealed ANS shapelet significantly predicted training-induced neuroplasticity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and select frontal regions during task fMRI. Across outcome measures, individuals were less likely to prospectively benefit from the cognitive training if their ECG data were more similar to this particular ANS segment at baseline. Our findings are among the first empirical evidence to confirm that adaptation capacity, indexed by ANS flexibility, predicts individual differences in learning and associated neuroplasticity beyond individual characteristics (e.g., age, education, neurodegeneration, total training).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7416041PMC
September 2020

Processing speed and attention training modifies autonomic flexibility: A mechanistic intervention study.

Neuroimage 2020 06 9;213:116730. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Elaine C. Hubbard Center for Nursing Research on Aging, School of Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center, USA; Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester Medical Center, USA; Division of Geriatrics & Aging, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester Medical Center, USA.

Adaptation capacity is critical for maintaining cognition, yet it is understudied in groups at risk for dementia. Autonomic nervous system (ANS) is critical for neurovisceral integration and is a key contributor to adaptation capacity. To determine the central nervous system's top-down regulation of ANS, we conducted a mechanistic randomized controlled trial study, using a 6-week processing speed and attention (PS/A)-targeted intervention. Eighty-four older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) were randomized to a 6-week PS/A-targeted intervention or an active control without PS/A. Utilizing repeated measures (i.e., PS/A test different from the intervention, resting and cognitive task-based ECG, and resting fMRI) at baseline, immediately post-intervention (post-test), and 6-month follow-up, we aimed to test whether PS/A causally influences vagal control of ANS via their shared central neural pathways in aMCI. We indexed vagal control of ANS using high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) extracted from ECG data. Functional brain connectivity patterns were extracted from fMRI using advanced statistical tools. Compared to the control group, the intervention group showed significant improvement in PS/A, HF-HRV, salience network (SN), central executive network (CEN), and frontal parietal network (FPN) connectivity at post-test; the effect on SN, CEN, and FPN remained at 6-month follow-up. Changes in PS/A and SN connectivity significantly predicted change in HF-HRV from baseline to post-test and/or 6-month-follow-up. Age, neurodegeneration, nor sex did not affect these relationships. This work provides novel support for top-down regulation of PS/A and associated SN on vagal control of ANS. Intervening PS/A may be a viable approach for promoting adaptation capacity in groups at risk for dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116730DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7165056PMC
June 2020

Commentary: A posterior-to-anterior shift of brain functional dynamics in aging.

Front Aging Neurosci 2019 10;11:341. Epub 2019 Dec 10.

Shenzhen Mental Health Center, Shenzhen, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2019.00341DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6916628PMC
December 2019

A generic brain connectome map linked to different types of everyday decision-making in old age.

Brain Struct Funct 2020 May 19;225(4):1389-1400. Epub 2019 Dec 19.

Elaine C. Hubbard Center for Nursing Research On Aging, School of Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA.

Making reasonable decisions related to financial and health scenarios is a crucial capacity that can be difficult for older adults to maintain as they age, yet few studies examine neurocognitive factors that are generalizable to different types of everyday decision-making capacity. Here we propose an innovative approach, based on individual risk-taking preference, to identify neural profiles that may help predict older adults' everyday decision-making capacity. Using performance and cognitive arousal information from two gambling tasks, we identified three decision-making preference groups: ambiguity problem-solvers (A), risk-seekers (R), and a control group without strong risk-taking preferences (C). Comparisons of the number of connections within white matter tracts between A vs. C and R vs. C groups resulted in features consistent with the theory of dual neural functional systems involved in decision-making. Unique tracts from the A vs. C contrast were primarily centered in dorsal frontal regions/reflective system; unique tracts from the R vs. C contrast were centered in the ventral frontal regions/impulsive system; and shared tracts from both contrasts were centered in the basal ganglia, coordinating the switch between the two types of decision-making preference. Number of connections from the tracts differentiating A vs. C significantly predicted financial and health/safety decision-making capacity, and the association remained significant after controlling for multiple socioeconomic and cognitive factors. The connectome identified may provide insight into a generic white matter mechanism related to everyday decision-making capacity in older age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00429-019-02013-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7274871PMC
May 2020

Stress adaptation in older adults with and without cognitive impairment: an fMRI pattern-based similarity analysis.

Aging (Albany NY) 2019 09 3;11(17):6792-6804. Epub 2019 Sep 3.

School of Nursing, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.

Background: The capacity to adapt to environmental stressors is essential for older adults' health and well-being. It is unclear how cognitive impairment may disrupt the capacity. Here we examined the relationship between self-perceptions of stress and the neurobiological response to a laboratory model of stress adaptation in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), a group at high risk for dementia.

Results: aMCI group and cognitively healthy controls did not differ in neurobiological acute stress recovery (indexed by similarity in neural patterns at baseline and after recovery from cognitive challenges). However, compared to controls, aMCI group had significantly lower scores on PSS-PW. Notably, higher PSS-PW was associated with greater acute neural recovery in controls, but not aMCI.

Methods: We assessed self-perceptions of stress adaptation with the Perceived Stress Scale subscales, measuring perceived helplessness (i.e., negatively worded items, PSS-NW) and self-efficacy (i.e., positively worded items, PSS-PW) in response to stress. At a subsequent laboratory fMRI visit, we indexed neurobiological stress adaptation by assessing and comparing functional network connectivity at baseline and immediately following, and after recovery from, cognitive challenges.

Conclusions: Studying stress adaptation in aMCI may shed light on pathways that contribute to the onset and progress of cognitive deterioration in aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.102204DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6756885PMC
September 2019

A Systematic Review for Functional Neuroimaging Studies of Cognitive Reserve Across the Cognitive Aging Spectrum.

Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2018 Dec;33(8):937-948

School of Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.

Objective: Cognitive reserve has been proposed to explain the discrepancy between clinical symptoms and the effects of aging or Alzheimer's pathology. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) may help elucidate how neural reserve and compensation delay cognitive decline and identify brain regions associated with cognitive reserve. This systematic review evaluated neural correlates of cognitive reserve via fMRI (resting-state and task-related) studies across the cognitive aging spectrum (i.e., normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease).

Method: This review examined published articles up to March 2017. There were 13 cross-sectional observational studies that met the inclusion criteria, including relevance to cognitive reserve, subjects 60 years or older with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment, and/or Alzheimer's disease, at least one quantitative measure of cognitive reserve, and fMRI as the imaging modality. Quality assessment of included studies was conducted using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale adapted for cross-sectional studies.

Results: Across the cognitive aging spectrum, medial temporal regions and an anterior or posterior cingulate cortex-seeded default mode network were associated with neural reserve. Frontal regions and the dorsal attentional network were related to neural compensation. Compared to neural reserve, neural compensation was more common in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

Conclusions: Neural reserve and compensation both support cognitive reserve, with compensation more common in later stages of the cognitive aging spectrum. Longitudinal and intervention studies are needed to investigate changes between neural reserve and compensation during the transition between clinical stages, and to explore the causal relationship between cognitive reserve and potential neural substrates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acx125DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6246379PMC
December 2018

Cortical thickness is associated with altered autonomic function in cognitively impaired and non-impaired older adults.

J Physiol 2017 11 25;595(22):6969-6978. Epub 2017 Oct 25.

School of Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, 14642, USA.

Key Points: The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is critical for adaptation to environment demands. Alzheimer's disease (AD), via frontal compensatory processes, may affect PNS regulation, thereby compromising older adults' capacity for adaptation, and increasing morbidity and mortality risk. Here we found that AD-associated neurodegeneration accompanied an overactive anterior cingulate cortex, which in turn resulted in a high level of PNS activity at rest, as well as strong PNS activity withdrawal in response to the mental effort. This discovery provides the first line of evidence to suggest that AD-associated neurodegeneration links to altered PNS regulation during mental effort in older adults, and that the compensatory processes accompanying frontal hyperactivation appear to be responsible for these alterations.

Abstract: The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is critical for adaptation to environment demands. PNS can reflect an individual's regulatory capacity of frontal brain regions and has been linked to cognitive capacity. Yet, the relationship of PNS function to cognitive decline and abnormal frontal function that characterize preclinical progression toward Alzheimer's disease (AD) is unclear. Here, we aimed to elucidate the relationship between PNS function and AD-associated neurodegeneration by testing two competing hypotheses involving frontal regions' activity (neurodegeneration vs. compensation). In 38 older human adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) or normative cognition, we measured AD-associated neurodegeneration (AD signature cortical thickness; ADSCT), resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging of frontal regions' spontaneous activation, and an electrocardiography measure of PNS (high frequency heart rate variability; HF-HRV). HF-HRV was assessed at rest and during a cognitive task protocol designed to capture HF-HRV reactivity. Higher HF-HRV at rest was significantly related to both more severe AD-associated neurodegeneration (lower ADSCT scores) and worse cognitive ability. Cognitive impairments were also related to greater suppression of HF-HRV reactivity. High activities of the anterior cingulate cortex significantly mediated relationships between ADSCT and both HF-HRV at rest and HF-HRV reactivity. Notably, these relationships were not affected by the clinical phenotype. We show that AD-associated neurodegeneration is associated with altered PNS regulation and that compensatory processes linked to frontal overactivation might be responsible for those alterations. This finding provides the first line of evidence in a new framework for understanding how early-stage AD-associated neurodegeneration affects autonomic regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/JP274714DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5685832PMC
November 2017

Amygdala functional connectivity is associated with locus of control in the context of cognitive aging.

Neuropsychologia 2017 05 14;99:199-206. Epub 2017 Mar 14.

School of Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA; Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA; Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Locus of control (LOC) measures the extent to which individuals perceive control over their lives. Those with a more "internal" LOC feel self-sufficient and able to determine important aspects of their own future, while those with a more "external" LOC feel that their lives are governed by events beyond their control. Reduced internal LOC and increased external LOC have been found in cognitive disorders, but the neural substrates of these control perceptions are yet unknown. In the present study, we explored the relationship between amygdala functional connectivity and LOC in 18 amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and age-, sex-, and education-matched, 22 cognitively healthy controls (HC). Participants completed cognitive challenge tasks (Stroop Word Color task and Dual 1-back) for 20min, and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging immediately before and after the tasks. We found significantly lower internal LOC and higher external LOC in the MCI group than the HC group. Compared to HC, MCI group showed significantly stronger positive associations between internal LOC and baseline right amygdala connections (including right middle frontal gyrus and anterior cingulate cortex), and stronger negative associations between internal LOC and change of these right amygdala connections. Across all participants, external LOC explained the relationships between associations of another set of right amygdala connections (including middle cingulate cortex and right superior frontal gyrus), both at baseline and for change, and performance in the cognitive challenge tasks. Our findings indicate that the right amygdala networks might be critical in understanding the neural mechanisms underlying LOC's role in cognitive aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.03.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5404937PMC
May 2017