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Economic news / Економічні новини

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Revealed senile changes in cognitive areas of the brain


Лип 3, 2022

American scientists from Drexel University and Villanova University have revealed that functional connections in the brain change in old people – this indicator may underlie differences in cognitive abilities between older and younger people. The results of scientific work are published in the journal Psychology and Aging.

The study involved 547 people aged 18-88 years, who at rest studied the functional connections between two neural networks in the brain – the executive control network (ECN) and the passive mode network (DMN). The first is located in the prefrontal and parietal regions of the brain and is activated when people need to focus or control their thought processes, while the second is active when a person is at rest. The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis that with age, the functional links between ECN and DMN are strengthened.

The results of the regression analysis showed that age does significantly affect the connections between both networks, which change throughout life. This makes it possible to predict the biological age of participants only from brain imaging at rest, without resorting to various tests for cognitive abilities.

The scientists also found that incorporating a salience network (SN) into the analysis made it possible to predict a person’s age with even greater accuracy. SN filters external and internal stimuli to determine which ones are relevant to other networks, including ECNs and DMNs, and plays an important role in communication, social behavior, self-awareness, and even creativity.