Aging affects the phase coherence between spontaneous oscillations in brain oxygenation and neural activity

Bjerkan, Juliane and Lancaster, Gemma and Meglič, Bernard and Kobal, Jan and Crawford, Trevor J. and McClintock, Peter V. E. and Stefanovska, Aneta (2023) Aging affects the phase coherence between spontaneous oscillations in brain oxygenation and neural activity. Brain Research Bulletin, 201. ISSN 1873-2747

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The risk of neurodegenerative disorders increases with age, due to reduced vascular nutrition and impaired neural function. However, the interactions between cardiovascular dynamics and neural activity, and how these interactions evolve in healthy aging, are not well understood. Here, the interactions are studied by assessment of the phase coherence between spontaneous oscillations in cerebral oxygenation measured by fNIRS, the electrical activity of the brain measured by EEG, and cardiovascular functions extracted from ECG and respiration effort, all simultaneously recorded. Signals measured at rest in 21 younger participants (31.1±6.9 years) and 24 older participants (64.9±6.9 years) were analysed by wavelet transform, wavelet phase coherence and ridge extraction for frequencies between 0.007 and 4 Hz. Coherence between the neural and oxygenation oscillations at ∼0.1 Hz is significantly reduced in the older adults in 46/176 fNIRSEEG probe combinations. This reduction in coherence cannot be accounted for in terms of reduced power, thus indicating that neurovascular interactions change with age. The approach presented promises a noninvasive means of evaluating the efficiency of the neurovascular unit in aging and disease.

Item Type:
Journal Article
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Brain Research Bulletin
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Research Output Funding/yes_externally_funded
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Deposited On:
14 Jul 2023 15:10
Last Modified:
30 Sep 2023 03:00