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Taipei, Taiwan

Chen H.-H.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | Yeh H.-L.,Taipei Veterans Home | Tsai S.-J.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | Tsai S.-J.,National Yang Ming University
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences | Year: 2012

Lower hemoglobin (Hb) levels are a common feature in the elderly. The present study recruited 180 healthy elderly men. Participants were assessed using the Geriatric Depression Scale, the Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument Chinese version, and the Wechsler Digit Span Task test. The mean age of the participants was 85.8 years (SD = 10.5). Pearson's correlation tests demonstrated that Hb concentrations negatively correlated with Geriatric Depression Scale (r = -0.245, P = 0.001), but did not correlate with Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument, Forward or Backward Digit Span tests. Lower Hb levels, therefore, were associated with depression in the elderly men. © 2012 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Tu P.-C.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | Tu P.-C.,National Yang Ming University | Su T.-P.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | Su T.-P.,National Yang Ming University | And 13 more authors.
Brain Structure and Function | Year: 2014

Recent resting fMRI studies have suggested that the functional connectivity of the brain's large-scale networks is associated with the cognitive decline of aging and is modulated by genetic factors. Our previous study found a significant association between interleukin-1 (IL-1 beta) C-511T polymorphism and working memory performance among elderly people. This study investigates the effects of IL-1 beta C-511T polymorphism on the functional connectivity of the cognitive division of the cingulate cortex [i.e., the anterior midcingulate (aMCC)] in non-demented Han elderly people and tests the hypothesis that T/T carriers are associated with lowered FC. Non-demented elderly males (n = 95) received resting MRI scanning, genotyping, and cognitive evaluation using the cognitive abilities screening instrument (CASI) and the Wechsler digit span task test. The functional connectivity map in each subject was derived based on positive correlations of low-frequency fMRI fluctuations with a seed in the aMCC according to structural definition. Between-group difference was compared by random effect analysis. Compared to the C/C or C/T carriers, the T/T carriers had a significantly worse CASI performance, especially in the abstraction scores. For the functional connectivity analysis, the T/T carriers exhibited significantly lower functional connectivity with several prefrontal areas and the left putamen. The cortico-striatal connection between the aMCC and left putamen was correlated with the CASI abstraction and attention scores. The results were consistent with our hypothesis and supported that the brains' functional connectivity in elderly people may be modulated by genetic polymorphism associated with local inflammation processes. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Yang A.C.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | Yang A.C.,National Yang Ming University | Yang A.C.,National Central University | Huang C.-C.,National Yang Ming University | And 11 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2013

The nonlinear properties of spontaneous fluctuations in blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signals remain unexplored. We test the hypothesis that complexity of BOLD activity is reduced with aging and is correlated with cognitive performance in the elderly. A total of 99 normal older and 56 younger male subjects were included. Cognitive function was assessed using Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument and Wechsler Digit Span Task. We employed a complexity measure, multiscale entropy (MSE) analysis, and investigated appropriate parameters for MSE calculation from relatively short BOLD signals. We then compared the complexity of BOLD signals between the younger and older groups, and examined the correlation between cognitive test scores and complexity of BOLD signals in various brain regions. Compared with the younger group, older subjects had the most significant reductions in MSE of BOLD signals in posterior cingulate gyrus and hippocampal cortex. For older subjects, MSE of BOLD signals from default mode network areas, including hippocampal cortex, cingulate cortex, superior and middle frontal gyrus, and middle temporal gyrus, were found to be positively correlated with major cognitive functions, such as attention, orientation, short-term memory, mental manipulation, and language. MSE from subcortical regions, such as amygdala and putamen, were found to be positively correlated with abstract thinking and list-generating fluency, respectively. Our findings confirmed the hypothesis that complexity of BOLD activity was correlated with aging and cognitive performance based on MSE analysis, and may provide insights on how dynamics of spontaneous brain activity relates to aging and cognitive function in specific brain regions. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Liu M.-E.,Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital | Huang C.-C.,National Yang Ming University | Yang A.C.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | Yang A.C.,National Yang Ming University | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The anti-apoptotic protein B-cell CLL/lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) gene is a major regulator of neural plasticity and cellular resilience. Recently, the Bcl-2 rs956572 single nucleotide polymorphism was proposed to be a functional allelic variant that modulates cellular vulnerability to apoptosis. Our cross-sectional study investigated the genetic effect of this Bcl-2 polymorphism on age-related decreases in gray matter (GM) volume across the adult lifespan. Our sample comprised 330 healthy volunteers (191 male, 139 female) with a mean age of 56.2±22.0 years (range: 21-92). Magnetic resonance imaging and genotyping of the Bcl-2 rs956572 were performed for each participant. The differences in regional GM volumes between G homozygotes and A-allele carriers were tested using optimized voxel-based morphometry. The association between the Bcl-2 rs956572 polymorphism and age was a predictor of regional GM volumes in the right cerebellum, bilateral lingual gyrus, right middle temporal gyrus, and right parahippocampal gyrus. We found that the volume of these five regions decreased with increasing age (all P<.001). Moreover, the downward slope was steeper among the Bcl-2 rs956572 A-allele carriers than in the G-homozygous participants. Our data provide convergent evidence for the genetic effect of the Bcl-2 functional allelic variant in brain aging. The rs956572 G-allele, which is associated with significantly higher Bcl-2 protein expression and diminished cellular sensitivity to stress-induced apoptosis, conferred a protective effect against age-related changes in brain GM volume, particularly in the cerebellum. © 2013 Liu et al.

Chu C.-S.,Puli Branch | Lu T.,Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital | Tsai S.-J.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | Tsai S.-J.,National Yang Ming University | And 7 more authors.
Neuroscience Letters | Year: 2014

Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene polymorphism has been reported to be associated with cognitive dysfunction in healthy individuals, however the results were controversial in the very old elderly. The aim of this study is to assess the possible association of the APOE polymorphism with cognitive dysfunction in people aged 75 years and over. Four hundred and twenty-five aged Chinese veteran men without dementia were enrolled for APOE genotyping and neuropsychological tests including Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE), Digit Span Forward and Backward, and Cognitive Ability Screening Instrument Chinese language version (CASI C-2.0) were evaluated in these subjects. Among the elderly veterans, people who carry APOE ε4 were found to have worse performance on the total CASI scores, the abstraction/judgment subscores and the list-generating fluency subscores. This study suggests that the APOE ε4 alleles contributed detrimental effects on cognitive function in the very old veterans who do not have dementia. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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