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Taoyuan, Taiwan

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. Source


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. Source


Liu M.-E.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | Huang C.-C.,National Yang Ming University | Chen M.-H.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | Yang A.C.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | And 12 more authors.
NeuroMolecular Medicine | Year: 2014

The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism is common and influences the activity-dependent secretion of BDNF, which is critical for neuronal plasticity and survival. This study investigated the genetic effect of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on cognitive function and regional gray matter (GM) volume in a healthy Chinese population (n = 330). Voxel-based morphometry (VBM)-optimized analysis was used. There was no significant difference in the neuropsychological performances among the three BDNF genotypic groups. VBM analyses demonstrated that Met homozygotes had greater GM volumes than Val homozygotes in the left medial frontal gyrus, the left middle temporal gyrus, the left cerebellum, and the right middle temporal gyrus, and had larger GM volumes than Val/Met heterozygotes in the left middle temporal gyrus, the left inferior temporal gyrus, and the right superior frontal gyrus. Our findings suggest that the presence of two Met alleles has a protective effect on regional GM volumes in the Chinese population. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source


Liu M.-E.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | Liu M.-E.,National Yang Ming University | Huang C.-C.,National Yang Ming University | Yang A.C.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | And 13 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: White matter lesions can be easily observed on T2-weighted MR images, and are termed white matter hyperintensities (WMH). Their presence may be correlated with cognitive impairment; however, the relationship between regional WMH volume and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism in healthy populations remains unclear. Methods: We recruited 315 ethnic Chinese adults with a mean age of 54.9 ± 21.8 years (range: 21-89 y) to examine the genetic effect of COMT on regional WMH and the manner in which they interact to affect cognitive function in a healthy adult population. Cognitive tests, structural MRI scans, and genotyping of COMT were conducted for each participant. Results: Negative correlations between the Digit Span Forward (DSF) score and frontal WMH volumes (r = 2.123, P= .032, uncorrected) were noted. For the genetic effect of COMT, no significant difference in cognitive performance was observed among 3 genotypic groups. However, differences in WMH volumes over the subcortical region ( P= .016, uncorrected), whole brain (P= .047, uncorrected), and a trend over the frontal region (P= .050, uncorrected) were observed among 3 COMT genotypic groups. Met homozygotes and Met/Val heterozygotes exhibited larger WMH volumes in these brain regions than the Val homozygotes. Furthermore, a correlation between the DSF and regional WMH volume was observed only in Met homozygotes. The effect size (cohen's f) revealed a small effect. Conclusions: The results indicate that COMT might modulate WMH volumes and the effects of WMH on cognition. © 2014 Liu et al. Source

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