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Barcelona, Spain

Sala-Llonch R.,University of Barcelona | Sala-Llonch R.,Institute Dinvestigacions Biomediques Agusti Pi I Sunyer Idibaps | Junque C.,University of Barcelona | Junque C.,Institute Dinvestigacions Biomediques Agusti Pi I Sunyer Idibaps | And 9 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2014

We used resting-functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 98 healthy older adults to analyze how local and global measures of functional brain connectivity are affected by age, and whether they are related to differences in memory performance. Whole-brain networks were created individually by parcellating the brain into 90 cerebral regions and obtaining pairwise connectivity. First, we studied age-associations in interregional connectivity and their relationship with the length of the connections. Aging was associated with less connectivity in the long-range connections of fronto-parietal and fronto-occipital systems and with higher connectivity of the short-range connections within frontal, parietal, and occipital lobes. We also used the graph theory to measure functional integration and segregation. The pattern of the overall age-related correlations presented positive correlations of average minimum path length (r= 0.380, p= 0.008) and of global clustering coefficients (r= 0.454, p < 0.001), leading to less integrated and more segregated global networks. Main correlations in clustering coefficients were located in the frontal and parietal lobes. Higher clustering coefficients of some areas were related to lower performance in verbal and visual memory functions. In conclusion, we found that older participants showed lower connectivity of long-range connections together with higher functional segregation of these same connections, which appeared to indicate a more local clustering of information processing. Higher local clustering in older participants was negatively related to memory performance. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Sala-Llonch R.,University of Barcelona | Arenaza-Urquijo E.M.,University of Barcelona | Valls-Pedret C.,Unitat de Lipids | Didac V.-P.,University of Barcelona | And 5 more authors.
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2012

In recent years, several theories have been proposed in attempts to identify the neural mechanisms underlying successful cognitive aging. Old subjects show increased neural activity during the performance of tasks, mainly in prefrontal areas, which is interpreted as a compensatory mechanism linked to functional brain efficiency. Moreover, resting-state studies have concluded that elders show disconnection or disruption of large-scale functional networks. We used functional MRI during resting-state and a verbal n-back task with different levels of memory load in a cohort of young and old healthy adults to identify patterns of networks associated with working memory and brain default mode. We found that the disruption of resting-state networks in the elderly coexists with task-related overactivations of certain brain areas and with reorganizations within these functional networks. Moreover, elders who were able to activate additional areas and to recruit a more bilateral frontal pattern within the task-related network achieved successful performance on the task. We concluded that the balanced and plastic reorganization of brain networks underlies successful cognitive aging. This observation allows the integration of several theories that have been proposed to date regarding the aging brain. © 2012 Sala-Llonch, Arenaza- Urquijo, Valls-Pedret, Vidal-Piñeiro, Bargalló, Junqué and Bartrés-Faz.


Sala-Vila A.,Unitat de Lipids | Sala-Vila A.,CIBER ISCIII | Cofan M.,Unitat de Lipids | Cofan M.,CIBER ISCIII | And 11 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2010

Background: Low rates of incident ischemic heart disease (IHD) and cardiac death occur in Spain despite a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors. High consumption of unsaturated fatty acid-rich foods, such as olive oil, nuts, and seafood, might underlie this paradox. Objective: We investigated whether serum phosphatidylcholine enrichment in oleic, linoleic, α-linolenic, and n-3 (omega-3) longchain polyunsaturated fatty acids (as biomarkers of olive oil, seed oil, walnut, and fish intake, respectively) relate to carotid atherosclerosis in Spanish subjects at risk of IHD. Design: In a cross-sectional study, we measured fatty acid concentrations in serum phosphatidylcholine and measured carotid intimamedia thickness (IMT) by using ultrasound in 451 asymptomatic subjects (261 men, 190 women; mean age: 45 y) with primary dyslipidemia. Main and secondary outcomes were mean and maximum IMT in the common carotid artery (CCA) and other carotid segments, respectively. Results: Phosphatidylcholine fatty acid composition was similar to that reported for other Spanish populations. Multiple regression analyses showed that proportions of oleic and docosahexaenoic acids were inversely related to mean CCA IMT (P< 0.02, all) after adjustment for several confounders. In similar models, α-linolenic acid related inversely to mean and maximum internal carotid artery IMT (P< 0.05 for all). Linoleic and eicosapentaenoic acids were unrelated to IMT. Conclusions: Higher phospholipid proportions of oleic, α-linolenic, and docosahexaenoic acids showed inverse associations with IMT at specific carotid segments in subjects with primary dyslipidemia. High intakes of healthy fats might explain, in part, the Spanish paradox of low IHD rates in the face of a high burden of cardiovascular risk factors. © 2010 American Society for Nutrition.

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