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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Aging Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2019.00312

Evaluation of age-related causal influences on motor cortical changes

 Li Wang1, 2*, ye Zhang2*, Jingna Zhang2*, LinqiLinqiong Sang2*, Pengyue Li2*, Rubing Yan3*, Mingguo Qiu2* and Chen Liu4*
  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, China
  • 2Army Medical University, China
  • 3Department of Rehabilitation, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, China
  • 4Department of Radiology, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, China

Age-related neurodegenerative and neurochemical changes are thought to underlie a decline in motor function, but the changes in the effective connectivity within the motor network that come with aging are not clear. Our objective was to investigate the age-related changes in the dynamic interaction between cortical motor regions. Twenty young subjects and 20 older subjects underwent two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments, right hand motor execution (ME) and right hand motor imagery (MI). Conditional Granger causality analysis was used to compare young and older adults’ effective connectivity among regions of the motor network during the tasks. The more effective connections among motor regions in older adults were found during ME; however, the effective connections within-domain hemisphere were reduced, and the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal was significantly delayed in older adults during MI. Supplementary motor area (SMA) had a significantly higher In+Out degree within the network during ME and MI in older adults. Our results revealed a dynamic interaction within the motor network altered with aging during ME and MI, which suggested that the interaction with cortical motor neurons caused by the mental task was more difficult with aging. The age-related effects on the motor cortical network provide a new insight into our understanding of neurodegeneration in older individuals.

Keywords: Motor network, motor execution, Motor Imagery, effective connectivity, Granger causality analysis (GCA)

Received: 19 Sep 2018; Accepted: 28 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Wang, Zhang, Zhang, Sang, Li, Yan, Qiu and Liu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Li Wang, Department of Neurosurgery, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China, 359020750@qq.com
Dr. ye Zhang, Army Medical University, Chongqing, China, 349408071@qq.com
Dr. Jingna Zhang, Army Medical University, Chongqing, China, 971843668@qq.com
Dr. LinqiLinqiong Sang, Army Medical University, Chongqing, China, 1055038672@qq.com
Ms. Pengyue Li, Army Medical University, Chongqing, China, 475084636@qq.com
Dr. Rubing Yan, Department of Rehabilitation, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China, 358836015@qq.com
Prof. Mingguo Qiu, Army Medical University, Chongqing, China, 452771163@qq.com.com
Dr. Chen Liu, Department of Radiology, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China, cqliuchen@Foxmail.com