About this Research Topic
Modern societies are facing significantly increased lifespan. Even though the majority of elderly individuals are in a relatively well-preserved health, about one fifth of them are confronted with difficulties in their everyday lives associated with impaired cognitive function. Neurobiological changes, occurring in healthy aging, affect the brain's functional organization and the individual's cognitive abilities such as working memory, processing speed and executive functions. Recent results highlighted that subtle age-related dysfunction in the regional integrity and information flow across the brain, can be observed as age-related differences in functional and structural connectivity. Beside the pathological processes that directly affect neurons and result in accelerated brain aging (multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, different psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or major depressive disorder), many systemic disorders are correlated with certain degree of cognitive disabilities (endocrine disorders such as hypothyroidism or diabetes, connective tissue disorders such as Sjogren’s syndrome, infectious diseases such as HIV or chronic Hepatitis C, and other systemic disorders such as hyperlipidemia, hypertension, obesity and many others). Cognitive impairment has also been described in patients after critical illness, in the long-term follow up. Timely recognition and awareness of the presence of brain injury in these disorders is important in order to identify the individuals at elevated risk and take preventive measures to maintain the quality of life.
The aim of this Research Topic is to discuss the most advanced knowledge in the field of imaging of the healthy and accelerated brain, with attention to different imaging patterns of changes associated with different pathological basis, as well as novel imaging techniques. In past years, several imaging techniques have been applied to enable better understanding of the evolution of brain atrophy, and structural and functional impairment throughout the course of physiological brain aging. We feel that the interested readership could benefit from a comprehensive view of the current and future directions in this field.
We welcome Original Research, Reviews and Brief Research Reports, with special attention (but not confined) to manuscripts that discuss clinical applications of imaging techniques in evaluation of brain aging. Manuscripts on the following themes are welcome:
• Definition of the imaging patterns of structural and functional brain changes in different disorders, causing acceleration of the physiological brain aging;
• Advances in imaging of brain aging in different disorders;
• Technical improvements and recommendations in imaging - potential applications of AI (artificial intelligence) in imaging;
• The role of Quantitative MRI (qMRI) as an outcome measure;
• Correlations of applied neuroimaging with neuropsychological and neurocognitive testing.
We would like to acknowledge that Dr. Jasmina Boban, Faculty of Medicine Novi Sad, University of Novi Sad, Serbia, has acted as a coordinator and has contributed to the preparation of the proposal for this Research Topic.
Keywords: brain aging, brain atrophy, magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, diffusion tensor imaging, functional MRI, susceptibility-weighted imaging
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