Age-related alterations in the cerebrovasculature affect neurovascular coupling and BOLD fMRI responses: Insights from animal models of aging

Andriy Yabluchanskiy, Adam Nyul-Toth, Anna Csiszar, Rafal Gulej, Debra Saunders, Rheal Towner, Monroe Turner, Yuguang Zhao, Dema Abdelkari, Bart Rypma, Stefano Tarantini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present and future research efforts in cognitive neuroscience and psychophysiology rely on the measurement, understanding, and interpretation of blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to effectively investigate brain function. Aging and age-associated pathophysiological processes change the structural and functional integrity of the cerebrovasculature which can significantly alter how the BOLD signal is recorded and interpreted. In order to gain an improved understanding of the benefits, drawbacks, and methodological implications for BOLD fMRI in the context of cognitive neuroscience, it is crucial to understand the cellular and molecular mechanism of age-related vascular pathologies. This review discusses the multifaceted effects of aging and the contributions of age-related pathologies on structural and functional integrity of the cerebral microcirculation as they has been investigated in animal models of aging, including age-related alterations in neurovascular coupling responses, cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in microvascular damage, vascular rarefaction, blood–brain barrier disruption, senescence, humoral deficiencies as they relate to, and potentially introduce confounding factors in the interpretation of BOLD fMRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13718
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume58
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • aging
  • microcirculation
  • neurovascular coupling
  • senescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry

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