Disruptions in brain networks of older fallers are associated with subsequent cognitive decline: A 12-month prospective exploratory study

Chun Liang Hsu, Michelle W. Voss, Todd C. Handy, Jennifer C. Davis, Lindsay S. Nagamatsu, Alison Chan, Niousha Bolandzadeh, Teresa Liu-Ambrose

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cognitive impairment and impaired mobility are major public health concerns. There is growing recognition that impaired mobility is an early biomarker of cognitive impairment and dementia. The neural basis for this association is currently unclear. We propose disrupted functional connectivity as a potential mechanism. In this 12-month prospective exploratory study, we compared functional connectivity of four brain networks- the default mode network (DMN), fronto-executive network (FEN), fronto-parietal network (FPN), and the primary motor sensory network (SMN) - between community-dwelling older adults with ≥ two falls in the last 12 months and their non-falling counterparts (≤ one fall in the last 12 months). Functional connectivity was examined both at rest and during a simple motor tapping task. Compared with non-fallers, fallers showed more connectivity between the DMN and FPN during right finger tapping (p = 0.04), and significantly less functional connectivity between the SMN and FPN during rest (p≤0.05). Less connectivity between the SMN and FPN during rest was significantly associated with greater decline in both cognitive function and mobility over the12-month period (r = -0.32 and 0.33 respectively; p≤0.04). Thus, a recent history of multiple falls among older adults without a diagnosis of dementia may indicate sub-clinical changes in brain function and increased risk for subsequent decline.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere93673
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General

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