MRI-based biomarkers of accelerated aging and dementia risk in midlife: how close are we?

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

The global population is aging, leading to an increasing burden of age-related neurodegenerative disease. Efforts to intervene against age-related dementias in older adults have generally proven ineffective. These failures suggest that a lifetime of brain aging may be difficult to reverse once widespread deterioration has occurred. To test interventions in younger populations, biomarkers of brain aging are needed that index subtle signs of accelerated brain deterioration that are part of the putative pathway to dementia. Here I review potential MRI-based biomarkers that could connect midlife brain aging to later life dementia. I survey the literature with three questions in mind, 1) Does the biomarker index age-related changes across the lifespan? 2) Does the biomarker index cognitive ability and cognitive decline? 3) Is the biomarker sensitive to known risk factors for dementia? I find that while there is preliminary support for some midlife MRI-based biomarkers for accelerated aging, the longitudinal research that would best answer these questions is still in its infancy and needs to be further developed. I conclude with suggestions for future research.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Elliott, ML

Published Date

  • August 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 61 /

Start / End Page

  • 101075 -

PubMed ID

  • 32325150

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1872-9649

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1568-1637

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.arr.2020.101075


  • eng