Noradrenergic-dependent functions are associated with age-related locus coeruleus signal intensity differences.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The locus coeruleus (LC), the origin of noradrenergic modulation of cognitive and behavioral function, may play an important role healthy ageing and in neurodegenerative conditions. We investigated the functional significance of age-related differences in mean normalized LC signal intensity values (LC-CR) in magnetization-transfer (MT) images from the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience (Cam-CAN) cohort - an open-access, population-based dataset. Using structural equation modelling, we tested the pre-registered hypothesis that putatively noradrenergic (NA)-dependent functions would be more strongly associated with LC-CR in older versus younger adults. A unidimensional model (within which LC-CR related to a single factor representing all cognitive and behavioral measures) was a better fit with the data than the a priori two-factor model (within which LC-CR related to separate NA-dependent and NA-independent factors). Our findings support the concept that age-related reduction of LC structural integrity is associated with impaired cognitive and behavioral function.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Liu, KY; Kievit, RA; Tsvetanov, KA; Betts, MJ; Düzel, E; Rowe, JB; Cam-CAN, ; Howard, R; Hämmerer, D

Published Date

  • April 6, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 1712 -

PubMed ID

  • 32249849

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7136271

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2041-1723

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41467-020-15410-w


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England