Age-related resting-state functional connectivity in the olfactory and trigeminal networks

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Abstract

Brain networks for intranasal chemosensation have been shown to be intrinsically organized in humans 1. However, little is known about how changes in the intrinsic functional connectivity (FC) in chemosensory networks are related to aging. We, therefore, investigated the impact of age on resting-state FC in the olfactory and trigeminal networks (ON and TN) by combining two freely available resting-state fMRI data sets (obtained from the NITRC.org; Atlanta and New York) with data collected in our lab to generate a large sample size (N=103; 51 women) spanning the age range of 20–61 years. Seed regions were defined using Montreal Neurological Institute's coordinates that anchor ON and TN in activation studies and meta-analyses. The ON included the piriform cortex and the oribtofrontal cortex. The TN included the anterior insula and the cingulate cortex. Scanner site, sex, and age were used as covariates in group-level analyses. The FC between the ON and the parahippocampal gyrus was correlated negatively with age. The FC between the TN and the parahippocampal gyrus, however, was positively correlated. Similarly, age was correlated positively with the ON FC to the ventral striatum and the TN FC to the default mode network. These results reflect divergent age-related alterations in the intrinsic FC of the human chemosensory system.

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