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Association between carotid atherosclerosis and brain activation patterns during the Stroop task in older adults: an fNIRS investigation

Mason, Sarah A; Al Saikhan, Lamia; Jones, Siana; James, Sarah-Naomi; Murray-Smith, Heidi; Rapala, Alicja; Williams, Suzanne; ... Hughes, Alun D; + view all (2022) Association between carotid atherosclerosis and brain activation patterns during the Stroop task in older adults: an fNIRS investigation. Neuroimage , Article 119302. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119302. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

There is an increasing body of evidence suggesting that vascular disease could contribute to cognitive decline and overt dementia. Of particular interest is atherosclerosis, as it is not only associated with dementia, but could be a potential mechanism through which cardiovascular disease directly impacts brain health. In this work, we evaluated the differences in functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)-based measures of brain activation, task performance, and the change in central hemodynamics (mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR)) during a Stroop color-word task in individuals with atherosclerosis, defined as bilateral carotid plaques (n = 33) and healthy age-matched controls (n = 33). In the healthy control group, the left prefrontal cortex (LPFC) was the only region showing evidence of activation when comparing the incongruous with the nominal Stroop test. A smaller extent of brain activation was observed in the Plaque group compared with the healthy controls (1) globally, as measured by oxygenated hemoglobin (p = 0.036) and (2) in the LPFC (p = 0.02) and left sensorimotor cortices (LMC)(p = 0.008) as measured by deoxygenated hemoglobin. There were no significant differences in HR, MAP, or task performance (both in terms of the time required to complete the task and number of errors made) between Plaque and control groups. These results suggest that carotid atherosclerosis is associated with altered functional brain activation patterns despite no evidence of impaired performance of the Stroop task or central hemodynamic changes.

Type: Article
Title: Association between carotid atherosclerosis and brain activation patterns during the Stroop task in older adults: an fNIRS investigation
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119302
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119302
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. under a Creative Commons license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Stroop task, cognitive function, functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), neurovascular coupling
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10149220
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