Age-related motor and nociceptive cortical processing changes revealed with fMRI
Gullapalli R, Bedekar G, Keaser M, Greenspan J, Roys S, Quiton R, Zhuo J
University of Maryland School of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine
The decline in cognitive, motor, and sensory function with healthy aging is attributable to neuroanatomical and neurophysiological changes in the brain with age. In this study we used fMRI to compare motor and nociceptive cortical processing changes between two age groups. No difference in spatial activation was found for both the nociceptive and motor paradigms. However, significantly lower fMRI amplitude responses were found among the elderly for the pain paradigm bilaterally in the anterior insula and for the right-hand finger tapping task. These activated regions also showed a significant decrease in gray matter volumes which may explain the reduced activity.