Michael G. Dwyer1, Niels P. Bergsland1, Ferdinand
Schweser2, Christopher R.
1Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center, Department of Neurology, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, United States; 2Medical Physics Group, Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology I, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany; 3Medical Physics Group, Jena University Hospital - Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Jena, Germany
Brain iron levels have been shown to increase with age, and to be higher in age-related neurodegenerative disorders. To fully understand the pathology of increased iron concentration in neurodegenerative disorders, it is important to take a step back and investigate aging in healthy individuals. In the present work, we show strong associations between deep gray matter mean phase measures acquired using susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI), indicative of increased iron levels, and age in healthy individuals. This relationship is non-linear, with the highest overall iron concentrations observed in middle-age, after which levels rebound. Iron content of tissues with very high iron levels is linearly related to age. A strong association is also observed with brain atrophy.