Cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral vascular reactivity (CVR) decrease with age and might affect cognitive functions. In this study, we investigated their correlation with cognitive abilities during normal and pathological aging.
We performed neuropsychological assessments on thirty-four participants: 13 healthy-young, 10 healthy-old and 11 impaired-old. We measured CBF and CVR using hypercapnia and Arterial Spin Labeling imaging.
Regarding the impaired-old, we found specific decrease in executive functions, short-term and working memory. Significant correlations were found between CVR and cognitive scores. Global CBF correlated only with age.
Unlike CBF, CVR reduction was specifically associated with cognitive decline during aging.