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Abstract #1443

Effect of myelin integrity on rapid speed gait in normal aging

Mustapha Bouhrara1, Nikkita Khattar1, Luis E. Cortina1, Abinand C. Rejimon1, Elango Palchamy1, and Richard G. Spencer1
1NIA, NIH, Baltimore, MD, United States

Microstructural white matter (WM) degeneration has been shown to have a direct impact on mobility performance. However, the association between speed gait and myelin changes is less clear. This study examines the effect of myelin degeneration measured using myelin water fraction (MWF), a specific proxy of myelin content, and relaxation rates, sensitive but non-specific measures of myelin, on rapid gait speed (RGS), which represents an integrated metric of physiologic function. Our study is conducted on a large age-range cohort of cognitively unimpaired participants. We show statistically significant correlations between MWF loss and RGS decline in several WM structures.

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