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Abstract #1444

Brain aging and sexual dimorphism in myelination investigated using magnetic resonance myelin water fraction imaging

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

Changes in brain myelination with age and sex have been the subject of intense MRI study. However, most studies have used nonspecific methods to probe myelin, including DTI and relaxation times. We investigated age- and sex-related differences in brain myelin water fraction (MWF), a surrogate of myelin content, in a large cohort of unimpaired participants, spanning a wide age range. We observed a quadratic relationship between MWF and age in all brain regions investigated, suggesting that myelination continues until middle age followed by a decrease through older age. Sexual dimorphism in this process was observed in several brain regions.

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