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Abstract #1904

Maturation and degeneration of the human brainstem across the adult lifespan

Luis E. Cortina1, Richard G. Spencer1, and Mustapha Bouhrara1
1NIA, Baltimore, MD, United States

Brainstem tissue microstructural properties change across the adult lifespan. However, investigations elucidating the biological processes that govern brainstem maturation and degeneration are lacking. Here, we implement a multi-parameter approach to characterize the sex- and age-differences in a large cognitively unimpaired adult cohort. Our findings demonstrate quadratic associations between MR metrics and age as well as sexual dimorphism in certain MR metrics. Finally, our results indicate that myelination follows a temporally symmetric time course across the adult lifespan, while axons appear to degenerate significantly more rapidly than they mature.

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