Language processing in age-related macular degeneration associated with unique functional connectivity signatures in the right hemisphere.
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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a retinal disease associated with significant vision loss among older adults. Previous large-scale behavioral studies indicate that people with AMD are at increased risk of cognitive deficits in language processing, particularly in verbal fluency tasks. The neural underpinnings of any relationship between AMD and higher cognitive functions, such as language processing, remain unclear. This study aims to address this issue using independent component analysis of spontaneous brain activity at rest. In 2 components associated with visual processing, we observed weaker functional connectivity in the primary visual cortex and lateral occipital cortex in AMD patients compared with healthy controls, indicating that AMD might lead to differences in the neural representation of vision. In a component related to language processing, we found that increasing connectivity within the right inferior frontal gyrus was associated with better verbal fluency performance across all older adults, and the verbal fluency effect was greater in AMD patients than controls in both right inferior frontal gyrus and right posterior temporal regions. As the behavioral performance of our patients is as good as that of controls, these findings suggest that preservation of verbal fluency performance in AMD patients might be achieved through higher contribution from right hemisphere regions in bilateral language networks. If that is the case, there may be an opportunity to promote cognitive resilience among seniors with AMD or other forms of late-life vision loss.
SubjectAge-related macular degeneration
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.11.003
Publication InfoZhuang, Jie; Madden, David J; Duong-Fernandez, Xuan; Chen, Nan-Kuei; Cousins, Scott W; Potter, Guy G; ... Whitson, Heather E (2017). Language processing in age-related macular degeneration associated with unique functional connectivity signatures in the right hemisphere. Neurobiol Aging, 63. pp. 65-74. 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.11.003. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/15952.
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Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology
Dr. Chen is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) physicist with research interest in fast image acquisition methodology, pulse sequence design, MRI artifact correction, and application of MRI to studies of neurological diseases. He has been developing novel high-resolution imaging protocols and analysis procedures for mapping structural and functional connectivity of brains. More generally, Dr. Chen's research involves the application of MRI in translational contexts. He has been serving as the pr
Robert Machemer, M.D. Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology
Scott W. Cousins, M.D. is currently the Robert Machemer, M.D. Professor of Ophthalmology and Immunology, Vice Chair for Research, and Director of the Duke Center for Macular Diseases at Duke Eye Center. As Vice Chair, he oversees all basic science research as well as the Ophthalmology Site-Based Research Group, which administrates clinical research for Duke Eye Center. Dr. Cousins is also Medical Director of Hospital-Based Imaging and Procedures for Duke Eye Center. Dr. Cousi
Professor of Medical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
My research focuses primarily on the cognitive neuroscience of aging: the investigation of age-related changes in perception, attention, and memory, using both behavioral measures and neuroimaging techniques, including positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). The behavioral measures have focused on reaction time, with the goal of distinguishing age-related changes in specific cognitive abilities from mo
Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Medicine
Dr. Whitson's research is focused on improving care options and resilience for people with multiple chronic conditions. In particular, she has interest and expertise related to the link between age-related changes in the eye and brain (e.g., How does late-life vision loss impact the aging brain or cognitive outcomes? Is Alzheimer's disease associated with distinctive changes in the retina, and could such changes help diagnose Alzheimer's disease early in its course?). Dr. Whits
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