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Region Hovedstaden - en del af Københavns Universitetshospital
E-pub ahead of print

Right-left asymmetry in corticospinal tract microstructure and dexterity are uncoupled in late adulthood

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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Vis graf over relationer

Ageing leads to a decline in white matter microstructure and dexterous function of the hand. In adolescents, it has previously been shown that the degree of right-left asymmetry in the corticospinal tract (CST) is linearly related with right-left asymmetry in dexterity. Here, we tested whether this association is also expressed in older adults. Participants completed a simple circle drawing task with their right and left hand as a measure of dexterity and underwent whole-brain diffusion weighted imaging at 3 Tesla (n = 199; aged 60-72 years). Fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity of right and left CST were extracted from a manually defined region-of-interest. Linear regression analyses were computed to replicate the analyses in adolescents. Frequentist analyses were complemented with a Bayesian analytical framework. Outcome measures were compared with those previously reported in adolescents (aged 11-16 years). Asymmetries in white matter microstructure of the CST were evident and comparable to the degree of lateralisation observed in adolescence. Similarly, asymmetries in dexterity were evident, but to a lesser degree than in adolescents. Unlike in adolescents, we found no evidence of a linear relationship between asymmetries in CST microstructure and dexterity. Complementary Bayesian regression analysis provided moderate evidence in favour of the null hypothesis, pointing towards a lack of association between the structural and functional measures of right-left asymmetry. Our findings are compatible with the notion that, by late adulthood, a diverging impact of age on white matter structure and dexterous hand function dilutes the structure-function relationship between CST microstructure and manual proficiency that has been reported in adolescents.

StatusE-pub ahead of print - 16 jul. 2021

ID: 66871629