Stability Of Default-Mode Network Activity In The Aging Brain

Brain Imaging Behav. 2009 Jan 14;3(2):123-131. doi: 10.1007/s11682-008-9054-z.


Activity attributed to the default-mode occurs during the resting state and is thought to represent self-referential and other intrinsic processes. Although activity in default-associated regions changes across the lifespan, little is known about the stability of default-mode activity in the healthy aging brain. We investigated changes in rest-specific activity across an 8 year period in older participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) neuroimaging study. Comparison of resting-state and recognition memory PET regional cerebral blood flow conditions from baseline and 8-year follow-up shows relative stability of rest-specific activity over time in medial frontal/anterior cingulate, hippocampal and posterior cingulate regions commonly associated with the default-mode. In contrast, prefrontal, parahippocampal and occipital cortical regions, which are not typically associated with default-mode activity, show changes over time Overall, activity in the major components of the default-mode network remains stable in healthy older individuals, a finding which may assist in identifying factors that discriminate between normal and pathological aging.