A longitudinal study of brain volume changes in normal aging

Eur J Radiol. 2012 Oct;81(10):2801-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2011.10.011. Epub 2011 Nov 21.


Purpose: To evaluate the effect of normal aging on brain volumes and examine the effects of age and sex on the rates of changes in global and regional brain volumes.

Methods: A total of 199 normal subjects (65 females and 134 males, mean age=56.4 ± 9.9 years, age range=38.1-82.9 years) were included in this study. Each subject was scanned twice, at an interval of about 2 years (range=1.5-2.3 years). Two-time-point percentage brain volume change (PBVC) was estimated with SIENA 2.6.

Results: The mean annualized PBVC was -0.23%/y. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) for annual brain volume changes revealed a main effect of age. There was no main effect of sex, nor was there a sex-by-age interaction. Voxel-wise analysis revealed a negative correlation between age and edge displacement values mainly in the periventricular region.

Conclusions: The results of our study indicate that brain atrophy accelerates with increasing age and that there is no gender difference in the rate of brain atrophy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / pathology*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Japan
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Organ Size
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity