Development and evaluation of a high resolution 0.5mm isotropic T1-weighted template of the older adult brain

Neuroimage. 2022 Mar:248:118869. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118869. Epub 2022 Jan 2.


Investigating the structure of the older adult brain at high spatial resolution is of high significance, and a dedicated older adult structural brain template with sub-millimeter resolution is currently lacking. Therefore, the purpose of this work was twofold: (A) to develop a 0.5mm isotropic resolution standardized T1-weighted template of the older adult brain by applying principles of super resolution to high quality MRI data from 222 older adults (65-95 years of age), and (B) to systematically compare the new template to other standardized and study-specific templates in terms of image quality and performance when used as a reference for alignment of older adult data. The new template exhibited higher spatial resolution and improved visualization of fine structural details of the older adult brain compared to a template constructed using a conventional template building approach and the same data. In addition, the new template exhibited higher image sharpness and did not contain image artifacts observed in some of the other templates considered in this work. Due to the above enhancements, the new template provided higher inter-subject spatial normalization precision for older adult data compared to the other templates, and consequently enabled detection of smaller inter-group morphometric differences in older adult data. Finally, the new template was among those that were most representative of older adult brain data. Overall, the new template constructed here is an important resource for studies of aging, and the findings of the present work have important implications in template selection for investigations on older adults.

Keywords: Aging; Atlas; Brain; High resolution; T1-weighted; Template.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Artifacts
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male