Jiyang et al. have used resting-state functional MRI to compare 57 individuals aged 95-103 years old with 66 cognitively unimpaired younger participants aged 76-79. The centenarians showed more synchronized activation of left and right fronto-parietal control networks. Their abstract:
We studied functional connectivity (FC) in near-centenarians and centenarians (nCC).
NCC showed stronger FC between bilateral frontoparietal control network (FPCN).
The stronger bilateral FPCN FC was linked to better visuospatial ability in nCC.
Centenarians without dementia can be considered as a model of successful ageing and resistance against age-related cognitive decline. Is there something special about their brain functional connectivity that helps them preserve cognitive function into the 11th decade of life? In a cohort of 57 dementia-free near-centenarians and centenarians (95–103 years old) and 66 cognitively unimpaired younger participants (76–79 years old), we aimed to investigate brain functional characteristics in the extreme age range using resting-state functional MRI. Using group-level independent component analysis and dual regression, results showed group differences in the functional connectivity of seven group-level independent component (IC) templates, after accounting for sex, education years, and grey matter volume, and correcting for multiple testing at family-wise error rate of 0.05. After Bonferroni correction for testing 30 IC templates, near-centenarians and centenarians showed stronger functional connectivity between right frontoparietal control network (FPCN) and left inferior frontal gyrus (Bonferroni-corrected p = 0.024), a core region of the left FPCN. The investigation of between-IC functional connectivity confirmed the voxel-wise result by showing stronger functional connectivity between bilateral FPCNs in near-centenarians and centenarians compared to young-old controls. In addition, near-centenarians and centenarians had weaker functional connectivity between default mode network and fronto-temporo-parietal network compared to young-old controls. In near-centenarians and centenarians, stronger functional connectivity between bilateral FPCNs was associated with better cognitive performance in the visuospatial domain. The current study highlights the key role of bilateral FPCN connectivity in the reserve capacity against age-related cognitive decline.