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Neural correlates of fatigability in older adults by 7T magnetic resonance imaging(MRI)

Wasson, Emily (2017) Neural correlates of fatigability in older adults by 7T magnetic resonance imaging(MRI). Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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There is increasing evidence to support that fatigability, a term for feelings of fatigue anchored to a defined activity at a fixed intensity and duration, may have neurobiological origins. The identification of brain regions associated with fatigability may illuminate vulnerable structural neuronal networks related to the disablement pathway. This work will examine whether structural brain MRI metrics are associated with physical and mental fatigability in older adults. Cross-sectional data collected at the baseline visit for the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders Study was used to conduct analyses. The analytic sample included participants with complete data for brain MRI metrics and the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale. Grey matter volumes (GMV) for a priori identified brain regions of interest were adjusted for intracranial volume (ICV) and fatigability was dichotomized to higher(HF) and lower(LF) physical and mental fatigability status based on established cutpoints. T-tests and non-parametric methods were performed to compare mean-normalized GMV by higher and lower physical and mental fatigability. An exploratory significance level of p<0.1 was used. The analytic sample (n=29) had a mean (SD) age of 77.2(5.5) years (range=70.3 to 88.3 years), was mostly female (86.2%), 37.9% White and 31.0% had completed greater than a high school education. A majority of participants reported higher fatigability for physical and mental categories (65.5% for each). For the right hippocampus, mean (SD) GMV was lower for those with HF (0.261(0.039)) compared to LF (0.273(0.022)) for physical measures, p=0.07. Similar associations were found for the right putamen (HF: 0.273(0.030), LF: 0.292(0.030), p=0.05) and left (HF: 0.254(0.043), LF: 0.314(0.024), p=0.04) and right thalamus (HF: 0.285(0.032), LF: (0.307(0.023), p=0.08). The associations were similar for mental fatigability for the right hippocampus and thalamus with addition of the right cingulum posterior (HF: 0.260(0.040), LF: 0.276(0.015), p=0.05) and left (HF: 0.075(0.012), LF: 0.080(0.006), p=0.02) and right amygdala (HF: 0.081(0.015), LF: 0.086(0.010), p=0.05). Analyses are suggestive of neural correlates of physical and mental fatigability in older adults. These findings are significant to public health, because they will advance neuroepidemiologic knowledge about the role of the brain and fatigability in the disablement pathway.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wasson, Emilyemw97@pitt.eduemw97
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRosso, Andreaalr143@pitt.edualr143UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberGlynn, Nancyglynnn@edu.pitt.eduglynnnUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberButters, Merylmerylb@pitt.edumerylbUNSPECIFIED
Date: 13 November 2017
Date Type: Submission
Number of Pages: 66
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: No
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2018 17:32
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2021 06:15


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