Cortical thickness and resting‐state cardiac function across the lifespan: A cross‐sectional pooled mega‐analysis

Koenig, Julian; Abler, Birgit; Agartz, Ingrid; Åkerstedt, Torbjörn; Andreassen, Ole A.; Anthony, Mia; Bär, Karl‐Jürgen; Bertsch, Katja; Brown, Rebecca C.; Brunner, Romuald; Carnevali, Luca; Critchley, Hugo D.; Cullen, Kathryn R.; Geus, Eco J. C.; Cruz, Feliberto; Dziobek, Isabel; Ferger, Marc D.; Fischer, Håkan; Flor, Herta; Gaebler, Michael; ... (2020). Cortical thickness and resting‐state cardiac function across the lifespan: A cross‐sectional pooled mega‐analysis (In Press). Psychophysiology Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/psyp.13688

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Understanding the association between autonomic nervous system [ANS] function and brain morphology across the lifespan provides important insights into neurovisceral mechanisms underlying health and disease. Resting-state ANS activity, indexed by measures of heart rate [HR] and its variability [HRV] has been associated with brain morphology, particularly cortical thickness [CT]. While findings have been mixed regarding the anatomical distribution and direction of the associations, these inconsistencies may be due to sex and age differences in HR/HRV and CT. Previous studies have been limited by small sample sizes, which impede the assessment of sex differences and aging effects on the association between ANS function and CT. To overcome these limitations, 20 groups worldwide contributed data collected under similar protocols of CT assessment and HR/HRV recording to be pooled in a mega-analysis (N = 1,218 (50.5% female), mean age 36.7 years (range: 12-87)). Findings suggest a decline in HRV as well as CT with increasing age. CT, particularly in the orbitofrontal cortex, explained additional variance in HRV, beyond the effects of aging. This pattern of results may suggest that the decline in HRV with increasing age is related to a decline in orbitofrontal CT. These effects were independent of sex and specific to HRV; with no significant association between CT and HR. Greater CT across the adult lifespan may be vital for the maintenance of healthy cardiac regulation via the ANS-or greater cardiac vagal activity as indirectly reflected in HRV may slow brain atrophy. Findings reveal an important association between CT and cardiac parasympathetic activity with implications for healthy aging and longevity that should be studied further in longitudinal research.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Research Division

UniBE Contributor:

Koenig, Julian and Kaess, Michael

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0048-5772

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Chantal Michel

Date Deposited:

24 Dec 2020 09:15

Last Modified:

25 Dec 2020 06:43

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/psyp.13688

PubMed ID:

33037836

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/148925

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/148925

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