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Changes in white-matter functional network efficiency across the adult lifespan

Niu, Henga,*; Zhu, Jiajiab,*; Wang, Chunlic; Zhu, Linaa; Wu, Jianga

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000001255

Previous studies have used resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) and graph-theory approaches to investigate the lifespan trajectory of the topological organization of the gray-matter functional networks. Recent evidences have suggested that rs-fMRI data can also be used to estimate white-matter function, challenging the conventional practice of taking white-matter signals as noise or artifacts. Here, we examined the correlation between age and white-matter functional network efficiency by applying graph-theory to a large sample of rs-fMRI data of 435 participants. We found that age was correlated negatively with both global and local efficiency of the white-matter functional networks. These findings suggest decreasing white-matter functional network efficiency during the aging process, which provides a complement to conventional gray-matter functional network studies.

aDepartment of Magnetic Resonance, Shanxi Cardiovascular Hospital, Taiyuan

bDepartment of Radiology

cDepartment of Clinical Laboratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China

* Heng Niu and Jiajia Zhu contributed equally to the writing of this article.

Correspondence to Jiang Wu, MS, Department of Magnetic Resonance, Shanxi Cardiovascular Hospital, Taiyuan 030024, China Tel/fax: +86 035 1527 5526; e-mail:

Received March 6, 2019

Accepted March 26, 2019

© 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins