Neuroanatomy of the Functional Aging Brain
This chapter reviews some of the latest discoveries about the aging of the functional brain. Findings obtained from studies of age-related changes in brain morphology and behavior of mice have demonstrated age-dependent cerebral atrophy and cognitive dysfunction. Brain atrophy was not remarkable in normal aging control mice. Because of the morphological changes observed, cognitive impairment was observed with advancing age. In the transmission of information within the brain and between the central nervous system and the periphery, myelin plays an important role related to velocity and reliability. One of the most frequent and easily observed abnormalities in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images is the well-known white matter hyperintensities (WMH) or leukoaraiosis. It is widely accepted that when WMH appear in the MRI images, the actual neuropathological changes in the brain are shown. So, leukoaraiosis is related to water content of the white matter, which increases dramatically with advancing age.