IJCNMH ARCpublishing

Issue: Issue 1 (2014) – Supplement 1

Review Article

Cerebral hemodynamics and the aging brain

Sushmita Purkayastha and Farzaneh A. Sorond
Aging is associated with a number of degenerative changes in the structure and function of blood vessels. Recent studies have examined the impact of age on cerebral hemodynamics and brain structure and function. These studies have shown age related changes in resting cerebral blood flow, cerebral vasoreactivity, cerebral autoregulation, and neurovascular coupling. Studies have also shown that aging is associated with cortical atrophy and cerebral white matter injury. More recent studies have also examined the relationship between age related cerebral hemodynamics and brain structure and function. Cross-sectional studies have shown that both cerebral vasoreactivity and pulsatility index are associated with cerebral white matter injury. Similarly, cerebral vasoreactivity has also been associated with impaired mobility which is known to be a clinical consequence of cerebral white matter injury in the elderly people. Neurovascular coupling has also been associated with slow gait and impaired executive function. Despite the advances in this field, our understanding of the relationship between cerebral hemodynamics and structural changes in the aging brain is limited. We also know very little about the relationship between cerebral hemodynamics and clinical outcomes of structural brain disease. A better understanding of these relationships is an essential step towards identifying therapeutic targets and preventive strategies for age related cerebrovascular disease. This review summarizes the available data from recent studies examining cerebral hemodynamics and the aging brain.

Keywords: Cerebral hemodynamics, Aging brain, Cerebrovascular disease, Cerebral vasoreactivity, Cerebral autoregulation, Neurovascular coupling, White matter lesions, Cognitive impairment, Cerebral blood flow.

International Journal of Clinical Neurosciences and Mental Health 2014; 1(Suppl. 1):S07

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