Posted on Sep 24, 2014, 6 a.m.
Novel optical methods map the pulse pressure of the entire brain's cortex.
Arterial health in the brain is essential for optimal brain aging and may serve a preventive role against Alzheimer’s Disease and aging-related cognitive decline. Monica Fabiani, from the University of Illinois (Illinois, USA), and colleagues devised a novel optical imaging technique to measure pulse pressure of the brain’s cortex. The initial results using this new technique find that arterial stiffness is directly correlated with cardiorespiratory fitness: the more fit people are, the more elastic their arteries. Because arterial stiffening is a cause of reduced brain blood flow, stiff arteries can lead to a faster rate of cognitive decline and an increased chance of stroke, especially in older adults. Studying a group of 53 participants, ages 55-87 years, via the new optical imaging technique, the study authors report that: “regional pulse transit time predicts specific neuropsychological performance.”
Fabiani M, Low KA, Tan CH, Zimmerman B, Fletcher MA, Schneider-Garces N, et al. “Taking the pulse of aging: Mapping pulse pressure and elasticity in cerebral arteries with optical methods.” Psychophysiology. 2014 Aug 6. `