Age-volume associations in cerebellar lobules by sex and reproductive stage.
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The cerebellum has established associations with motor function and a well-recognized role in cognition. In advanced age, cognitive and motor impairments contribute to reduced quality of life and are more common. Regional cerebellar volume is associated with performance across these domains and sex hormones may influence this volume. Examining sex differences in regional cerebellar volume in conjunction with age, and in the context of reproductive stage stands to improve our understanding of cerebellar aging and pathology. Data from 508 healthy adults (ages 18-88; 47% female) from the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience database were used here. CERES was used to assess lobular volume in T1-weighted images. We examined sex differences in adjusted regional cerebellar volume while controlling for age. A subgroup of participants (n=370, 50% female) was used to assess group differences in female reproductive stages as compared to age-matched males. Sex differences in adjusted volume were seen across most anterior and posterior cerebellar lobules. Most of these lobules had significant linear relationships with age in males and females. While there were no interactions between sex and reproductive stage groups, exploratory analyses in females alone revealed multiple regional differences by reproductive stage. We found sex differences in volume across much of the cerebellum, linear associations with age, and did not find an interaction for sex and reproductive stage on regional cerebellar volume. Longitudinal investigation into hormonal influences on cerebellar structure and function is warranted as hormonal changes with menopause may impact cerebellar volume over time.
author list (cited authors)
Hicks, T. H., Ballard, H. K., Sang, H., & Bernard, J. A.
complete list of authors
Hicks, Tracey H||Ballard, Hannah K||Sang, Huiyan||Bernard, Jessica A