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Multimodal fusion analysis of functional, cerebrovascular and structural neuroimaging in healthy aging subjects.

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Tyler, Lorraine K 
Rowe, James B 


Brain aging is a complex process that requires a multimodal approach. Neuroimaging can provide insights into brain morphology, functional organization, and vascular dynamics. However, most neuroimaging studies of aging have focused on each imaging modality separately, limiting the understanding of interrelations between processes identified by different modalities and their relevance to cognitive decline in aging. Here, we used a data-driven multimodal approach, linked independent component analysis (ICA), to jointly analyze magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of grey matter volume, cerebrovascular, and functional network topographies in relation to measures of fluid intelligence. Neuroimaging and cognitive data from the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience study were used, with healthy participants aged 18-88 years (main dataset n = 215 and secondary dataset n = 433). Using linked ICA, functional network activities were characterized in independent components but not captured in the same component as structural and cerebrovascular patterns. Split-sample (n = 108/107) and out-of-sample (n = 433) validation analyses using linked ICA were also performed. Global grey matter volume with regional cerebrovascular changes and the right frontoparietal network activity were correlated with age-related and individual differences in fluid intelligence. This study presents the insights from linked ICA to bring together measurements from multiple imaging modalities, with independent and additive information. We propose that integrating multiple neuroimaging modalities allows better characterization of brain pattern variability and changes associated with healthy aging.


Funder: Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust; Id:

Funder: China Scholarship Council; Id:


fluid intelligence, healthy aging, linked independent component analysis, multimodal fusion, neuroimaging, Humans, Healthy Aging, Healthy Volunteers, Neuroimaging, Aging, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Brain

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Hum Brain Mapp

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Wellcome Trust (103838/Z/14/Z)
MRC (unknown)
Guarantors of Brain (Unknown)
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) (146281)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/H008217/1)
European Commission (732592)
National Institute for Health and Care Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)
Medical Research Council (MR/J009482/1)
Medical Research Council (MR/M008983/1)
Medical Research Council (MC_U105597119)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00005/12)
MRC (MC_UU_00030/14)