Asymmetric thinning of the cerebral cortex across the adult lifespan is accelerated in Alzheimer’s disease
journal contributionposted on 12.04.2021, 00:10 by JM Roe, D Vidal-Piñeiro, Ø Sørensen, AM Brandmaier, S Düzel, HA Gonzalez, RA Kievit, E Knights, S Kühn, U Lindenberger, AM Mowinckel, L Nyberg, DC Park, S Pudas, MM Rundle, KB Walhovd, AM Fjell, R Westerhausen, CL Masters, AI Bush, C Fowler, D Darby, K Pertile, C Restrepo, B Roberts, J Robertson, R Rumble, T Ryan, S Collins, C Thai, B Trounson, K Lennon, QX Li, FY Ugarte, I Volitakis, M Vovos, R Williams, J Baker, A Russell, M Peretti, L Milicic, L Lim, M Rodrigues, K Taddei, T Taddei, E Hone, F Lim, S Fernandez, S Rainey-Smith, S Pedrini, R Martins, J Doecke, P Bourgeat, J Fripp, S Gibson, H Leroux, D Hanson, V Dore, P Zhang, S Burnham, CC Rowe, VL Villemagne, P Yates, SB Pejoska, G Jones, D Ames, E Cyarto, N Lautenschlager, K Barnham, L Cheng, Andrew Hill, N Killeen, P Maruff, B Silbert, B Brown, H Sohrabi, G Savage, M Vacher
© 2021, The Author(s). Aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are associated with progressive brain disorganization. Although structural asymmetry is an organizing feature of the cerebral cortex it is unknown whether continuous age- and AD-related cortical degradation alters cortical asymmetry. Here, in multiple longitudinal adult lifespan cohorts we show that higher-order cortical regions exhibiting pronounced asymmetry at age ~20 also show progressive asymmetry-loss across the adult lifespan. Hence, accelerated thinning of the (previously) thicker homotopic hemisphere is a feature of aging. This organizational principle showed high consistency across cohorts in the Lifebrain consortium, and both the topological patterns and temporal dynamics of asymmetry-loss were markedly similar across replicating samples. Asymmetry-change was further accelerated in AD. Results suggest a system-wide dedifferentiation of the adaptive asymmetric organization of heteromodal cortex in aging and AD.