Brain age in chronic traumatic brain injury

Gershon Spitz, Amelia J Hicks, Caroline Roberts, Christopher C. Rowe, Jennie Ponsford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with greater ‘brain age’ that may be caused by atrophy in grey and white matter. Here, we investigated ‘brain age’ in a chronic TBI (≥10 years) sample. We examined whether ‘brain age’ increases with years post injury, and whether it is associated with injury severity, cognition and functional outcome. We recruited 102 participants with moderate to severe TBI aged between 40 and 85 years. TBI participants were assessed on average 22 years post-injury. Seventy-seven healthy controls were also recruited. Participants’ ‘brain age’ was determined using T1-weighted MRI images. TBI participants were estimated to have greater ‘brain age’ compared to healthy controls. ‘Brain age’ gap was unrelated to time since injury or long-term functional outcome on the Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended. Greater brain age was associated with greater injury severity measured by post traumatic amnesia duration and Glasgow Coma Scale. ‘Brain age’ was significantly and inversely associated with verbal memory, but unrelated to visual memory/ability and cognitive flexibility and processing speed. A longitudinal study is required to determine whether TBI leads to a ‘one-off’ change in ‘brain age’ or progressive ageing of the brain over time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103039
Number of pages8
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Ageing
  • Brain age
  • Cognition
  • Functional outcome
  • Traumatic brain injury

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