Brain-predicted age difference is associated with cognitive processing in later-life

Jo Wrigglesworth, Nurathifah Yaacob, Phillip Ward, Robyn L. Woods, John McNeil, Elsdon Storey, Gary Egan, Anne Murray, Raj C. Shah, Sharna D. Jamadar, Ruth Trevaks, Stephanie Ward, Ian H. Harding, Joanne Ryan

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Brain age is a neuroimaging-based biomarker of aging. This study examined whether the difference between brain age and chronological age (brain-PAD) is associated with cognitive function at baseline and longitudinally. Participants were relatively healthy, predominantly white community-dwelling older adults (n = 531, aged ≥70 years), with high educational attainment (61% ≥12 years) and socioeconomic status (59% ≥75th percentile). Brain age was estimated from T1-weighted magnetic resonance images using an algorithm by Cole et al., 2018. After controlling for age, gender, education, depression and body mass index, brain-PAD was negatively associated with psychomotor speed (Symbol Digit Modalities Test) at baseline (Bonferroni p < 0.006), but was not associated with baseline verbal fluency (Controlled Oral Word Association Test), delayed recall (Hopkins Learning Test Revised), or general cognitive status (Mini-Mental State Examination). Baseline brain-PAD was not associated with 3-year change in cognition (Bonferroni p > 0.006). These findings indicate that even in relatively healthy older people, accelerated brain aging is associated with worse psychomotor speed, but future longitudinal research into changes in brain-PAD is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-203
Number of pages9
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Brain aging
  • Cognitive function
  • Estimated brain age
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neuroimaging
  • Predicted age difference

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