Impaired Neurovascular Coupling and Increased Functional Connectivity in the Frontal Cortex Predict Age-Related Cognitive Dysfunction

Peter Mukli, Camila B. Pinto, Cameron D. Owens, Tamas Csipo, Agnes Lipecz, Zsofia Szarvas, Anna Peterfi, Ana Clara da Costa Pinaffi Langley, Jordan Hoffmeister, Frigyes Samuel Racz, Jonathan W. Perry, Stefano Tarantini, Ádám Nyúl-Tóth, Farzaneh A. Sorond, Yuan Yang, Judith A. James, Angelia C. Kirkpatrick, Calin I. Prodan, Peter Toth, Juliette GalindoAndrew W. Gardner, William E. Sonntag, Anna Csiszar, Zoltan Ungvari, Andriy Yabluchanskiy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Impaired cerebrovascular function contributes to the genesis of age-related cognitive decline. In this study, the hypothesis is tested that impairments in neurovascular coupling (NVC) responses and brain network function predict cognitive dysfunction in older adults. Cerebromicrovascular and working memory function of healthy young (n = 21, 33.2±7.0 years) and aged (n = 30, 75.9±6.9 years) participants are assessed. To determine NVC responses and functional connectivity (FC) during a working memory (n-back) paradigm, oxy- and deoxyhemoglobin concentration changes from the frontal cortex using functional near-infrared spectroscopy are recorded. NVC responses are significantly impaired during the 2-back task in aged participants, while the frontal networks are characterized by higher local and global connection strength, and dynamic FC (p < 0.05). Both impaired NVC and increased FC correlate with age-related decline in accuracy during the 2-back task. These findings suggest that task-related brain states in older adults require stronger functional connections to compensate for the attenuated NVC responses associated with working memory load.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2303516
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 13 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • cognitive decline
  • functional connectivity
  • functional near-infrared spectroscopy
  • neurovascular coupling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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