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Negative Fateful Life Events Linked to Advanced Brain Aging

More midlife FLEs, especially relating to interpersonal relationships, tied to advanced predicted brain aging

THURSDAY, April 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Negative fateful life events (FLEs) in midlife are associated with advanced predicted brain aging, according to a study published in the July issue of Neurobiology of Aging.

Sean N. Hatton, Ph.D., from the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues examined whether negative midlife FLEs are associated with advanced brain aging after controlling for physical, psychological, and lifestyle factors in a cohort of 359 men (mean age, 62 years) participating in the Vietnam Era twin study of aging. Participants were assessed for negative FLEs, health and well-being, general cognitive ability, socioeconomic status, depression, and ethnicity at two different time points. Participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging, and T1-weighted images were processed. To predict brain age, neuroanatomical measurements were entered into the Brain-Age Regression Analysis and Computation Utility software.

The researchers observed a correlation for having more midlife FLEs, especially relating to interpersonal relationships, with advanced predicted brain aging. After they controlled for the significant covariates of alcohol consumption, cardiovascular risk, adult socioeconomic status, and ethnicity, the correlation persisted.

“Individuals who had higher levels of major life events showed signs of advanced predicted brain aging,” the authors write. “It remains to be determined whether the influence of midlife FLEs and other factors on brain age may change with increasing chronological age.”

One author disclosed financial ties to CorTechs Laboratories.

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