Relationship between regional white matter hyperintensities and alpha oscillations in older adults

  • Aging is associated with increased white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) and with alterations of alpha oscillations (7–13 Hz). However, a crucial question remains, whether changes in alpha oscillations relate to aging per se or whether this relationship is mediated by age-related neuropathology like WMHs. Using a large cohort of cognitively healthy older adults (N = 907, 60–80 years), we assessed relative alpha power, alpha peak frequency, and long-range temporal correlations from resting-state EEG. We further associated these parameters with voxel-wise WMHs from 3T MRI. We found that a higher prevalence of WMHs in the superior and posterior corona radiata as well as in the thalamic radiation was related to elevated alpha power, with the strongest association in the bilateral occipital cortex. In contrast, we observed no significant relation of the WMHs probability with alpha peak frequency and long-range temporal correlations. Finally, higher age was associated with elevated alpha power via total WMH volume. We suggest that an elevated alpha power is a consequence of WMHs affecting a spatial organization of alpha sources.
Author:Deniz KumralORCiDGND, Elena CesnaiteORCiD, Frauke BeyerORCiDGND, Simon M. HofmannORCiD, Tilman HenschORCiDGND, Christian SanderORCiDGND, Ulrich HegerlORCiDGND, Stefan HaufeORCiD, Arno VillringerORCiDGND, A. Veronica WitteORCiDGND, Vadim V. NikulinORCiD
Parent Title (English):Neurobiology of aging
Publisher:Elsevier Science
Place of publication:Amsterdam [u.a.]
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/10/20
Date of first Publication:2021/10/20
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/04/03
Tag:Aging; Alpha power; EEG; MRI; Resting-state; White matter hyperintensity
Page Number:11
First Page:1
Last Page:11
This work is supported by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund, and the Free State of Saxony within the framework of the excellence initiative and LIFE – Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases, University of Leipzig (project numbers 713-241202, 713-241202, 14505/2470, 14575/2470).
Anonymized data will be made available upon request through the application procedure carried out by the LIFE-Study administration (
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International