King's College London

Research portal

5-HT, prefrontal function and aging: fMRI of inhibition and acute tryptophan depletion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1135 - 1146
Number of pages12
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

King's Authors


Age-related declines in prefrontal functions and age-related declines in prefrontal serotonin (5-HT) are documented. The effect of 5-HT on prefrontal cortex (PFC) is also documented; however, no one has examined the effect of experimental 5-HT modulation on PFC in healthy older adults. We investigated the effect of 5-HT on brain functioning in 10 women over 55 (mean = 63.0 +/- 5.3 years) during cognitive interference inhibition (Simon task) using fMRI and acute tryptophan depletion (ATD). ATD did not affect task performance; it did affect brain function. During sham/no depletion, participants activated brain regions associated with the Simon (e.g., left inferior PFC). During ATD, there was no prefrontal but alternative posterior brain activation. ATD relative to sham reduced activity in left inferior PFC, anterior cingulate and basal ganglia but increased activity within neocerebellum and parietal lobe. In older adults, ATD modulates task-relevant brain activation for cognitive interference inhibition and is associated with an anterior-to-posterior activation shift. Maintaining successful Simon performance during ATD is achieved by increasing cerebellar and parietal contributions to compensate for decreased fronto-cingulo-striatal involvement. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454