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Multimodality neuroimaging brain-age in UK biobank: relationship to biomedical, lifestyle, and cognitive factors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-42
Number of pages9
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

King's Authors


The brain-age paradigm is proving increasingly useful for exploring aging-related disease and can predict important future health outcomes. Most brain-age research uses structural neuroimaging to index brain volume. However, aging affects multiple aspects of brain structure and function, which can be examined using multimodality neuroimaging. Using UK Biobank, brain-age was modeled in n = 2205 healthy people with T1-weighted MRI, T2-FLAIR, T2∗, diffusion-MRI, task fMRI, and resting-state fMRI. In a held-out healthy validation set (n = 520), chronological age was accurately predicted (r = 0.78, mean absolute error = 3.55 years) using LASSO regression, higher than using any modality separately. Thirty-four neuroimaging phenotypes were deemed informative by the regression (after bootstrapping); predominantly gray-matter volume and white-matter microstructure measures. When applied to new individuals from UK Biobank (n = 14,701), significant associations with multimodality brain-predicted age difference (brain-PAD) were found for stroke history, diabetes diagnosis, smoking, alcohol intake and some, but not all, cognitive measures (corrected p < 0.05). Multimodality neuroimaging can improve brain-age prediction, and derived brain-PAD values are sensitive to biomedical and lifestyle factors that negatively impact brain and cognitive health.

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