Dopamine D1 receptors and age differences in brain activation during working memory

L. Bäckman, S. Karlsson, H. Fischer, P. Karrison, Yvonne Brehmer, A. Rieckmann, S.W. MacDonald, L. Farde, L. Nyberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In an fMRI study, 20 younger and 20 healthy older adults were scanned while performing a spatial working-memory task under two levels of load. On a separate occasion, the same subjects underwent PET measurements using the radioligand [(11)C] SCH23390 to determine dopamine D(1) receptor binding potential (BP) in caudate nucleus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The fMRI study revealed a significant load modulation of brain activity (higher load>lower load) in frontal and parietal regions for younger, but not older, adults. The PET measurements showed marked age-related reductions of D(1) BP in caudate and DLPFC. Statistical control of caudate and DLPFC D(1) binding eliminated the age-related reduction in load-dependent BOLD signal in left frontal cortex, and attenuated greatly the reduction in right frontal and left parietal cortex. These findings suggest that age-related alterations in dopaminergic neurotransmission may contribute to underrecruitment of task-relevant brain regions during working-memory performance in old age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1849-1856
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume32
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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