Neural compensation in older people with brain amyloid-β deposition

Jeremy A ElmanHwamee OhCindee M MadisonSuzanne L BakerJacob W VogelShawn M MarksSam CrowleyJames P O’Neil & William J Jagust – Nature Neuroscience 17, 1316–1318 (2014) doi:10.1038/nn.3806

Recruitment of extra neural resources may allow people to maintain normal cognition despite amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques. Previous fMRI studies have reported such hyperactivation, but it is unclear whether increases represent compensation or aberrant overexcitation. We found that older adults with Aβ deposition had reduced deactivations in task-negative regions, but increased activation in task-positive regions related to more detailed memory encoding. The association between higher activity and more detailed memories suggests that Aβ-related hyperactivation is compensatory.



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