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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764


FERRETTI, Renata Eloah de Lucena et al. Morphometric brain changes during aging: Results from a Brazilian necropsy sample. Dement. neuropsychol. [online]. 2010, vol.4, n.4, pp.332-337. ISSN 1980-5764.

The present study aimed to establish the morphometric brain changes during aging in a necropsy series from Brazil and determine whether sexual dimorphisms interfere in these changes. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the São Paulo Autopsy Service in Brazil where, after informed consent, data was gathered from next of kin interview with reference to clinical status prior to death. Brain weight, volume and density measurements were taken and then adjusted for head circumference. Descriptive statistics and tests of hypothesis and correlations were applied, considering a p-value of 0.05. Results: 414 subjects, mostly men (60.4%), with a mean age of 67.1 years, were included. The mean brain weight of the sample was 1219.2g±140.9 and mean volume was 1217mL±152.3. The mean brain density of the sample was 1.0g/mL±0.09. Values differed between males and females in terms of weight and volume. Brain weight decreased during aging by about 45g per decade (r= -0.300; p<0.01) and volume by about 43mL (r= -0.278; p<0.00). Mean density of the sample was 1.0 g/mL in both genders. Conclusions: Brain weight and volume (with or without corrections) decreased during aging, and these reductions were more pronounced in women. Density remained unchanged for both genders. Further studies are needed to investigate factors associated to these reductions.

Keywords : aging; brain/anatomy; cephalometry.

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