Kathleen Miller has received honorable mention recognition in the 2020 American Kinesiology Association (AKA) National Graduate Student Writing Award competition.
Miller is a doctoral student with the Department of Kinesiology and a predoctoral trainee in the UW Cardiovascular Research Center.
This award was given for her first-author manuscript titled, “Age-Related Reductions in Cerebrovascular Reactivity Using 4D Flow MRI.” The article was published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience and was part of a research topic Recent Advances in the Research of Cerebrovascular Aging.
Co-authors on the report include UW-Madison’s Anna Howery, Leonardo Rivera-Rivera, Sterling Johnson, Howard Rowley, Oliver Wieben, and Jill Barnes.
Having adequate brain blood flow is an important factor for maintaining brain health and determining a person’s risk of getting cerebrovascular disease.
In contrast to previous studies done on participants with existing vascular risk factors, this study stands out because participants were adults with low vascular risk factors. Researchers were able to use state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to determine the effect primary aging — caused by intrinsic biological or genetic factors — has on brain blood flow regulation. Participants were younger and older, men and women.
Significant findings from this study are that researchers were able to quantify the effects of age on brain blood flow regulation using 4D flow MRI, which measured brain blood flow at rest, and during a stressor (high carbon dioxide levels).
Researchers found that older adults had lower brain blood flow responses to the stressor than young adults. They also saw that some of the brain blood flow responses to the stressor were different between men and women. Results demonstrate that primary aging has an effect on brain blood flow regulation, and this may be different between men and women.
Additionally, the 4D flow MRI technique may provide a promising new alternative to measure cerebrovascular physiology without the limitations of commonly used techniques. Future studies could utilize this MRI technique to examine interventions to maintain brain blood flow with advancing age.
To learn more, check out the full report here.