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Poster C77

The role of sex-steroid hormones and brain volume variation in aging

Poster Session C - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Thamires Naela C. Magalhaes1 (, T. Bryan Jackson2, Ivan Herrejon1, Jessica A. Bernard1,3; 1Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA, 2Vanderbilt Memory & Alzheimer’s Center, Nashville, TN, USA, 3Texas A&M Institute for Neuroscience, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

Introduction: Aging affects males and females differently, as indicated by differences in lifespan, disease occurrence, and prevalence. Particularly, older females are at a heightened risk of Alzheimer's disease, possibly associated with hormonal fluctuations during menopause. Our hypothesis suggests that sex hormones (17ß-estradiol (E), progesterone (P), and testosterone (T)) may predict alterations in imaging biomarkers, specifically hippocampal volume (HV), which could be indicative of dementia. Methods: 128 individuals, consisting of 38 in early middle age (41±4.7 years), 48 in late middle age (58±4 years), and 42 older adults (72±6.3 years), were investigated here. They underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) along with a battery of cognitive and motor tasks. Approximately 12 months later, 87 participants underwent a second round of MRI and task assessments. Saliva samples were collected during both visits for the quantification of sex hormones. Results: In our preliminary observations, regression models that considered all subjects indicated a connection between baseline T levels and changes in volume in both the left and right cerebellar cortex. Additionally, baseline P levels were linked to volume alterations in the left hippocampus. Notably, we also identified correlations between changes in E levels and variations in cerebellar cortex volume. Additional analyses will include investigations in males and females separately and will also include behavioral metrics. Conclusion: Our ongoing study offers a unique perspective on the predictive role of sex hormones in brain volume changes over time, providing valuable insights into the intricate mechanisms linking hormonal dynamics to structural brain alterations.

Topic Area: METHODS: Neuroimaging


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