The goal of this study was to address the need for comprehensive reference data regarding maturational and aging effects on regional transverse relaxation rates (R2) of the brain in normal humans. Regional R2s were measured in twenty-five brain structures from a sample of seventy-seven normal volunteers 9 to 85 years of age. The relationships between regional R2 and age were determined using generalized additive models, without the constraint of a specified a priori model. Data analysis demonstrated that the brain tissue R2-age correlations followed various time courses with both linear and non-linear characteristics depending on the particular brain structure. Most anatomical structures studied exhibited non-linear characteristics, including the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, globus pallidus, putamen, caudate nucleus, red nucleus, substantia nigra, orbitofrontal white matter and temporal white matter. Linear trends were detected in occipital white matter and in the genu of corpus callosum. These results indicate the complexity of age-related R2 changes in the brain while providing normative reference data that can be utilized in clinical examinations and studies utilizing quantitative transverse relaxation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere31907
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 21 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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