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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Jessica S. Damoiseaux


Subjective cognitive decline, perceived worsening of cognitive ability without apparent performance issues on clinical assessment, may be an important precursor to dementia and may represent a crucial period where intervention could mitigate irreversible neurodegeneration. However, clinical intervention requires an understanding of trajectories of neuroabnormality development to both corroborate incipient dementia and to inform treatment targets. While previous cross-sectional research has demonstrated aberrant brain structure and function in subjective cognitive decline, longitudinal evaluation remains limited. Therefore, here I examined trajectories of functional connectivity and brain structure changes, over three measurements occasions ~18 months apart, with voxelwise latent growth models in cognitively unimpaired older adults with varying self-report of subjective cognitive decline (N = 69). A greater degree of subjective cognitive decline self-report was associated with decreasing connectivity between components of the default mode network and increasing connectivity between salience and default mode network components. Furthermore, lower baseline hippocampal volume related to decreasing connectivity between hippocampus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and a slower rate of decrease in connectivity between hippocampus and precuneus. However, lower hippocampal volume did not mediate the relationship between degree of subjective cognitive decline and change in hippocampal functional connectivity.

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