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Psychological resilience and neurodegenerative risk: a connectomics-transcriptomics investigation in healthy adolescent and middle-aged females

Petrican, Raluca ORCID:, Fornito, Alex and Jones, Natalie 2022. Psychological resilience and neurodegenerative risk: a connectomics-transcriptomics investigation in healthy adolescent and middle-aged females. NeuroImage 255 , 119209. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119209

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Adverse life events can inflict substantial long-term damage, which, paradoxically, has been posited to stem from initially adaptative responses to the challenges encountered in one's environment. Thus, identification of the mechanisms linking resilience against recent stressors to longer-term psychological vulnerability is key to understanding optimal functioning across multiple timescales. To address this issue, our study tested the relevance of neuro-reproductive maturation and senescence, respectively, to both resilience and longer-term risk for pathologies characterised by accelerated brain aging, specifically, Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Graph theoretical and partial least squares analyses were conducted on multimodal imaging, reported biological aging and recent adverse experience data from the Lifespan Human Connectome Project (HCP). Availability of reproductive maturation/senescence measures restricted our investigation to adolescent (N =178) and middle-aged (N=146) females. Psychological resilience was linked to age-specific brain senescence patterns suggestive of precocious functional development of somatomotor and control-relevant networks (adolescence) and earlier aging of default mode and salience/ventral attention systems (middle adulthood). Biological aging showed complementary associations with the neural patterns relevant to resilience in adolescence (positive relationship) versus middle-age (negative relationship). Transcriptomic and expression quantitative trait locus data analyses linked the neural aging patterns correlated with psychological resilience in middle adulthood to gene expression patterns suggestive of increased AD risk. Our results imply a partially antagonistic relationship between resilience against proximal stressors and longer-term psychological adjustment in later life. They thus underscore the importance of fine-tuning extant views on successful coping by considering the multiple timescales across which age-specific processes may unfold.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1053-8119
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 April 2022
Date of Acceptance: 11 April 2022
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2023 02:37

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