Modern Psychological Studies
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Qualitative (Scheibe!, 1992) and quantitative (Jacobs & Scheibel, 1993) research indicates a general decline in dendritic neuropil with increasing age. The present study extends previous human dendritic research by examining quantitatively age-related changes in 2 cortical areas: prefrontal cortex (area 10) and occipital cortex (area 18). Tissue blocks were obtained from the left hemisphere of 10 neurologically normal subjects, ranging in age from 23 to 81 years. Blocks were stained with a modified rapid Golgi technique. Supragranular pyramidal cells were quantified on a Neurolucida computer/microscope interface system (Microbrightfield, Inc.). Dendritic system complexity was determined by several dependent measures: total dendritic length, mean dendritic length , dendritic segment count (DSC), dendritic spine number, and dendritic spine density. All dependent measures, except DSC, decreased with age, with a substantial (approximately 50%) decrease in dendritic spines. Although area 10 exhibited greater dendritic aborizations than area 18, dendritic declines were slightly more pronounced in area 10 than in area 18. The present results quantitatively document the ongoing, dynamic refinement of dendritic systems across the human life span, and suggest that higher order cortical areas (e.g., area 10) may be more susceptible to age-related changes.
BF1 .M63 v. 4 no. 1 1996
Courns, Kelly A. and Jacobs, Bob
"Age-related dendritic changes in human occipital and prefrontal cortices: a quantitative Golgi study,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 4
, Article 3.
Available at: http://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol4/iss1/3