Aging and motor inhibition: A converging perspective provided by brain stimulation and imaging approaches
Levin, O and Fujiyama, H and Boisgontier, MP and Swinnen, SP and Summers, JJ, Aging and motor inhibition: A converging perspective provided by brain stimulation and imaging approaches, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 43 pp. 100-117. ISSN 0149-7634 (2014) [Refereed Article]
The ability to inhibit actions, one of the hallmarks of human motor control, appears to decline with advancing age. Evidence for a link between changes in inhibitory functions and poor motor performance in healthy older adults has recently become available with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Overall, these studies indicate that the capacity to modulate intracortical (ICI) and interhemispheric (IHI) inhibition is preserved in high-performing older individuals. In contrast, older individuals exhibiting motor slowing and a declined ability to coordinate movement appear to show a reduced capability to modulate GABA-mediated inhibitory processes. As a decline in the integrity of the GABA-ergic inhibitory processes may emerge due to age-related loss of white and gray matter, a promising direction for future research would be to correlate individual differences in structural and/or functional integrity of principal brain networks with observed changes in inhibitory processes within cortico-cortical, interhemispheric, and/or corticospinal pathways. Finally, we underscore the possible links between reduced inhibitory functions and age-related changes in brain activation patterns.