Associations among executive function Abilities, free Water, and white matter microstructure in early old age.


Studies have investigated white matter microstructure in relation to late-life cognitive impairments, with fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) measures thought to capture demyelination and axonal degradation. However, new post-processing methods allow isolation of free water (FW), which captures extracellular fluid contributions such as atrophy and neuroinflammation, from tissue components. FW also appears to be highly relevant to late-life cognitive impairment. Here, we evaluated whether executive functions are associated with FW, and FA and MD corrected for FW (FA and MD).