Advanced brain age in deployment-related traumatic brain injury: A LIMBIC-CENC neuroimaging study

Emily L. Dennis, Brian A. Taylor, Mary R. Newsome, Maya Troyanskaya, Tracy J. Abildskov, Aaron M. Betts, Erin D. Bigler, James Cole, Nicholas Davenport, Timothy Duncan, Jessica Gill, Vivian Guedes, Sidney R. Hinds, Elizabeth S. Hovenden, Kimbra Kenney, Mary Jo Pugh, Randall S. Scheibel, Pashtun Poh Shahim, Robert Shih, William C. WalkerJ. Kent Werner, Gerald E. York, David X. Cifu, David F. Tate, Elisabeth A. Wilde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine if history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is associated with advanced or accelerated brain aging among the United States (US) military Service Members and Veterans. Methods: Eight hundred and twenty-two participants (mean age = 40.4 years, 714 male/108 female) underwent MRI sessions at eight sites across the US. Two hundred and one participants completed a follow-up scan between five months and four years later. Predicted brain ages were calculated using T1-weighted MRIs and then compared with chronological ages to generate an Age Deviation Score for cross-sectional analyses and an Interval Deviation Score for longitudinal analyses. Participants also completed a neuropsychological battery, including measures of both cognitive functioning and psychological health. Result: In cross-sectional analyses, males with a history of deployment-related mTBI showed advanced brain age compared to those without (t(884) = 2.1, p = .038), while this association was not significant in females. In follow-up analyses of the male participants, severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression symptoms, and alcohol misuse were also associated with advanced brain age. Conclusion: History of deployment-related mTBI, severity of PTSD and depression symptoms, and alcohol misuse are associated with advanced brain aging in male US military Service Members and Veterans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-672
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • MRI
  • TBI
  • aging
  • mild brain injury
  • neuroimaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)


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