Currently, several human brain functional atlases are used to define the spatial constituents of the resting-state networks (RSNs). However, the only brain atlases available are derived from samples of young adults. As brain networks are continuously reconfigured throughout life, the lack of brain atlases derived from older populations may influence RSN results in late adulthood. To address this, we aimed to construct a reliable brain atlas derived from older participants only. To do so, we analyzed the resting-state functional MRI data from three cohorts of healthy individuals in late life (total N=563; age=55-95years) and a mid-life cohort (N=322; age=18-54years). First, we identified five major RSNs across the late-life cohorts. Then, we demonstrated: high spatial reproducibility across the late-life cohorts with an average spatial overlap of 67%; and RSNs derived from the late-life cohorts were spatially different from those derived from the mid-life cohort (p=0.016). In response, we constructed a novel brain atlas, called Atlas55+, which includes a consensus of the major RSNs across the late-life cohorts. Atlas55+ provides a reliable age-appropriate template for the major RSNs in late adulthood and is publicly available. Our results confirm the need to construct age-appropriate brain functional atlases for studies investigating aging-related brain mechanisms.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience