Research points to the importance of myelin for cognitive function

  • A study of 123 people with normal cognitive function at baseline has identified an association between lower myelin content and increased rates of cognitive performance over time.
  • The researchers evaluated two magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures that are sensitive to myelin, namely myelin water fraction (MWF) and longitudinal relaxation rate (R1). There was a significant association found between lower MWF and a steeper decline in executive function, while lower R1 was associated with a significantly steeper reduction in verbal fluency.
  • The study authors conclude that their findings support the importance of myelin for cognitive function, and suggest that MWF and R1 may represent MRI biomarkers to predict changes in cognitive performance.