Cerebral blood flow and anxiety in older men: An analysis of resting anterior asymmetry and prefrontal regions

Carol F. Tankard, Shari R. Waldstein, Eliot L. Siegel, Lawrence E. Holder, David Lefkowitz, Frank Anstett, Leslie I. Katzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Asymmetric resting blood flow in prefrontal and hemispheric regions, assessed by single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), was examined as a potential biological marker for enhanced trait and state anxiety in 30 older men (ages 55-81). Average and asymmetric perfusion in dorsolateral, medial, and orbital regions of the prefrontal lobes was also assessed. Results indicated a significant association between lower levels of resting dorsolateral blood flow and greater state anxiety responses to a series of stressful provocations (measured on a separate occasion). A significant curvilinear (U-shaped) relation between asymmetric dorsolateral perfusion and state anxiety was also identified; increased asymmetric blood flow favoring either the right or the left dorsolateral region related to higher levels of state anxiety. However, this association was attenuated by age and systolic blood pressure. Resting perfusion in the dorsolateral region may represent a more reliable biological marker for state anxiety than trait anxiety in older men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-78
Number of pages9
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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