[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Midlife cardiovascular risk, hypertension (HTN) in particular, has been related cross-sectionally to poorer neuropsychological (NP) performance in middle age and older adults. This study investigated whether a similar relationship persists between midlife HTN or systolic blood pressure (SBP) and NP performance approximately 30 years later. 378 Framingham stroke and dementia-free Original cohort participants, with HTN and SBP ascertained between 50-60 years of age (mean age 55 ± 1, 65% women), were administered a NP assessment at age ≥80 years. Tests included Logical Memory, Visual Reproduction, Paired Associate, Hooper Visual Organization Test, Trail Making A & B, Digit Span Forward and Backward, Controlled Word Association Test (COWAT), and Similarities. Multivariable linear regression, adjusted for age, time interval between risk factor and NP testing, gender, and premorbid intelligence, assessed association between midlife HTN/SBP and NP outcomes. Midlife HTN was not significantly associated with NP outcome measures. Midlife SBP was associated with poorer Digit Span Forward and COWAT performance (p < 0.05). No significant interaction of age on HTN/SBP to NP associations was found. There was a significant interaction between ApoE4 status and SBP in their effects on COWAT (pinteraction = 0.074); SBP was negatively associated with COWAT only in those with the ApoE4 allele (p = 0.025). While midlife HTN is not associated with late life cognitive impairment, midlife SBP is related to late life attention and verbal fluency impairments, particularly among ApoE4+ individuals. These results offer insight into processes that are operative in the absence of overt cognitive impairment and dementia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background/Study Context: The number of individuals who reach extreme age is quickly increasing. Much of the current literature focuses on impaired cognition in extreme age, and debate continues regarding what constitutes "normal" cognition in extreme age. This study aimed to provide oldest-old normative data and to compare cognitive performances of cognitively intact elderly individuals from the Framingham Heart Study.
A total of 1302 individuals aged 65+ years from the Framingham Heart Study were separated into 5-year age bands and compared on cognitive tests. Multivariate linear regression analyses were conducted, adjusting for gender, the Wide Range Achievement Test-Third Edition (WRAT-III) Reading score, and cohort. Analyses also included comparisons between 418 individuals aged 80+ and 884 individuals aged 65-79, and comparisons within oldest-old age bands.
Normative data for all participants are presented. Significant differences were found on most tests between age groups in the overall analysis between young-old and oldest-old, and analysis of oldest-old age bands also revealed select significant differences (all ps <.05).
As aging increases, significant cognitive differences and increased variability in performances are evident. These results support the use of age-appropriate normative data for oldest-old individuals.
Experimental Aging Research 07/2015; 41(4):386-409. DOI:10.1080/0361073X.2015.1053755 · 0.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify common variants contributing to normal variation in two specific domains of cognitive functioning, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of executive functioning and information processing speed in non-demented older adults from the CHARGE (Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology) consortium. Neuropsychological testing was available for 5429-32 070 subjects of European ancestry aged 45 years or older, free of dementia and clinical stroke at the time of cognitive testing from 20 cohorts in the discovery phase. We analyzed performance on the Trail Making Test parts A and B, the Letter Digit Substitution Test (LDST), the Digit Symbol Substitution Task (DSST), semantic and phonemic fluency tests, and the Stroop Color and Word Test. Replication was sought in 1311-21860 subjects from 20 independent cohorts. A significant association was observed in the discovery cohorts for the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs17518584 (discovery P-value=3.12 × 10(-8)) and in the joint discovery and replication meta-analysis (P-value=3.28 × 10(-9) after adjustment for age, gender and education) in an intron of the gene cell adhesion molecule 2 (CADM2) for performance on the LDST/DSST. Rs17518584 is located about 170 kb upstream of the transcription start site of the major transcript for the CADM2 gene, but is within an intron of a variant transcript that includes an alternative first exon. The variant is associated with expression of CADM2 in the cingulate cortex (P-value=4 × 10(-4)). The protein encoded by CADM2 is involved in glutamate signaling (P-value=7.22 × 10(-15)), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transport (P-value=1.36 × 10(-11)) and neuron cell-cell adhesion (P-value=1.48 × 10(-13)). Our findings suggest that genetic variation in the CADM2 gene is associated with individual differences in information processing speed.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 14 April 2015; doi:10.1038/mp.2015.37.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Workplace stress is known to be related with many behavioral and disease outcomes. However, little is known about its prospective relationship with measures of cognitive decline.
To investigate the association of job strain, psychological demands and job control on cognitive decline.
Participants from Framingham Offspring cohort (n=1429), were assessed on job strain, and received neuropsychological assessment approximately 15 years and 21 years afterwards.
High job strain and low control were associated with decline in verbal learning and memory. Job strain was associated with decline in word recognition skills. Active job and passive job predicted decline in verbal learning and memory relative to low strain jobs in the younger subgroup. Active job and demands were positively associated with abstract reasoning skills.
Job strain and job control may influence decline in cognitive performance.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 04/2015; 6(2):79-94.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: -Cross-sectional epidemiological and clinical research suggest lower cardiac index is associated with abnormal brain aging, including smaller brain volumes, increased white matter hyperintensities, and worse cognitive performances. Lower systemic blood flow may have implications for dementia among older adults.
-1039 Framingham Offspring Cohort participants free from clinical stroke, transient ischemic attack, or dementia formed our sample (69±6 years; 53% women). Multivariable-adjusted proportional hazard models adjusting for Framingham Stroke Risk Profile score (age, sex, systolic blood pressure, anti-hypertensive medication, diabetes, cigarette smoking, cardiovascular disease [CVD] history, atrial fibrillation), education, and apolipoprotein E4 status related cardiac MRI-assessed cardiac index (cardiac output/body surface area) to incident all-cause dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Over the median 7.7 year follow-up period, 32 participants developed dementia, including 26 cases of AD. Each one standard deviation unit decrease in cardiac index increased the relative risk of both dementia (HR=1.66; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 1.11-2.47; p=0.013) and AD (HR=1.65; 95% CI, 1.07-2.54; p=0.022). Compared to normal cardiac index, individuals with clinically low cardiac index had a higher relative risk of dementia (HR=2.07; 95% CI, 1.02-4.19; p=0.044). If participants with clinically prevalent CVD and atrial fibrillation were excluded (n=184), individuals with clinically low cardiac index had a higher relative risk of both dementia (HR=2.92; 95% CI, 1.34-6.36; p=0.007) and AD (HR=2.87; 95% CI, 1.21-6.80; p=0.016) compared to individuals with normal cardiac index.
-Lower cardiac index is associated with an increased risk for the development of dementia and AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: -The burden of cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMH) is associated with an increased risk of stroke, dementia, and death. WMH are highly heritable, but their genetic underpinnings are incompletely characterized. To identify novel genetic variants influencing WMH burden, we conducted a meta-analysis of multi-ethnic genome-wide association studies.
-We included 21,079 middle-aged to elderly individuals from 29 population-based cohorts, who were free of dementia and stroke and were of European (N=17,936), African (N=1,943), Hispanic (N=795), and Asian (N=405) descent. WMH burden was quantified on MRI either by a validated automated segmentation method or a validated visual grading scale. Genotype data in each study were imputed to the 1000 Genomes reference. Within each ethnic group, we investigated the relationship between each SNP and WMH burden using a linear regression model adjusted for age, sex, intracranial volume, and principal components of ancestry. A meta-analysis was conducted for each ethnicity separately and for the combined sample. In the European descent samples, we confirmed a previously known locus on chr17q25 (p=2.7×10(-19)) and identified novel loci on chr10q24 (p=1.6×10(-9)) and chr2p21 (p=4.4×10(-8)). In the multi-ethnic meta-analysis, we identified two additional loci, on chr1q22 (p=2.0×10(-8)) and chr2p16 (p=1.5×10(-8)). The novel loci contained genes that have been implicated in Alzheimer's disease (chr2p21, chr10q24), intracerebral hemorrhage (chr1q22), neuro-inflammatory diseases (chr2p21), and glioma (chr10q24, chr2p16).
-We identified four novel genetic loci that implicate inflammatory and glial proliferative pathways in the development of white matter hyperintensities in addition to previously-proposed ischemic mechanisms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: General cognitive function is substantially heritable across the human life course from adolescence to old age. We investigated the genetic contribution to variation in this important, health- and well-being-related trait in middle-aged and older adults. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of 31 cohorts (N=53 949) in which the participants had undertaken multiple, diverse cognitive tests. A general cognitive function phenotype was tested for, and created in each cohort by principal component analysis. We report 13 genome-wide significant single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associations in three genomic regions, 6q16.1, 14q12 and 19q13.32 (best SNP and closest gene, respectively: rs10457441, P=3.93 × 10−9, MIR2113; rs17522122, P=2.55 × 10−8, AKAP6; rs10119, P=5.67 × 10−9, APOE/TOMM40). We report one gene-based significant association with the HMGN1 gene located on chromosome 21 (P=1 × 10−6). These genes have previously been associated with neuropsychiatric phenotypes. Meta-analysis results are consistent with a polygenic model of inheritance. To estimate SNP-based heritability, the genome-wide complex trait analysis procedure was applied to two large cohorts, the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (N=6617) and the Health and Retirement Study (N=5976). The proportion of phenotypic variation accounted for by all genotyped common SNPs was 29% (s.e.=5%) and 28% (s.e.=7%), respectively. Using polygenic prediction analysis, ~1.2% of the variance in general cognitive function was predicted in the Generation Scotland cohort (N=5487; P=1.5 × 10−17). In hypothesis-driven tests, there was significant association between general cognitive function and four genes previously associated with Alzheimer’s disease: TOMM40, APOE, ABCG1 and MEF2C.