[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Plasma amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide levels have been examined as a low-cost accessible marker for risk of incident Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia, but results have varied between studies. We reassessed these associations in one of the largest, prospective, community-based studies to date.
A total of 2189 dementia-free, Framingham Study participants aged >60 years (mean age, 72 ± 8 years; 56% women) had plasma Aβ1-42 and Aβ1-40 measured and were followed prospectively (mean, 7.6 ± 3.0 years) for dementia/AD.
Increased plasma Aβ1-42 levels were associated with lower risk of dementia (Aβ1-42: hazard ratio [HR] = 0.80 [0.71‒0.90], P < .001; Aβ1-42-to-Aβ1-40 ratio: HR = 0.86 [0.76‒0.98], P = .027) and AD (Aβ1-42: HR = 0.79 [0.69‒0.90], P < .001; Aβ1-42-to-Aβ1-40 ratio: HR = 0.83 [0.72‒0.96], P = .012).
Our results suggest that lower plasma Aβ levels are associated with risk of incident AD and dementia. They encourage further evaluation of plasma Aβ levels as a biomarker for risk of developing clinical AD and dementia.
Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 09/2014; · 14.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study incorporates unique error response analyses with traditional measures of memory to examine the association between mid-life cardiovascular risk factors and later-life memory function.
Alzheimer disease and associated disorders. 09/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Individuals with a high risk of stroke are also more prone to cognitive impairment perhaps because of concomitant vascular risk factors. In addition, clinical stroke increases the risk of subsequent dementia. Nevertheless, the relationship between clinical stroke and subsequent cognitive function in initially nondemented individuals remains less clear as most prior studies examined case series without controls.AimsTo specify among nondemented individuals the cognitive domains affected by clinical stroke, independently of vascular risk factors and prestroke cognition.Methods
One hundred thirty-two Framingham study participants (mean age = 77 ± 9 years, 54% women) with prospectively validated initial strokes, as well as age- and gender-matched controls, underwent identical cognitive evaluations ∼six-months after the stroke. Linear regression models were used to assess the differences in cognitive scores between stroke cases and controls adjusting for prestroke cognitive function as assessed by Mini-Mental State Examination scores, and with and without adjustment for vascular risk factors.ResultsAdjusting for prestroke cognition and vascular risk factors, persons with stroke had poorer cognitive function in the domains of immediate recall of logical and visual memories (β = −1·27 ± 0·60, P = 0·035; β = −1·03 ± 0·47, P = 0·028, respectively), verbal learning (paired associate test; β = −1·31 ± 0·57, P = 0·023), language (Boston naming test; β = −0·27 ± 0·08, P = 0·002), executive function (digit span backward; β = −0·53 ± 0·21, P = 0·015), and visuospatial and motor skills (block design; β = −3·02 ± 1·06, P = 0·005).Conclusions
Clinical stroke is associated with subsequent poorer performance in multiple cognitive domains. This association cannot be entirely explained by the individual's cognitive function prior to stroke or by concomitant vascular risk factor levels.
International Journal of Stroke 05/2014; · 2.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) are associated with increased risk of stroke and poor cognition. Vascular risk factors and medications used for stroke prevention may increase the risk of CMB. We examined the prevalence of CMB and the association of these risk factors with CMB, postulating that risk factors for cerebral amyloid angiopathy would be associated with lobar CMB and markers of hypertensive vasculopathy with deep CMB.
We include 1965 Framingham Original and Offspring participants (age, 66.5±11.0 years; 54% women) and evaluated the age- and sex-specific prevalence of CMB. We related various vascular and genetic (apolipoprotein E [APOE]) risk factors and medication use to the presence of CMB overall and stratified by brain location (deep, lobar, or mixed).
CMBs were observed in 8.8% of participants, being mostly lobar (63%). CMB prevalence increased with age (P<0.0001) and was higher in men (P<0.001). Hypertension increased risk of any CMB, and in deep and mixed locations (P<0.05), and low total cholesterol and APOE ε4 increased risk of lobar CMB (P<0.05). Statin use increased risk of lobar and mixed location CMB (P<0.05). The latter association was not affected by adjustment for cholesterol levels or concomitant medication use.
We observed the expected association of hypertension with deep CMB and low cholesterol and APOE ε4 with lobar CMB. In addition, statin use was independently associated with CMB risk. This potential adverse effect of statin use needs to be examined in other cohorts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To relate serum insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) to risk of Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia and to brain volumes in a dementia-free community sample spanning middle and older ages.
Dementia-free Framingham participants from generation 1 (n = 789, age 79 ± 4 years, 64% women) and generation 2 (n = 2,793, age 61 ± 9 years, 55% women; total = 3,582, age 65 ± 11 years, 57% women) had serum IGF-1 measured in 1990-1994 and 1998-2001, respectively, and were followed prospectively for incident dementia and AD dementia. Brain MRI was obtained in stroke- and dementia-free survivors of both generations 1 (n = 186) and 2 (n = 1,867) during 1999-2005. Baseline IGF-1 was related to risk of incident dementia using Cox models and to total brain and hippocampal volumes using linear regression in multivariable models adjusted for age, sex, APOE ε4, plasma homocysteine, waist-hip ratio, and physical activity.
Mean IGF-1 levels were 144 ± 60 μg/L in generation 1 and 114 ± 37 μg/L in generation 2. We observed 279 cases of incident dementia (230 AD dementia) over a mean follow-up of 7.4 ± 3.1 years. Persons with IGF-1 in the lowest quartile had a 51% greater risk of AD dementia (hazard ratio = 1.51, 95% confidence interval: 1.14-2.00; p = 0.004). Among persons without dementia, higher IGF-1 levels were associated with greater total brain volumes (β/SD increment in IGF-1 was 0.55 ± 0.24, p = 0.025; and 0.26 ± 0.06, p < 0.001, for generations 1 and 2, respectively).
Lower serum levels of IGF-1 are associated with an increased risk of developing AD dementia and higher levels with greater brain volumes even among middle-aged community-dwelling participants free of stroke and dementia. Higher levels of IGF-1 may protect against subclinical and clinical neurodegeneration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies of clinical and community cohorts have shown that antemortem imaging measures of hippocampal volume have correlated with postmortem Alzheimer pathology. Fewer studies have examined the relationship between both Alzheimer and cerebrovascular pathology, and antemortem brain imaging. The aim of this study was to correlate antemortem brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) volumes with postmortem brain pathology (both Alzheimer-related and cerebrovascular) in a community-derived cohort from the Framingham Heart Study. Participants (n=59) from the Framingham Heart Study were included if they were enrolled in the brain autopsy program and underwent antemortem clinical evaluation, neuropsychological testing, and brain MRI. Cortical neurofibrillary tangle pathology correlated with lower total cerebral brain (β±SE=-0.04±0.01, P=0.004) and hippocampal volumes (β±SE=-0.03±0.02, P=0.044) and larger temporal horns (log-transformed, β±SE=0.05±0.01, P=0.001). Similar findings were seen between total/cortical neuritic plaques and total cerebral brain and temporal horn volume. White matter hyperintensities (also log-transformed) were best predicted by the presence of deep nuclei microinfarcts (β±SE=0.53±0.21, P=0.016), whereas hippocampal volume was significantly decreased in the presence of hippocampal sclerosis (β±SE=-1.23±0.30, P<0.001). This study showed that volumetric MRI measures correlated with postmortem Alzheimer-related and cerebrovascular neuropathology in this community-derived cohort, confirming that these MRI measures are important antemortem surrogates for these dementia-related pathologies.
Alzheimer disease and associated disorders 03/2014; · 2.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Circulating homocysteine levels (tHcy), a product of the folate one carbon metabolism pathway (FOCM) through the demethylation of methionine, are heritable and are associated with an increased risk of common diseases such as stroke, cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer and dementia. The FOCM is the sole source of de novo methyl group synthesis, impacting many biological and epigenetic pathways. However, the genetic determinants of elevated tHcy (hyperhomocysteinemia), dysregulation of methionine metabolism and the underlying biological processes remain unclear. We conducted independent genome-wide association studies and a meta-analysis of methionine metabolism, characterized by post-methionine load test tHcy, in 2,710 participants from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) and 2,100 participants from the Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention (VISP) clinical trial, and then examined the association of the identified loci with incident stroke in FHS. Five genes in the FOCM pathway (GNMT [p = 1.60×10-63], CBS [p = 3.15×10-26], CPS1 [p = 9.10×10-13], ALDH1L1 [p = 7.3×10-13] and PSPH [p = 1.17×10-16]) were strongly associated with the difference between pre- and post-methionine load test tHcy levels (ΔPOST). Of these, one variant in the ALDH1L1 locus, rs2364368, was associated with incident ischemic stroke. Promoter analyses reveal genetic and epigenetic differences that may explain a direct effect on GNMT transcription and a downstream affect on methionine metabolism. Additionally, a genetic-score consisting of the five significant loci explains 13% of the variance of ΔPOST in FHS and 6% of the variance in VISP. Association between variants in FOCM genes with ΔPOST suggest novel mechanisms that lead to differences in methionine metabolism, and possibly the epigenome, impacting disease risk. These data emphasize the importance of a concerted effort to understand regulators of one carbon metabolism as potential therapeutic targets.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Beyond the Framingham Stroke Risk Score, prediction of future stroke may improve with a genetic risk score (GRS) based on single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with stroke and its risk factors.
The study includes 4 population-based cohorts with 2047 first incident strokes from 22 720 initially stroke-free European origin participants aged ≥55 years, who were followed for up to 20 years. GRSs were constructed with 324 single-nucleotide polymorphisms implicated in stroke and 9 risk factors. The association of the GRS to first incident stroke was tested using Cox regression; the GRS predictive properties were assessed with area under the curve statistics comparing the GRS with age and sex, Framingham Stroke Risk Score models, and reclassification statistics. These analyses were performed per cohort and in a meta-analysis of pooled data. Replication was sought in a case-control study of ischemic stroke.
In the meta-analysis, adding the GRS to the Framingham Stroke Risk Score, age and sex model resulted in a significant improvement in discrimination (all stroke: Δjoint area under the curve=0.016, P=2.3×10(-6); ischemic stroke: Δjoint area under the curve=0.021, P=3.7×10(-7)), although the overall area under the curve remained low. In all the studies, there was a highly significantly improved net reclassification index (P<10(-4)).
The single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with stroke and its risk factors result only in a small improvement in prediction of future stroke compared with the classical epidemiological risk factors for stroke.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gender-specific risks for dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) starting in midlife remain largely unknown.
Prospectively ascertained dementia/AD and cause-specific mortality in Framingham Heart Study (FHS) participants was used to generate 10- to 50-year risk estimates of dementia/AD on the basis of the Kaplan-Meier method (cumulative incidence) or accounting for competing risk of death (lifetime risk [LTR]).
Overall, 777 cases of incident dementia (601 AD) occurred in 7901 participants (4333 women) over 136,266 person-years. Whereas cumulative incidences were similar in women and men, LTRs were higher in women older than 85 years of age. LTR of dementia/AD at age 45 was 1 in 5 in women and 1 in 10 in men. Cardiovascular mortality was higher in men with rate ratios decreasing from approximately 6 at 45 to 54 years of age to less than 2 after age 65.
Selective survival of men with a healthier cardiovascular risk profile and hence lower propensity to dementia might partly explain the higher LTR of dementia/AD in women.
Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 01/2014; · 14.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Detection of “any cognitive impairment” is mandated as part of the Medicare annual wellness visit, but screening all patients may result in excessive false positives.
We developed and validated a brief Dementia Screening Indicator using data from four large, ongoing cohort studies (the Cardiovascular Health Study [CHS]; the Framingham Heart Study [FHS]; the Health and Retirement Study [HRS]; the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging [SALSA]) to help clinicians identify a subgroup of high-risk patients to target for cognitive screening.
The final Dementia Screening Indicator included age (1 point/year; ages, 65–79 years), less than 12 years of education (9 points), stroke (6 points), diabetes mellitus (3 points), body mass index less than 18.5 kg/m2 (8 points), requiring assistance with money or medications (10 points), and depressive symptoms (6 points). Accuracy was good across the cohorts (Harrell's C statistic: CHS, 0.68; FHS, 0.77; HRS, 0.76; SALSA, 0.78).
The Dementia Screening Indicator is a simple tool that may be useful in primary care settings to identify high-risk patients to target for cognitive screening.
Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 01/2014; · 14.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE In animal studies, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been shown to impact neuronal survival and function and improve synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. Circulating BDNF levels increase with physical activity and caloric restriction, thus BDNF may mediate some of the observed associations between lifestyle and the risk for dementia. Some prior studies showed lower circulating BDNF in persons with Alzheimer disease (AD) compared with control participants; however, it remains uncertain whether reduced levels precede dementia onset. OBJECTIVE To examine whether higher serum BDNF levels in cognitively healthy adults protect against the future risk for dementia and AD and to identify potential modifiers of this association. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Framingham Study original and offspring participants were followed up from 1992 and 1998, respectively, for up to 10 years. We used Cox models to relate BDNF levels to the risk for dementia and AD and adjusted for potential confounders. We also ran sensitivity analyses stratified by sex, age, and education, as well as related BDNF genetic variants to AD risk. This community-based, prospective cohort study involved 2131 dementia-free participants aged 60 years and older (mean [SD] age, 72  years; 56% women). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Ten-year incidence of dementia and AD. RESULTS During follow-up, 140 participants developed dementia, 117 of whom had AD. Controlling for age and sex, each standard-deviation increment in BDNF was associated with a 33% lower risk for dementia and AD (P = .006 and P = .01, respectively) and these associations persisted after additional adjustments. Compared with the bottom quintile, BDNF levels in the top quintile were associated with less than half the risk for dementia and AD (hazard ratio, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.28-0.85; P = .01; and hazard ratio, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.24-0.86; P = .02, respectively). These associations were apparent only among women, persons aged 80 years and older, and those with college degrees (hazard ratios for AD: 0.65, [95% CI, 0.50-0.85], P = .001; 0.63 [95% CI, 0.47-0.85], P = .002; and 0.27 [95% CI, 0.11-0.65], P = .003, respectively). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor genetic variants were not associated with AD risk. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Higher serum BDNF levels may protect against future occurrence of dementia and AD. Our findings suggest a role for BDNF in the biology and possibly in the prevention of dementia and AD, especially in select subgroups of women and older and more highly educated persons.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: offspring of long-lived individuals have lower risk for dementia. We examined the relation between parental longevity and cognition and subclinical markers of brain ageing in community-dwelling adult offspring.
offspring participants with both parents in the Framingham Heart Study, aged ≥55 years and dementia-free underwent baseline and repeat neuropsychological (NP) testing and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Parental longevity was defined as having at least one parent survive to age ≥85 years. To test the association between parental longevity and measures of cognition and brain volumes, we used multivariable linear and logistic regression adjusting for age, sex, education and time to NP testing or brain MRI.
of 728 offspring (mean age 66 years, 54% women), 407 (56%) had ≥1 parent achieve longevity. In cross-sectional analysis, parental longevity was associated with better scores on attention (beta 0.21 ± 0.08, P = 0.006) and a lower odds of extensive white matter hyperintensity on brain MRI (odds ratio 0.59, 95% CI: 0.38, 0.92, P = 0.019). The association with white matter hyperintensity was no longer significant in models adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors and disease. In longitudinal analysis (6.7 ± 1.7 years later), offspring with parental longevity had slower decline in attention (0.18 ± 0.08, P = 0.038), executive function (beta 0.19 ± 0.09, P = 0.031) and visual memory (beta -0.18 ± 0.08, P = 0.023), and less increase in temporal horn volume (beta -0.25 ± 0.09, P = 0.005). The associations persisted in fully adjusted models.
parental longevity is associated with better brain ageing in middle-aged offspring.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A large number of longitudinal studies of population-based ageing cohorts are in progress internationally, but the insights from these studies into the risk and protective factors for cognitive ageing and conditions like mild cognitive impairment and dementia have been inconsistent. Some of the problems confounding this research can be reduced by harmonising and pooling data across studies. COSMIC (Cohort Studies of Memory in an International Consortium) aims to harmonise data from international cohort studies of cognitive ageing, in order to better understand the determinants of cognitive ageing and neurocognitive disorders.Methods/design: Longitudinal studies of cognitive ageing and dementia with at least 500 individuals aged 60 years or over are eligible and invited to be members of COSMIC. There are currently 17 member studies, from regions that include Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. A Research Steering Committee has been established, two meetings of study leaders held, and a website developed. The initial attempts at harmonising key variables like neuropsychological test scores are in progress.
The challenges of international consortia like COSMIC include efficient communication among members, extended use of resources, and data harmonisation. Successful harmonisation will facilitate projects investigating rates of cognitive decline, risk and protective factors for mild cognitive impairment, and biomarkers of mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Extended implications of COSMIC could include standardised ways of collecting and reporting data, and a rich cognitive ageing database being made available to other researchers. COSMIC could potentially transform our understanding of the epidemiology of cognitive ageing, and have a world-wide impact on promoting successful ageing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Novel error scores and traditional indices of executive function (EF) were related to cardiovascular risk factors measured 10 to 15 years earlier.
From 1991 to 1995, the Framingham Stroke Risk Profile (FSRP), a composite score of cardiovascular risk, was ascertained in 1755 Framingham Offspring participants (54% women, mean age=54±9 y). Participants were administered EF tests, which included: FAS and Animals Fluency tests, Trail Making Test B (TrB), and Digit Span-Backwards (DS-B), from 2005 to 2009. Linear and logistic regression were used to relate the FSRP and its components to both error responses and traditional scores.
Consistent with previous findings, the FSRP and the individual components, diabetes and sex, were associated with several traditional measures of EF. Of interest were relationships between the FSRP score and TrB Total Errors (P=0.04), DS-B% Total Errors (P=0.02) and DS-B Capacity Score (P=0.03), and prevalent CVD related to making FAS Perseverations in the 75th percentile (P=0.03). By comparison, FSRP and CVD were not related to the traditional DS-B or FAS scores. In addition, age was associated with higher Animals % Total Errors and % Perseverations among ApoE4+ individuals and with higher TrB Total Errors among ApoE4- individuals.
For those middle-aged and healthy, including those who are ApoE4+, cardiovascular risk factors are related to impairments in EF as ascertained by novel errors and traditional measures.
Alzheimer disease and associated disorders 08/2013; · 2.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract We examined the progression of lexical-retrieval deficits in individuals with neuropathologically determined Alzheimer's disease (AD; n = 23) and a comparison group without criteria for AD (n = 24) to determine whether linguistic changes were a significant marker of the disease. Our participants underwent multiple administrations of a neuropsychological battery, with initial administration occurring on average 16 years prior to death. The battery included the Boston Naming Test (BNT), a letter fluency task (FAS) and written description of the Cookie Theft Picture (CTP). Repeated measures analysis revealed that the AD-group showed progressively greater decline in FAS and CTP lexical performance than the comparison group. Cross-sectional time-specific group comparisons indicated that the CTP differentiated performance between the two groups at 7-9 years prior to death and FAS and BNT only at 2-4 years. These results suggest that lexical-retrieval deficits in written discourse serve as an early indicator of AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the association of arterial stiffness and pressure pulsatility, which can damage small vessels in the brain, with vascular and Alzheimer-type brain aging.
Stroke- and dementia-free Framingham Offspring Study participants (n = 1,587, 61 ± 9 years, 45% male) underwent study of tonometric arterial stiffness and endothelial function (1998-2001) and brain MRI and cognition (1999-2002). We related carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (CFPWV), mean arterial and central pulse pressure, and endothelial function to vascular brain aging by MRI (total cerebral brain volume [TCBV], white matter hyperintensity volume, silent cerebral infarcts) and vascular and Alzheimer-type cognitive aging (Trails B minus Trails A and logical memory-delayed recall, respectively).
Higher CFPWV was associated with lower TCBV, greater white matter hyperintensity volume, and greater prevalence of silent cerebral infarcts (all p < 0.05). Each SD greater CFPWV was associated with lower TCBV equivalent to 1.2 years of brain aging. Mean arterial and central pulse pressure were associated with greater white matter hyperintensity volume (p = 0.005) and lower TCBV (p = 0.02), respectively, and worse verbal memory (both p < 0.05). Associations of tonometry variables with TCBV and white matter hyperintensity volume were stronger among those aged 65 years and older vs those younger than 65 years (p < 0.10 for interaction). Brachial artery endothelial function was unrelated to MRI measures (all p > 0.05).
Greater arterial stiffness and pressure pulsatility are associated with brain aging, MRI vascular insults, and memory deficits typically seen in Alzheimer dementia. Future investigations are warranted to evaluate the potential impact of prevention and treatment of unfavorable arterial hemodynamics on neurocognitive outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a major neurotrophin and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) have a documented role in neurogenesis, angiogenesis, and neuronal survival. In animal experiments, they impact infarct size and functional motor recovery after an ischemic brain lesion. We sought to examine the association of serum BDNF and VEGF with the risk of clinical stroke or subclinical vascular brain injury in a community-based sample.
In 3440 Framingham Study participants (mean age, 65±11 years; 56% women) who were free of stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA), we related baseline BDNF and logVEGF to risk of incident stroke/TIA. In a subsample with brain MRI and with neuropsychological tests available (n=1863 and 2104, respectively; mean age, 61±9 years, 55% women, in each), we related baseline BDNF and logVEGF to log-white matter hyperintensity volume on brain MRI, and to visuospatial memory and executive function tests.
During a median follow-up of 10 years, 193 participants experienced incident stroke/TIA. In multivariable analyses adjusted for age, sex, and traditional stroke risk factors, lower BDNF and higher logVEGF levels were associated with an increased risk of incident stroke/TIA (hazard ratio comparing BDNF Q1 versus Q2-Q4, 1.47; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-2.00; P=0.012 and hazard ratio/SD increase in logVEGF, 1.21; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.40; P=0.012). Persons with higher BDNF levels had less log-white matter hyperintensity volume (β±SE=-0.05±0.02; P=0.025), and better visual memory (β±SE=0.18±0.07; P=0.005).
Lower serum BDNF and higher VEGF concentrations were associated with increased risk of incident stroke/TIA. Higher levels of BDNF were also associated with less white matter hyperintensity and better visual memory. Our findings suggest that circulating BDNF and VEGF levels modify risk of clinical and subclinical vascular brain injury.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposure to vascular risk factors has a gradual deleterious effect on brain MRI and cognitive measures. We explored whether a pattern of these measures exists that predicts stroke and Alzheimer disease (AD) risk.
A cognitive battery was administered to 1679 dementia and stroke-free Framingham offspring (age, >55 years; mean, 65.7±7.0) between 1999 and 2004; participants were also free of other neurological conditions that could affect cognition and >90% also had brain MRI examination. We related cognitive and MRI measures to risks of incident stroke and AD ≤10 years of follow-up. As a secondary analysis, we explored these associations in The Framingham Heart Study original cohort (mean age, 67.5±7.3 and 84.8±3.3 years at the cognitive assessment and MRI examination, respectively).
A total of 55 Offspring participants sustained strokes and 31 developed AD. Offspring who scored <1.5 SD below predicted mean scores, for age and education, on an executive function test, had a higher risk of future stroke (hazard ratio [HR], 2.27; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-4.85) and AD (HR, 3.60; 95% CI, 1.52-8.52); additional cognitive tests also predicted AD. Participants with low (<20 percentile) total brain volume and high (>20 percentile) white matter hyperintensity volume had a higher risk of stroke (HR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.03-3.77 and HR, 2.74; 95% CI, 1.51-5.00, respectively) but not AD. Hippocampal volume at the bottom quintile predicted AD in the offspring and original cohorts (HR, 4.41; 95% CI, 2.00-9.72 and HR, 2.37; 95% CI, 1.12-5.00, respectively). A stepwise increase in stroke risk was apparent with increasing numbers of these cognitive and imaging markers.
Specific patterns of cognitive and brain structural measures observed even in early aging predict stroke risk and may serve as biomarkers for risk prediction.