Alexa Beiser

Drexel University, Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (204)1861.04 Total impact

  • Claudia L Satizabal · Alexa S Beiser · Vincent Chouraki · Geneviève Chêne · Carole Dufouil · Sudha Seshadri
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    ABSTRACT: Background The prevalence of dementia is expected to soar as the average life expectancy increases, but recent estimates suggest that the age-specific incidence of dementia is declining in high-income countries. Temporal trends are best derived through continuous monitoring of a population over a long period with the use of consistent diagnostic criteria. We describe temporal trends in the incidence of dementia over three decades among participants in the Framingham Heart Study. Methods Participants in the Framingham Heart Study have been under surveillance for incident dementia since 1975. In this analysis, which included 5205 persons 60 years of age or older, we used Cox proportional-hazards models adjusted for age and sex to determine the 5-year incidence of dementia during each of four epochs. We also explored the interactions between epoch and age, sex, apolipoprotein E ε4 status, and educational level, and we examined the effects of these interactions, as well as the effects of vascular risk factors and cardiovascular disease, on temporal trends. Results The 5-year age- and sex-adjusted cumulative hazard rates for dementia were 3.6 per 100 persons during the first epoch (late 1970s and early 1980s), 2.8 per 100 persons during the second epoch (late 1980s and early 1990s), 2.2 per 100 persons during the third epoch (late 1990s and early 2000s), and 2.0 per 100 persons during the fourth epoch (late 2000s and early 2010s). Relative to the incidence during the first epoch, the incidence declined by 22%, 38%, and 44% during the second, third, and fourth epochs, respectively. This risk reduction was observed only among persons who had at least a high school diploma (hazard ratio, 0.77; 95% confidence interval, 0.67 to 0.88). The prevalence of most vascular risk factors (except obesity and diabetes) and the risk of dementia associated with stroke, atrial fibrillation, or heart failure have decreased over time, but none of these trends completely explain the decrease in the incidence of dementia. Conclusions Among participants in the Framingham Heart Study, the incidence of dementia has declined over the course of three decades. The factors contributing to this decline have not been completely identified. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.).
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · New England Journal of Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: We tested whether abnormal arterial stiffness and blood pressure would be associated with progression of brain aging measured by brain MRI and neurocognitive testing. Methods: Framingham Offspring Cohort participants (n = 1,223, 61 ± 9 years, 56% women) without previous stroke or dementia underwent applanation tonometry, brain MRI, and neurocognitive testing at examination 7 (1998-2001). Follow-up brain MRI and neurocognitive testing was performed at examination 8 (2005-2008, mean interval 6.4 ± 1.3 years). We related examination 7 inverse-transformed carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (iCFPWV), central pulse pressure (CPP), and mean arterial pressure to changes in the following variables between examinations 7 and 8: total cerebral brain volume, white matter hyperintensity volume, and performance on executive function and abstraction tasks, the Trail Making Test, Parts B and A (ΔTrails B-A), and Similarities tests. Results: Higher baseline iCFPWV and CPP were associated with greater progression of neurocognitive decline (iCFPWV and ΔTrails B-A association: SD unit change in outcome variable per SD change in tonometry variable [β] ± SE = 0.10 ± 0.04, p = 0.019; CPP and ΔSimilarities association: -0.08 ± 0.03, p = 0.013). Higher mean arterial pressure, but not iCFPWV or CPP, was associated with increase in white matter hyperintensity volume ([β ± SE] 0.07 ± 0.03, p = 0.017). No tonometry measures were associated with change in cerebral brain volume. Conclusions: In middle-aged and older adults without evidence of clinical stroke or dementia, elevated arterial stiffness and pressure pulsatility are associated with longitudinal progression of subclinical vascular brain injury and greater neurocognitive decline. Treatments to reduce arterial stiffness may potentially reduce the progression of neurovascular disease and cognitive decline.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: Aortic stiffness is associated with cognitive decline and cerebrovascular disease late in life, although these associations have not been examined in young adults. Understanding the effects of aortic stiffness on the brain at a young age is important both from a pathophysiological and public health perspective. The aim of this study was to examine the cross-sectional associations of aortic stiffness with cognitive function and brain aging in the Framingham Heart Study Third Generation cohort (47% men; mean age, 46 years). Participants completed the assessment of aortic stiffness (carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity), a neuropsychological test battery assessing multiple domains of cognitive performance and magnetic resonance imaging to examine subclinical markers of brain injury. In adjusted regression models, higher aortic stiffness was associated with poorer processing speed and executive function (Trail Making B-A; β±SE, -0.08±0.03; P<0.01), larger lateral ventricular volumes (β±SE, 0.09±0.03; P<0.01) and a greater burden of white-matter hyperintensities (β±SE, 0.09±0.03; P<0.001). When stratifying by age, aortic stiffness was associated with lateral ventricular volume in young adults (30-45 years), whereas aortic stiffness was associated with white-matter injury and cognition in midlife (45-65 years). In conclusion, aortic stiffness was associated with cognitive function and markers of subclinical brain injury in young to middle-aged adults. Prospective studies are needed to examine whether aortic stiffening in young adulthood is associated with vascular cognitive impairment later in life.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Hypertension
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    ABSTRACT: Background and purpose: Exhaled carbon monoxide (CO) is associated with cardiometabolic traits, subclinical atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease, but its specific relations with stroke are unexplored. We related exhaled CO to magnetic resonance imaging measures of subclinical cerebrovascular disease cross-sectionally and to incident stroke/transient ischemic attack prospectively in the Framingham Offspring study. Methods: We measured exhaled CO in 3313 participants (age 59±10 years; 53% women), and brain magnetic resonance imaging was available in 1982 individuals (age 58±10 years; 54% women). Participants were analyzed according to tertiles of exhaled CO concentration. Results: In age- and sex-adjusted models, the highest tertile of exhaled CO was associated with lower total cerebral brain volumes, higher white-matter hyperintensity volumes, and greater prevalence of silent cerebral infarcts (P<0.05 for all). The results for total cerebral brain volume and white-matter hyperintensity volume were consistent after removing smokers from the sample, and the association with white-matter hyperintensity volume persisted after multivariable adjustment (P=0.04). In prospective analyses (mean follow-up 12.9 years), higher exhaled CO was associated with 67% (second tertile) and 97% (top tertile) increased incidence of stroke/transient ischemic attack relative to the first tertile that served as referent (P<0.01 for both). These results were consistent in nonsmokers and were partially attenuated upon adjustment for vascular risk factors. Conclusions: In this large, community-based sample of individuals without clinical stroke/transient ischemic attack at baseline, higher exhaled CO was associated with a greater burden of subclinical cerebrovascular disease cross-sectionally and with increased risk of stroke/transient ischemic attack prospectively. Further investigation is necessary to explore the biological mechanisms linking elevated CO with stroke.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Stroke
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Type 2 diabetes confers a greater excess risk of cardiovascular disease in women than in men. Diabetes is also a risk factor for dementia, but whether the association is similar in women and men remains unknown. We performed a meta-analysis of unpublished data to estimate the sex-specific relationship between women and men with diabetes with incident dementia. Research design and methods: A systematic search identified studies published prior to November 2014 that had reported on the prospective association between diabetes and dementia. Study authors contributed unpublished sex-specific relative risks (RRs) and 95% CIs on the association between diabetes and all dementia and its subtypes. Sex-specific RRs and the women-to-men ratio of RRs (RRRs) were pooled using random-effects meta-analyses. Results: Study-level data from 14 studies, 2,310,330 individuals, and 102,174 dementia case patients were included. In multiple-adjusted analyses, diabetes was associated with a 60% increased risk of any dementia in both sexes (women: pooled RR 1.62 [95% CI 1.45-1.80]; men: pooled RR 1.58 [95% CI 1.38-1.81]). The diabetes-associated RRs for vascular dementia were 2.34 (95% CI 1.86-2.94) in women and 1.73 (95% CI 1.61-1.85) in men, and for nonvascular dementia the RRs were 1.53 (95% CI 1.35-1.73) in women and 1.49 (95% CI 1.31-1.69) in men. Overall, women with diabetes had a 19% greater risk for the development of vascular dementia than men (multiple-adjusted RRR 1.19 [95% CI 1.08-1.30]; P < 0.001). Conclusions: Individuals with type 2 diabetes are at ∼60% greater risk for the development of dementia compared with those without diabetes. For vascular dementia, but not for nonvascular dementia, the additional risk is greater in women.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Diabetes care
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    ABSTRACT: Although neuropsychological tests are commonly used in the evaluation of possible mild cognitive impairment (MCI), poor test scores may be indicative of factors other than neurological compromise. The current study assessed the role of lifelong reading disorder on MCI classification. Community dwelling older adults with a suspected developmental reading disorder were identified by inference based on reading test performance. Individuals with a suspected reading disorder were significantly more likely to perform at a level consistent with MCI on several commonly used neuropsychological tests. The findings suggest a relationship between a history of reading disorder and MCI classification.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated whether midlife pulse pressure is associated with brain atrophy and cognitive decline, and whether the association was modified by apolipoprotein-E [epsilon]4 (APOE-[epsilon]4) and hypertension. Participants (549 stroke-free and dementia-free Framingham Offspring Cohort Study participants, age range=55.0 to 64.9 y) underwent baseline neuropsychological and magnetic resonance imaging (subset, n=454) evaluations with 5- to 7-year follow-up. Regression analyses investigated associations between baseline pulse pressure (systolic-diastolic pressure) and cognition, total cerebral volume and temporal horn ventricular volume (as an index of smaller hippocampal volume) at follow-up, and longitudinal change in these measures. Interactions with APOE-[epsilon]4 and hypertension were assessed. Covariates included age, sex, education, assessment interval, and interim stroke. In the total sample, baseline pulse pressure was associated with worse executive ability, lower total cerebral volume, and greater temporal horn ventricular volume 5 to 7 years later, and longitudinal decline in executive ability and increase in temporal horn ventricular volume. Among APOE-[epsilon]4 carriers only, baseline pulse pressure was associated with longitudinal decline in visuospatial organization. Findings indicate arterial stiffening, indexed by pulse pressure, may play a role in early cognitive decline and brain atrophy in mid to late life, particularly among APOE-[epsilon]4 carriers. Copyright (C) 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: This study examined whether interarm differences in systolic blood pressure (IDSBP) ≥10 mm Hg were associated with the risk of incident dementia and subclinical brain injury. Methods: Between 1992 and 1998, 2063 participants of the Framingham Heart Study underwent assessment of IDSBP with results related to the 10-year risk of incident dementia including clinically characterized Alzheimer's disease. Secondary outcomes included markers of subclinical brain injury on magnetic resonance imaging. Results: High IDSBP were associated with a greater risk of incident dementia (hazard ratio [HR] 1.92; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09-3.40) and Alzheimer's disease (HR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.29-4.18), but only in those who carried an APOE ε4 allele. IDSBP also predicted lower total brain volumes and more prevalent silent brain infarcts in those who were APOE ε4 positive. Discussion: High IDSBP were associated with an increased risk of dementia, including clinical Alzheimer's disease, and subclinical brain injury in those who were APOE ε4 positive.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To understand the neuropsychological basis of dementia risk among persons in the spectrum including cognitive normality and mild cognitive impairment. Methods: We quantitated risk of progression to dementia in elderly persons without dementia from 2 population-based studies, the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) and Mayo Clinic Study of Aging (MCSA), aged 70 to 89 years at enrollment. Baseline cognitive status was defined by performance in 4 domains derived from batteries of neuropsychological tests (that were similar but not identical for FHS and MCSA) at cut scores corresponding to SDs of ≤-0.5, -1, -1.5, and -2 from normative means. Participants were characterized as having no cognitive impairment (reference group), or single or multiple amnestic or nonamnestic profiles at each cut score. Incident dementia over the following 6 years was determined by consensus committee at each study separately. Results: The pattern of hazard ratios for incident dementia, rates of incident dementia and positive predictive values across cognitive test cut scores, and number of affected domains was similar although not identical across the FHS and MCSA. Dementia risks were higher for amnestic profiles than for nonamnestic profiles, and for multidomain compared with single-domain profiles. Conclusions: Cognitive domain subtypes, defined by neuropsychologically derived cut scores and number of low-performing domains, differ substantially in prognosis in a conceptually logical manner that was consistent between FHS and MCSA. Neuropsychological characterization of elderly persons without dementia provides valuable information about prognosis. The heterogeneity of risk of dementia cannot be captured concisely with one test or a single definition or cutpoint.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: Background and purpose: White matter lesion (WML) progression on magnetic resonance imaging is related to cognitive decline and stroke, but its determinants besides baseline WML burden are largely unknown. Here, we estimated heritability of WML progression, and sought common genetic variants associated with WML progression in elderly participants from the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium. Methods: Heritability of WML progression was calculated in the Framingham Heart Study. The genome-wide association study included 7773 elderly participants from 10 cohorts. To assess the relative contribution of genetic factors to progression of WML, we compared in 7 cohorts risk models including demographics, vascular risk factors plus single-nucleotide polymorphisms that have been shown to be associated cross-sectionally with WML in the current and previous association studies. Results: A total of 1085 subjects showed WML progression. The heritability estimate for WML progression was low at 6.5%, and no single-nucleotide polymorphisms achieved genome-wide significance (P<5×10(-8)). Four loci were suggestive (P<1×10(-5)) of an association with WML progression: 10q24.32 (rs10883817, P=1.46×10(-6)); 12q13.13 (rs4761974, P=8.71×10(-7)); 20p12.1 (rs6135309, P=3.69×10(-6)); and 4p15.31 (rs7664442, P=2.26×10(-6)). Variants that have been previously related to WML explained only 0.8% to 11.7% more of the variance in WML progression than age, vascular risk factors, and baseline WML burden. Conclusions: Common genetic factors contribute little to the progression of age-related WML in middle-aged and older adults. Future research on determinants of WML progression should focus more on environmental, lifestyle, or host-related biological factors.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Stroke

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  • No preview · Conference Paper · Oct 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Leptin is a major adipokine that regulates weight balance and energy homeostasis. There is inconsistent evidence linking circulating leptin levels to risk of stroke. We tested the hypothesis that leptin levels are associated with risk of incident stroke in an elderly community based sample. Serum leptin levels were assayed in 757 strokefree individuals (mean age, 79 years; 62% women) from the Framingham Original Cohort at the 22nd examination cycle (1990-1994). Incidence of all-stroke and ischemic stroke were prospectively ascertained. During a mean followup of 10 years, 119 individuals developed stroke (99 ischemic strokes). In multivariable Cox regression models, logleptin levels were not associated with incidence of all-stroke or ischemic stroke (hazard ratios per SD increment in logleptin 0.90 [0.73-1.09] and 0.89 [0.72-1.11], respectively). The results were suggestive for potential effect modification by waist/hip ratio for the association between leptin and stroke (P=0.03). Adjusting for age, sex, and established stroke risk factors, analysis stratified by waist/hip ratio quartiles revealed a lower incidence of first-ever all-stroke and ischemic stroke associated with higher leptin levels among only subjects in the top waist/hip ratio quartile (hazard ratio, 0.64 [0.43, 0.95] versus 0.98 [0.77, 1.25] for incident all-stroke and 0.61 [0.39, 0.95] versus 0.96 [0.74, 1.26] for ischemic stroke). Leptin levels were not directly related to the risk of incident stroke overall but there was an inverse association with stroke in the top waist/hip ratio quartile. Further investigations are required to confirm these findings and explore possible mechanisms for the observed association. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Stroke
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    ABSTRACT: Growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) and soluble (s)ST2 are markers of cardiac and vascular stress. We investigated the associations between circulating concentrations of these biomarkers and incident stroke and subclinical vascular brain injury in a sample from the Framingham Offspring cohort. We followed 3374 stroke- and dementia-free individuals (mean age, 59.0±9.7 years; 53% women) attending the Framingham Offspring sixth examination cycle 11.8±3.0 years for incident stroke. A subsample of 2463 individuals underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological testing ≈4.0±1.7 years after the sixth examination. After adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, B-type natriuretic peptide, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and urine albumin levels, higher stress biomarker levels were associated cross-sectionally with lower brain volumes (β coefficients for intracranial volume comparing fourth [Q4] versus first biomarker [Q1] quartiles: -0.71% for GDF-15; P=0.002 and 0.47% for sST2; P=0.02) and worse performance on the visual reproduction test (β coefficients for Q4 versus Q1: -0.62 for GDF-15; P=0.009 and -0.40 for sST2; P=0.04). Higher GDF-15 concentrations were also associated with greater log-transformed white-matter hyperintensity volumes (β for Q4 versus Q1=0.19; P=0.01). Prospectively, a total of 203 (6%) individuals developed incident stroke/transient ischemic attack during follow-up. After multivariable adjustment, sST2 remained significantly associated with stroke/transient ischemic attack, hazard ratio for Q4 versus Q1 of 1.76, 95% confidence interval of 1.06 to 2.92, and P=0.03. Circulating GDF-15 and sST2 are associated with subclinical brain injury and cognitive impairment. Higher sST2 concentrations are also associated with incident stroke, suggesting potential links between cardiac stress biomarkers and brain injury. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Stroke
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    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.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD

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  • No preview · Article · Jul 2015
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    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.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Experimental Aging Research

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Publication Stats

16k Citations
1,861.04 Total Impact Points

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  • 2015
    • Drexel University
      • Department of Neurology
      Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
    • McMaster University
      Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 2006-2015
    • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
      • Division of Cardiovascular Sciences (DCVS)
      베서스다, Maryland, United States
  • 1998-2015
    • Boston University
      • • Department of Neurology
      • • School of Public Health
      • • Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nutrition
      • • Department of Biostatistics
      • • Department of Mathematics and Statistics
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2004-2013
    • University of Massachusetts Boston
      • Clinical Epidemiology Research and Training Unit
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Northwestern University
      • Department of Preventive Medicine
      Evanston, Illinois, United States
  • 2002
    • University of Washington Seattle
      Seattle, Washington, United States