Publications by authors named "Alexa S Beiser"

127 Publications

Insomnia symptom severity and cognitive performance: Moderating role of APOE genotype.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 Jul 26. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

The Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, Massachusetts, USA.

Introduction: We evaluated whether insomnia symptom severity was associated with cognitive function, and whether this relationship was modified by biomarkers associated with Alzheimer's disease risk.

Methods: We examined insomnia symptoms and neuropsychological performance 3.4 years later in 511 dementia-free Framingham Heart Study participants (62.65 ± 8.7 years, 50.9% male). Additionally, we explored insomnia symptoms combined with self-reported short habitual sleep duration and effect modification by apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele status.

Results: More severe insomnia symptoms were associated with lower performance on global cognition, and immediate and delayed Logical Memory recall, especially when insomnia symptoms were combined with short sleep duration. The association between insomnia symptoms and poorer memory recall was more pronounced in APOE ε4 allele carriers.

Discussion: Insomnia symptom severity was associated with worse subsequent global cognitive and memory performance, which was especially apparent in APOE ε4 allele carriers, suggesting that poor sleep might be particularly detrimental when the brain is already vulnerable to neurodegeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12405DOI Listing
July 2021

Mind Diet Adherence and Cognitive Performance in the Framingham Heart Study.

J Alzheimers Dis 2021 ;82(2):827-839

The Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, MA, USA.

Background: Adherence to the Mediterranean-DASH for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet has previously been associated with cognitive decline and dementia. To our knowledge, no prior study has investigated the association between the MIND diet and measures of brain volume, silent brain infarcts (SBIs), or brain atrophy.

Objective: We evaluated whether adherence to the MIND diet associated with superior cognitive function, larger brain volumes, fewer SBIs, and less cognitive decline in the community-based Framingham Heart Study.

Methods: 2,092 participants (mean±SD, age 61±9) completed Food Frequency Questionnaires, averaged across a maximum of 3-time points (examination cycles 5, 6, and 7), cognitive testing at examination cycle 7 (present study baseline: 1998-2001) and after a mean±SD of 6.6±1.1 years from baseline (n = 1,584). A subset of participants also completed brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at examination cycle 7 (n = 1,904). In addition, participants with dementia, stroke, and other relevant neurological diseases such as significant head trauma, subdural hematoma, or multiple sclerosis were excluded from the analyses.

Results: Higher MIND diet scores were associated with better global cognitive function (β±SE,+0.03SD±0.01; p = 0.004), verbal memory, visual memory, processing speed, verbal comprehension/reasoning, and with larger total brain volume (TBV) following adjustments for clinical, lifestyle and demographic covariates, but not with other brain MRI measures (i.e., hippocampal volume, lateral ventricular volume, white matter hyperintensity volume, and SBIs) or cognitive decline.

Conclusion: Higher MIND diet scores associated with better cognitive performance and larger TBV at baseline, but not with cognitive decline. Clinical trials are needed to ascertain whether adopting the MIND diet affects trajectories of cognitive decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-201238DOI Listing
September 2021

Association of Midlife Depressive Symptoms with Regional Amyloid-β and Tau in the Framingham Heart Study.

J Alzheimers Dis 2021 ;82(1):249-260

Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's & Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX, USA.

Background: Depressive symptoms predict increased risk for dementia decades before the emergence of cognitive symptoms. Studies in older adults provide preliminary evidence for an association between depressive symptoms and amyloid-β (Aβ) and tau accumulation. It is unknown if similar alterations are observed in midlife when preventive strategies may be most effective.

Objective: The study aim was to evaluate the association between depressive symptoms and cerebral Aβ and tau in a predominately middle-aged cohort with examination of the apolipoprotein (APOE) ɛ4 allele as a moderator.

Methods: Participants included 201 adults (mean age 53±8 years) who underwent 11C-Pittsburgh Compound B amyloid and 18F-Flortaucipir tau positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. Depressive symptoms were evaluated with the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) at the time of PET imaging, as well as eight years prior. Associations between depressive symptoms at both timepoints, as well as depression (CES-D≥16), with regional Aβ and tau PET retention were evaluated with linear regression adjusting for age and sex. Interactions with the APOE ɛ4 allele were explored.

Results: Depressive symptoms and depression were not associated with PET outcomes in the overall sample. However, among APOE ɛ4 allele carriers, there was a significant cross-sectional association between depressive symptoms and increased tau PET uptake in the entorhinal cortex (β= 0.446, SE = 0.155, p = 0.006) and amygdala (β= 0.350, SE = 0.133, p = 0.012).

Conclusion: Although longitudinal studies are necessary, the results suggest that APOE ɛ4 carriers with depressive symptoms may present with higher susceptibility to early tau accumulation in regions integral to affective regulation and memory consolidation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-210232DOI Listing
September 2021

Bone Mineral Density Measurements and Association With Brain Structure and Cognitive Function: The Framingham Offspring Cohort.

Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 2021 May 11. Epub 2021 May 11.

The Framingham Heart Study, Framingham Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's and Neurodegenerative Diseases Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX Department of Neurology, University of California, Davis Division of Geriatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, CA.

Background: Bone mineral density (BMD) is a potential surrogate marker of lifetime estrogen exposure previously linked to increased risk of Alzheimer dementia among elderly women. We examine the association between BMD in the "young old" with imaging biomarkers of brain aging and cognitive performance.

Methods: Offspring participants (N=1905, mean age 66) of a population-based cohort who had BMD, brain imaging and detailed cognitive assessment were included in the study. Sex-stratified, linear, and logistic regression models were used for analysis.

Results: Higher femoral neck BMD was associated with lower white matter hyperintensity burden and better performance on Trails B-A in both sexes, even after adjustment for cerebrovascular risk factors. Among women, the positive association with Trails B-A performance was seen only in APOE4 allele carriers. Higher BMD measurements were linked to better visual reproductions test performance in men. Finally, among women, higher femoral trochanter BMD was associated with better logical memory and Hooper visual organization test performance.

Conclusion: Among the "young old," higher BMD is associated with less white matter hyperintensity burden and better, domain-specific, cognitive performance. This suggests that lifetime estrogen exposure may modulate the degree of cumulative vascular brain injury independent of cerebrovascular risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/WAD.0000000000000453DOI Listing
May 2021

Autonomic Imbalance and Risk of Dementia and Stroke: The Framingham Study.

Stroke 2021 Jun 20;52(6):2068-2076. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

The Framingham Study, MA (K.D.-P., A.S.B., S.S.).

[Figure: see text].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.030601DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8154675PMC
June 2021

Associations of the Mediterranean-Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet with cardiac remodelling in the community: the Framingham Heart Study.

Br J Nutr 2021 Feb 23:1-9. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, 02118, USA.

Normal cardiac function is directly associated with the maintenance of cerebrovascular health. Whether the Mediterranean-Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet, designed for the maintenance of neurocognitive health, is associated with cardiac remodelling is unknown. We evaluated 2512 Framingham Offspring Cohort participants who attended the eighth examination cycle and had available dietary and echocardiographic data (mean age 66 years; 55 % women). Using multivariable regression, we related the cumulative MIND diet score (independent variable) to left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction, left atrial emptying fraction, LV mass (LVM), E/e' ratio (dependent variables; primary), global longitudinal strain, global circumferential strain (GCS), mitral annular plane systolic excursion, longitudinal segmental synchrony, LV hypertrophy and aortic root diameter (secondary). Adjusting for age, sex and energy intake, higher cumulative MIND diet scores were associated with lower values of indices of LV diastolic (E/e' ratio: logβ = -0·03) and systolic function (GCS: β = -0·04) and with higher values of LVM (logβ = 0·02), all P ≤ 0·01. We observed effect modification by age in the association between the cumulative MIND diet score and GCS. When we further adjusted for clinical risk factors, the associations of the cumulative MIND diet score with GCS in participants ≥66 years (β = -0·06, P = 0·005) and LVM remained significant. In our community-based sample, relations between the cumulative MIND diet score and cardiac remodelling differ among indices of LV structure and function. Our results suggest that favourable associations between a higher cumulative MIND diet score and indices of LV function may be influenced by cardiometabolic and lifestyle risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114521000660DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8380746PMC
February 2021

Incidence of Transient Ischemic Attack and Association With Long-term Risk of Stroke.

JAMA 2021 01;325(4):373-381

Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, Massachusetts.

Importance: Accurate estimation of the association between transient ischemic attack (TIA) and risk of subsequent stroke can help to improve preventive efforts and limit the burden of stroke in the population.

Objective: To determine population-based incidence of TIA and the timing and long-term trends of stroke risk after TIA.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Retrospective cohort study (Framingham Heart Study) of prospectively collected data of 14 059 participants with no history of TIA or stroke at baseline, followed up from 1948-December 31, 2017. A sample of TIA-free participants was matched to participants with first incident TIA on age and sex (ratio, 5:1).

Exposures: Calendar time (TIA incidence calculation, time-trends analyses), TIA (matched longitudinal cohort).

Main Outcomes And Measures: The main outcomes were TIA incidence rates; proportion of stroke occurring after TIA in the short term (7, 30, and 90 days) vs the long term (>1-10 years); stroke after TIA vs stroke among matched control participants without TIA; and time trends of stroke risk at 90 days after TIA assessed in 3 epochs: 1954-1985, 1986-1999, and 2000-2017.

Results: Among 14 059 participants during 66 years of follow-up (366 209 person-years), 435 experienced TIA (229 women; mean age, 73.47 [SD, 11.48] years and 206 men; mean age, 70.10 [SD, 10.64] years) and were matched to 2175 control participants without TIA. The estimated incidence rate of TIA was 1.19/1000 person-years. Over a median of 8.86 years of follow-up after TIA, 130 participants (29.5%) had a stroke; 28 strokes (21.5%) occurred within 7 days, 40 (30.8%) occurred within 30 days, 51 (39.2%) occurred within 90 days, and 63 (48.5%) occurred more than 1 year after the index TIA; median time to stroke was 1.64 (interquartile range, 0.07-6.6) years. The age- and sex-adjusted cumulative 10-year hazard of incident stroke for patients with TIA (130 strokes among 435 cases) was 0.46 (95% CI, 0.39-0.55) and for matched control participants without TIA (165 strokes among 2175) was 0.09 (95% CI, 0.08-0.11); fully adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 4.37 (95% CI, 3.30-5.71; P < .001). Compared with the 90-day stroke risk after TIA in 1948-1985 (16.7%; 26 strokes among 155 patients with TIA), the risk between 1986-1999 was 11.1% (18 strokes among 162 patients) and between 2000-2017 was 5.9% (7 strokes among 118 patients). Compared with the first epoch, the HR for 90-day risk of stroke in the second epoch was 0.60 (95% CI, 0.33-1.12) and in the third epoch was 0.32 (95% CI, 0.14-0.75) (P = .005 for trend).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this population-based cohort study from 1948-2017, the estimated crude TIA incidence was 1.19/1000 person-years, the risk of stroke was significantly greater after TIA compared with matched control participants who did not have TIA, and the risk of stroke after TIA was significantly lower in the most recent epoch from 2000-2017 compared with an earlier period from 1948-1985.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.25071DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7838926PMC
January 2021

Cortical superficial siderosis in the general population: The Framingham Heart and Rotterdam studies.

Int J Stroke 2021 Oct 21;16(7):798-808. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Objective: We aimed to characterize cortical superficial siderosis, its determinants and sequel, in community-dwelling older adults.

Methods: The sample consisted of Framingham ( = 1724; 2000-2009) and Rotterdam ( = 4325; 2005-2013) study participants who underwent brain MRI. In pooled individual-level analysis, we compared baseline characteristics in patients with cortical superficial siderosis to two reference groups: (i) persons without hemorrhagic MRI markers of cerebral amyloid angiopathy (no cortical superficial siderosis and no microbleeds) and (ii) those with presumed cerebral amyloid angiopathy based on the presence of strictly lobar microbleeds but without cortical superficial siderosis.

Results: Among a total of 6049 participants, 4846 did not have any microbleeds or cortical superficial siderosis (80%), 401 had deep/mixed microbleeds (6.6%), 776 had strictly lobar microbleeds without cortical superficial siderosis (12.8%) and 26 had cortical superficial siderosis with/without microbleeds (0.43%). In comparison to participants without microbleeds or cortical superficial siderosis and to those with strictly lobar microbleeds but without cortical superficial siderosis, participants with cortical superficial siderosis were older (OR 1.09 per year, 95% CI 1.05, 1.14;  < 0.001 and 1.04, 95% CI 1.00, 1.09;  = 0.058, respectively), had overrepresentation of the APOE ɛ4 allele (5.19, 2.04, 13.25;  = 0.001 and 3.47, 1.35, 8.92;  = 0.01), and greater prevalence of intracerebral hemorrhage (72.57, 9.12, 577.49;  < 0.001 and 81.49, 3.40, >999.99;  = 0.006). During a mean follow-up of 5.6 years, 42.4% participants with cortical superficial siderosis had a stroke (five intracerebral hemorrhage, two ischemic strokes and four undetermined strokes), 19.2% had transient neurological deficits and 3.8% developed incident dementia.

Conclusion: Our study adds supporting evidence to the association between cortical superficial siderosis and cerebral amyloid angiopathy within the general population. Community-dwelling persons with cortical superficial siderosis may be at high risk for intracerebral hemorrhage and future neurological events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1747493020984559DOI Listing
October 2021

Interleukin-6 Interacts with Sleep Apnea Severity when Predicting Incident Alzheimer's Disease Dementia.

J Alzheimers Dis 2021 ;79(4):1451-1457

The Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, MA, USA.

Because of their roles as potential risk factors, we evaluated whether obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) severity interacts with interleukin-6 (IL-6) in predicting incident dementia of the Alzheimer's type (DAT). In 269 dementia-free participants, IL-6 and the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) were measured at baseline and incident DAT was surveilled for up to 22.8 years. Cox models revealed a significant interaction: In the lowest IL-6 quartile only, a higher AHI was associated with an elevated risk of DAT. The association between OSA severity and incident DAT might be especially apparent in the absence of inflammation or absence of potential benefits from IL-6.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-200545DOI Listing
September 2021

Slow-Wave Sleep and MRI Markers of Brain Aging in a Community-Based Sample.

Neurology 2021 03 22;96(10):e1462-e1469. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

From the Framingham Heart Study (A.-A.B., A.S.B., J.R.R., C.L.S., J.M.Z., S.S., M.P.P. J.J.H.); Department of Neurology (A.-A.B., A.S.B., C.L.S., S.S., J.J.H.), Boston University School of Medicine; Department of Biostatistics (A.S.B., J.J.H. ), Boston University School of Public Health, MA; Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's & Neurodegenerative Diseases (V.M., C.L.S., S.S., J.J.H.), and Department of Population Health Sciences (J.J.H.), University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio; Centre for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine (E.S.), Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, CIUSSS-NIM; Department of Neuroscience (E.S.), Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Neurology (C.D., P.M.), and School of Medicine and Imaging of Dementia and Aging Laboratory, Center for Neuroscience (P.M.), University of California, Davis, Sacramento; Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders (S.R., D.J.G.), Brigham & Women's Hospital; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (S.R., D.J.G.); Division of Sleep Medicine Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; VA Boston Healthcare System (D.J.G.), Boston, MA; Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health (M.P.P.), School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (M.P.P.), Boston, MA.

Objective: To test the hypothesis that reduced slow-wave sleep, or N3 sleep, which is thought to underlie the restorative functions of sleep, is associated with MRI markers of brain aging, we evaluated this relationship in the community-based Framingham Heart Study Offspring cohort using polysomnography and brain MRI.

Methods: We studied 492 participants (age 58.8 ± 8.8 years, 49.4% male) free of neurological diseases who completed a brain MRI scan and in-home overnight polysomnography to assess slow-wave sleep (absolute duration and percentage of total sleep). Volumes of total brain, total cortical, frontal cortical, subcortical gray matter, hippocampus, and white matter hyperintensities were investigated as a percentage of intracranial volume, and the presence of covert brain infarcts was evaluated. Linear and logistic regression models were adjusted for age, age squared, sex, time interval between polysomnography and MRI (3.3 ± 1.0 years), ε4 carrier status, stroke risk factors, sleeping pill use, body mass index, and depression.

Results: Less slow-wave sleep was associated with lower cortical brain volume (absolute duration, β [standard error] = 0.20 [0.08], = 0.015; percentage, 0.16 [0.08], = 0.044), lower subcortical brain volume (percentage, 0.03 [0.02], = 0.034), and higher white matter hyperintensities volume (absolute duration, -0.12 [0.05], = 0.010; percentage, -0.10 [0.04], = 0.033). Slow-wave sleep duration was not associated with hippocampal volume or the presence of covert brain infarcts.

Conclusion: Loss of slow-wave sleep might facilitate accelerated brain aging, as evidence by its association with MRI markers suggestive of brain atrophy and injury. Alternatively, subtle injuries and accelerated aging might reduce the ability of the brain to produce slow-wave sleep.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011377DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8055313PMC
March 2021

Cerebral small vessel disease genomics and its implications across the lifespan.

Nat Commun 2020 12 8;11(1):6285. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL, 35233, USA.

White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are the most common brain-imaging feature of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), hypertension being the main known risk factor. Here, we identify 27 genome-wide loci for WMH-volume in a cohort of 50,970 older individuals, accounting for modification/confounding by hypertension. Aggregated WMH risk variants were associated with altered white matter integrity (p = 2.5×10-7) in brain images from 1,738 young healthy adults, providing insight into the lifetime impact of SVD genetic risk. Mendelian randomization suggested causal association of increasing WMH-volume with stroke, Alzheimer-type dementia, and of increasing blood pressure (BP) with larger WMH-volume, notably also in persons without clinical hypertension. Transcriptome-wide colocalization analyses showed association of WMH-volume with expression of 39 genes, of which four encode known drug targets. Finally, we provide insight into BP-independent biological pathways underlying SVD and suggest potential for genetic stratification of high-risk individuals and for genetically-informed prioritization of drug targets for prevention trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19111-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7722866PMC
December 2020

Bi-directional association between epilepsy and dementia: The Framingham Heart Study.

Neurology 2020 12 23;95(24):e3241-e3247. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

From the Framingham Heart Study (M.S., A.S.B., J.J.H., S.S.); Department of Neurology (M.S., A.S.B., J.J.H., S.S.), Boston University School of Medicine; Department of Biostatistics (A.S.B., J.J.H.), Boston University School of Public Health, MA; Department of Neurology (T.J.P.), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Department of Neurology (O.D., D.F.), NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY; and University of Texas Health Sciences Center (S.S.), San Antonio. Dr. Himali is currently affiliated with the Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Objective: To assess the risk of incident epilepsy among participants with prevalent dementia and the risk of incident dementia among participants with prevalent epilepsy in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS).

Methods: We analyzed prospectively collected data in the Original and Offspring FHS cohorts. To determine the risk of developing epilepsy among participants with dementia and the risk of developing dementia among participants with epilepsy, we used separate, nested, case-control designs and matched each case to 3 age-, sex- and FHS cohort-matched controls. We used Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, adjusting for sex and age. In secondary analysis, we investigated the role of education level and ε4 allele status in modifying the association between epilepsy and dementia.

Results: A total of 4,906 participants had information on epilepsy and dementia and dementia follow-up after age 65. Among 660 participants with dementia and 1,980 dementia-free controls, there were 58 incident epilepsy cases during follow-up. Analysis comparing epilepsy risk among dementia cases vs controls yielded a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.82 (95% confidence interval 1.05-3.16, = 0.034). Among 43 participants with epilepsy and 129 epilepsy-free controls, there were 51 incident dementia cases. Analysis comparing dementia risk among epilepsy cases vs controls yielded a HR of 1.99 (1.11-3.57, = 0.021). In this group, among participants with any post-high school education, prevalent epilepsy was associated with a nearly 5-fold risk for developing dementia (HR 4.67 [1.82-12.01], = 0.001) compared to controls of the same educational attainment.

Conclusions: There is a bi-directional association between epilepsy and dementia. with either condition carrying a nearly 2-fold risk of developing the other when compared to controls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011077DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7836659PMC
December 2020

Genetic correlations and genome-wide associations of cortical structure in general population samples of 22,824 adults.

Nat Commun 2020 09 22;11(1):4796. Epub 2020 Sep 22.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Cortical thickness, surface area and volumes vary with age and cognitive function, and in neurological and psychiatric diseases. Here we report heritability, genetic correlations and genome-wide associations of these cortical measures across the whole cortex, and in 34 anatomically predefined regions. Our discovery sample comprises 22,824 individuals from 20 cohorts within the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium and the UK Biobank. We identify genetic heterogeneity between cortical measures and brain regions, and 160 genome-wide significant associations pointing to wnt/β-catenin, TGF-β and sonic hedgehog pathways. There is enrichment for genes involved in anthropometric traits, hindbrain development, vascular and neurodegenerative disease and psychiatric conditions. These data are a rich resource for studies of the biological mechanisms behind cortical development and aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18367-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7508833PMC
September 2020

Growth Differentiation Factor 15 and NT-proBNP as Blood-Based Markers of Vascular Brain Injury and Dementia.

J Am Heart Assoc 2020 10 14;9(19):e014659. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Framingham Heart Study Framingham MA.

Background GDF15 (growth differentiation factor 15) and NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide) may offer promise as biomarkers for cognitive outcomes, including dementia. We determined the association of these biomarkers with cognitive outcomes in a community-based cohort. Methods and Results Plasma GDF15 (n=1603) and NT-proBNP levels (n=1590) (53% women; mean age, 68.7 years) were measured in dementia-free Framingham Offspring cohort participants at examination 7 (1998-2001). Participants were followed up for incident dementia. Secondary outcomes included Alzheimer disease dementia, magnetic resonance imaging structural brain measures, and neurocognitive performance. During a median 11.8-year follow-up, 131 participants developed dementia. On multivariable Cox proportional-hazards analysis, higher circulating GDF15 was associated with an increased risk of incident all-cause and Alzheimer disease dementia (hazard ratio [HR] per SD increment in natural log-transformed biomarker value, 1.54 [95% CI, 1.22-1.95] and 1.37 [95% CI, 1.03-1.81], respectively), whereas higher plasma NT-proBNP was also associated with an increased risk of all-cause dementia (HR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.05-1.65). Elevated GDF15 was associated with lower total brain and hippocampal volumes, greater white matter hyperintensity volume, and poorer cognitive performance. Elevated NT-proBNP was associated with greater white matter hyperintensity volume and poorer cognitive performance. Addition of both biomarkers to a conventional risk factor model improved dementia risk classification (net reclassification improvement index, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.05-0.45). Conclusions Elevated plasma GDF15 and NT-proBNP were associated with vascular brain injury on magnetic resonance imaging, poorer neurocognitive performance, and increased risk of incident dementia in individuals aged >60 years. Both biomarkers improved dementia risk classification beyond that of traditional clinical risk factors, indicating their potential value in predicting incident dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.119.014659DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7792414PMC
October 2020

Association of common genetic variants with brain microbleeds: A genome-wide association study.

Neurology 2020 12 10;95(24):e3331-e3343. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

From the Departments of Epidemiology (M.J.K., H.H.H.A., D.V., S.J.v.d.L., P.Y., M.W.V., N.A., C.M.v.D., M.A.I.), Radiology and Nuclear Medicine (H.H.H.A., P.Y., A.v.d.L., M.W.V.), and Clinical Genetics (H.H.H.A.), Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Stroke Research Group, Department of Clinical Neurosciences (D.L., M.T., J.L., D.J.T., H.S.M.), University of Cambridge, UK; Department of Neurology (J.R.J.R., C.L.S., J.J.H., A.S.B., C.D., S. Seshadri), Boston University School of Medicine; The Framingham Heart Study (J.R.J.R., C.L.S., J.J.H., A.S.B., S. Seshadri), MA; Department of Biostatistics (A.V.S.), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Icelandic Heart Association (A.V.S., S. Sigurdsson, V.G.), Kopavogur, Iceland; Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, McGovern Medical School (M.F.), and Human Genetics Center, School of Public Health (M.F.), University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Clinical Division of Neurogeriatrics, Department of Neurology (E.H., L.P., R.S.), Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation (E.H.), and Gottfried Schatz Research Center, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (Y.S., H.S.), Medical University of Graz, Austria; Center of Cerebrovascular Diseases, Department of Neurology (J.L.), West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu; Stroke Research Centre, Queen Square Institute of Neurology (I.C.H., D.W., H.H., D.J.W.), University College London, UK; Department of Neurosurgery (I.C.H.), Klinikum rechts der Isar, University of Munich, Germany; Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, Psychology (M.L., D.C.M.L., M.E.B., I.J.D., J.M.W.), and Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, Edinburgh Imaging, UK Dementia Research Institute (M.E.B., J.M.W.), University of Edinburgh, UK; Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gerontology and Geriatrics (S.T.), Department of Cardiology (S.T., J.v.d.G., J.W.J.), Section of Molecular Epidemiology, Biomedical Data Sciences (E.B.v.d.A., M.B., P.E.S.), Leiden Computational Biology Center, Biomedical Data Sciences (E.B.v.d.A.), Department of Radiology (J.v.d.G.), and Einthoven Laboratory for Experimental Vascular Medicine (J.W.J.), Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands; Department of Neurology (A.-K.G., N.S.R.), Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Memory Aging and Cognition Center (S.H., C.C.), National University Health System, Singapore; Department of Pharmacology (S.H., C.C.) and Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (S.H.), National University of Singapore and National University Health System, Singapore; Pattern Recognition & Bioinformatics (E.B.v.d.A.), Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands; Department of Biostatistics (S.L., J.J.H., Q.Y., A.S.B.), Boston University School of Public Health, MA; Department of Radiology (C.R.J., K.K.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's & Neurodegenerative Diseases (C.L.S., S. Seshadri), UT Health San Antonio, TX; Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics (B.G.W., T.H.M), and Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia (MIND) Center (T.H.M.), University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson; Singapore Eye Research Institute (C.Y.C., J.Y.K., T.Y.W.); Department of Neuroradiology (Z.M., J.M.W.), NHS Lothian, Edinburgh; Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences (D.J.S.), College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK; Division of Cerebrovascular Neurology (R.F.G.), Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; Department of Neuroradiology (A.D.M.), Atkinson Morley Neurosciences Centre, St George's NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK; Department of Neurology (C.D.), University of California at Davis; Nuffield Department of Population Health (C.M.v.D.), University of Oxford, UK; Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences (L.J.L.), National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, MD; and Faculty of Medicine (V.G.), University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.

Objective: To identify common genetic variants associated with the presence of brain microbleeds (BMBs).

Methods: We performed genome-wide association studies in 11 population-based cohort studies and 3 case-control or case-only stroke cohorts. Genotypes were imputed to the Haplotype Reference Consortium or 1000 Genomes reference panel. BMBs were rated on susceptibility-weighted or T2*-weighted gradient echo MRI sequences, and further classified as lobar or mixed (including strictly deep and infratentorial, possibly with lobar BMB). In a subset, we assessed the effects of ε2 and ε4 alleles on BMB counts. We also related previously identified cerebral small vessel disease variants to BMBs.

Results: BMBs were detected in 3,556 of the 25,862 participants, of which 2,179 were strictly lobar and 1,293 mixed. One locus in the region reached genome-wide significance for its association with BMB (lead rs769449; odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval (CI)] 1.33 [1.21-1.45]; = 2.5 × 10). ε4 alleles were associated with strictly lobar (OR [95% CI] 1.34 [1.19-1.50]; = 1.0 × 10) but not with mixed BMB counts (OR [95% CI] 1.04 [0.86-1.25]; = 0.68). ε2 alleles did not show associations with BMB counts. Variants previously related to deep intracerebral hemorrhage and lacunar stroke, and a risk score of cerebral white matter hyperintensity variants, were associated with BMB.

Conclusions: Genetic variants in the region are associated with the presence of BMB, most likely due to the ε4 allele count related to a higher number of strictly lobar BMBs. Genetic predisposition to small vessel disease confers risk of BMB, indicating genetic overlap with other cerebral small vessel disease markers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010852DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7836652PMC
December 2020

Systemic inflammation as a moderator between sleep and incident dementia.

Sleep 2021 02;44(2)

The Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, MA.

Study Objectives: To determine whether C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of systemic inflammation, moderates the association between sleep and incident dementia.

Methods: We studied Framingham Heart Study participants who completed at baseline a serum CRP assessment and in-home polysomnography to measure sleep duration, sleep efficiency, sleep latency, wake after sleep onset (WASO), number of awakenings, arousal index, and apnea-hypopnea index. Participants were divided into groups according to their CRP level: low (<1 mg/L), average (1-3 mg/L), and high inflammation (>3 mg/L). Surveillance for outcomes (incident all-cause and Alzheimer's disease [AD] dementia) commenced at baseline and continued up to 22.5 years.

Results: In 291 participants (mean age 67.5 ± 4.9 years, 51.6% men) followed for 13.4 ± 5.4 years, we observed 43 cases of all-cause dementia, 33 of which were clinically consistent with AD. Whereas no direct association between CRP or sleep exposures was observed with incident dementia, CRP levels interacted with nighttime wakefulness when predicting both incident all-cause and AD dementia. In the high CRP group, longer WASO (hazard ratio [HR], 2.89; 95% CI, 1.31-6.34) and more nighttime awakenings (HR, 4.55; 95% CI, 1.19-17.38) were associated with higher risk of incident dementia. In the low CRP group, fewer nighttime awakenings were associated with a higher risk of incident dementia (HR, 0.07; 95% CI, 0.01-0.68).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that inflammation moderates the association between sleep, particularly nighttime wakefulness, and dementia risk. The presence of inflammation may be an important determinant in evaluating how sleep disturbances relate to neurodegeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsaa164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7879417PMC
February 2021

Mid to Late Life Hypertension Trends and Cerebral Small Vessel Disease in the Framingham Heart Study.

Hypertension 2020 09 31;76(3):707-714. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

From the Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, MA (R.E.P., A.S.B., H.A., S.S., J.R.R.).

The duration and lifetime pattern of hypertension is related to risk of stroke and dementia. In turn, cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) is the most frequent form of cerebrovascular disease underlying dementia and stroke. Thus, study of the relation of mid to late life hypertension trends with CSVD late in life will help understand hypertension's role and inform preventive efforts of CSVD consequences. We studied 1686 Framingham Heart Study Offspring cohort participants free of stroke and dementia, who were examined in mid and late life, and had available brain magnetic resonance imaging during late life. We related hypertension trends between mid and late life (normotension-normotension N-N, normotension-hypertension N-H, hypertension-hypertension H-H) to cerebral microbleeds and covert brain infarcts (CBI), overall and stratified by brain topography. We used multivariable logistic regression analyses to calculate odds ratio and 95% CIs for CSVD measures. The prevalence of CSVD in late life was 8% for cerebral microbleeds and 13% for covert brain infarcts and increased with longer hypertension exposure across all brain regions. Compared with the trend pattern of N-N, both N-H and H-H trends had higher odds of mixed cerebral microbleeds (2.71 [1.08-6.80], and 3.44 [1.39-8.60], respectively); H-H also had higher odds of any cerebral microbleeds or covert brain infarcts (1.54 [1.12-2.20]), and any covert brain infarcts (1.55 [1.08-2.20]). The burden of CSVD also increased with longer hypertension exposure. Our results highlight hypertension having a major role in subclinical CSVD, across subtypes and brain regions, and call attention to improve recognition and treatment of hypertension early in life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.120.15073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7577565PMC
September 2020

Cardiovascular health, genetic risk, and risk of dementia in the Framingham Heart Study.

Neurology 2020 09 20;95(10):e1341-e1350. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

From the Departments of Biostatistics (G.M.P., A.S.B., V.X., A.L.D.) and Epidemiology (R.S.V.), Boston University School of Public Health; Boston University and NHLBI's Framingham Heart Study (A.S.B., C.L.S., V.X., R.S.V., A.L.D., S.S.), Framingham; Department of Neurology (A.S.B., C.L.S., A.L.D., S.S.), Boston University School of Medicine, MA; Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's and Neurodegenerative Diseases (C.L.S., S.S.), University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio; Sections of Preventive Medicine & Epidemiology and Cardiology (V.X., R.S.V.), Department of Medicine, Boston University, MA; Melbourne Dementia Research Centre (M.P.P.), The Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health; Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, and Health Sciences (M.P.P.), University of Melbourne, Parkville; Centre for Human Psychopharmacology (M.P.P.), Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia; and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (M.P.P.), Boston, MA.

Objective: To determine the joint role of ideal cardiovascular health (CVH) and genetic risk on risk of dementia.

Methods: We categorized CVH on the basis of the American Heart Association Ideal CVH Index and genetic risk through a genetic risk score (GRS) of common genetic variants and the ε4 genotype in 1,211 Framingham Heart Study (FHS) offspring cohort participants. We used multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models to examine the association between CVH, genetic risk, and incident all-cause dementia with up to 10 years of follow-up (mean 8.4 years, 96 incident dementia cases), adjusting for age, sex, and education.

Results: We observed that a high GRS (>80th percentile) was associated with a 2.6-fold risk of dementia (95% confidence interval [CI] of hazard ratio [HR] 1.23-5.29; = 0.012) compared with having a low GRS (<20th percentile); carrying at least 1 ε4 allele was associated with a 2.3-fold risk of dementia compared with not carrying an ε4 allele (95% CI of HR 1.49-3.53; = 0.0002), and having a favorable CVH showed a 0.45-fold lower risk of dementia (95% CI of HR 0.20-1.01; = 0.0527) compared to having an unfavorable CVH when all 3 components were included in the model. We did not observe an interaction between CVH and GRS ( = 0.99) or ε4 ( = 0.16).

Conclusions: We observed that both genetic risk and CVH contribute additively to dementia risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010306DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7538213PMC
September 2020

Common Genetic Variation Indicates Separate Causes for Periventricular and Deep White Matter Hyperintensities.

Stroke 2020 07 10;51(7):2111-2121. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Department of Psychiatry (C.F.-N.), University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA.

Background And Purpose: Periventricular white matter hyperintensities (WMH; PVWMH) and deep WMH (DWMH) are regional classifications of WMH and reflect proposed differences in cause. In the first study, to date, we undertook genome-wide association analyses of DWMH and PVWMH to show that these phenotypes have different genetic underpinnings.

Methods: Participants were aged 45 years and older, free of stroke and dementia. We conducted genome-wide association analyses of PVWMH and DWMH in 26,654 participants from CHARGE (Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology), ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro-Imaging Genetics Through Meta-Analysis), and the UKB (UK Biobank). Regional correlations were investigated using the genome-wide association analyses -pairwise method. Cross-trait genetic correlations between PVWMH, DWMH, stroke, and dementia were estimated using LDSC.

Results: In the discovery and replication analysis, for PVWMH only, we found associations on chromosomes 2 (), 10q23.1 (), and 10q24.33 ( In the much larger combined meta-analysis of all cohorts, we identified ten significant regions for PVWMH: chromosomes 2 (3 regions), 6, 7, 10 (2 regions), 13, 16, and 17q23.1. New loci of interest include 7q36.1 () and 16q24.2. In both the discovery/replication and combined analysis, we found genome-wide significant associations for the 17q25.1 locus for both DWMH and PVWMH. Using gene-based association analysis, 19 genes across all regions were identified for PVWMH only, including the new genes: (2q32.1), (3q27.1), (5q27.1), and (22q13.1). Thirteen genes in the 17q25.1 locus were significant for both phenotypes. More extensive genetic correlations were observed for PVWMH with small vessel ischemic stroke. There were no associations with dementia for either phenotype.

Conclusions: Our study confirms these phenotypes have distinct and also shared genetic architectures. Genetic analyses indicated PVWMH was more associated with ischemic stroke whilst DWMH loci were implicated in vascular, astrocyte, and neuronal function. Our study confirms these phenotypes are distinct neuroimaging classifications and identifies new candidate genes associated with PVWMH only.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.027544DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7365038PMC
July 2020

Assessment of Incidence and Risk Factors of Intracerebral Hemorrhage Among Participants in the Framingham Heart Study Between 1948 and 2016.

JAMA Neurol 2020 10;77(10):1252-1260

Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, Massachusetts.

Importance: Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) has the highest mortality of all stroke types and is the most serious complication of anticoagulation. Data regarding trends in ICH incidence and location-specific risk factors on the population level are conflicting.

Objective: To assess long-term population-based trends in the incidence of ICH, examine incidence rates stratified by deep and lobar locations, and characterize location-specific risk factors.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This longitudinal prospective community-based cohort study comprised 10 333 original participants (n = 5209; age range, 28-62 years) and offspring participants (n = 5124; age range, 5-70 years) from the Framingham Heart Study who were followed up from January 1, 1948, to December 31, 2016. Original and offspring patient cohorts were confirmed to have experienced a spontaneous ICH event through imaging or pathologic testing. A total of 129 participants were identified with a primary incident of ICH. After exclusions, the remaining 99 patients were divided into 2 nested case-control samples, which were created by stratifying the first incident of ICH by brain region (lobar ICH or deep ICH), with 55 patients included in the lobar ICH sample and 44 patients included in the deep ICH sample. Patients were matched by age and sex (1:4 ratio) with 396 individuals without any stroke event (the control group). No participant in the patient samples was excluded or approached for consent, as their initial consent to participate in the Framingham Heart Study included consent to follow-up of cardiovascular outcomes. Data were analyzed in October 2019.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The unadjusted and age-adjusted ICH incidence rates, assessed in 3 periods (period 1, from 1948-1986; period 2, from 1987-1999; and period 3, from 2000-2016) to study incidence trends. Nested case-control samples were used to examine baseline risk factors and medication exposures with the incidence of ICH events located in the lobar and deep brain regions within the 10 years before participants experienced a stroke event.

Results: Of 10 333 original and offspring participants in the Framingham Heart Study, 129 patients (72 women [55.8%]; mean [SD] age, 77 [11] years) experienced a primary ICH incident during a follow-up period of 68 years (301 282 person-years), with an incidence rate of 43 cases per 100 000 person-years. The unadjusted incidence rate increased over time, but the age-adjusted incidence rate decreased slightly between periods 2 and 3. An age-stratified analysis indicated a continued increase in ICH incidence among patients 75 years and older, reaching 176 cases per 100 000 person-years in period 3. A concurrent 3-fold increase in the use of anticoagulant medications was observed, from 4.4% in period 2 to 13.9% in period 3. The incidence rate increased substantially with age for both lobar and deep ICH. Higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure and statin medication use (odds ratio [OR], 4.07; 95% CI, 1.16-14.21; P = .03) were associated with the incidence of deep ICH. Higher systolic blood pressure and apolipoprotein E ε4 allele homozygosity (OR, 3.66; 95% CI, 1.28-10.43; P = .02) were associated with the incidence of lobar ICH.

Conclusions And Relevance: This study found that the incidence of ICH increased in the oldest patients. Hypertension is a treatable risk factor for both deep and lobar ICH, while the use of statin medications is associated with the risk of a deep ICH event.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.1512DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7281354PMC
October 2020

Circulating ceramide ratios and risk of vascular brain aging and dementia.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2020 02 16;7(2):160-168. Epub 2020 Jan 16.

Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, Massachusetts.

Background: We determined the association between ratios of plasma ceramide species of differing fatty-acyl chain lengths and incident dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia in a large, community-based sample.

Methods: We measured plasma ceramide levels in 1892 [54% women, mean age 70.1 (SD 6.9) yr.] dementia-free Framingham Offspring Study cohort participants between 2005 and 2008. We related ratios of very long-chain (C24:0, C22:0) to long-chain (C16:0) ceramides to subsequent risk of incident dementia and AD dementia. Structural MRI brain measures were included as secondary outcomes.

Results: During a median 6.5 year follow-up, 81 participants developed dementia, of whom 60 were diagnosed with AD dementia. In multivariable Cox-proportional hazards analyses, each standard deviation (SD) increment in the ratio of ceramides C24:0/C16:0 was associated with a 27% reduction in the risk of dementia (HR 0.73, 95% CI 0.56-0.96) and AD dementia (HR 0.73, 95% CI 0.53-1.00). The ratio of ceramides C22:0/C16:0 was also inversely associated with incident dementia (HR per SD 0.75, 95% CI 0.57-0.98), and approached statistical significance for AD (HR 0.73, 95% CI 0.53-1.01, P = 0.056). Higher ratios of ceramides C24:0/C16:0 and C22:0/C16:0 were also cross-sectionally associated with lower white matter hyperintensity burden on MRI (-0.05 ± 0.02, P = 0.02; -0.06 ± 0.02, P = 0.003; respectively per SD increase), but not with other MRI brain measures.

Conclusions: Higher plasma ratios of very long-chain to long-chain ceramides are associated with a reduced risk of incident dementia and AD dementia in our community-based sample. Circulating ceramide ratios may serve as potential biomarkers for predicting dementia risk in cognitively healthy adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.50973DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7034495PMC
February 2020

Association of anthropometry and weight change with risk of dementia and its major subtypes: A meta-analysis consisting 2.8 million adults with 57 294 cases of dementia.

Obes Rev 2020 04 3;21(4):e12989. Epub 2020 Jan 3.

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Uncertainty exists regarding the relation of body size and weight change with dementia risk. As populations continue to age and the global obesity epidemic shows no sign of waning, reliable quantification of such associations is important. We examined the relationship of body mass index, waist circumference, and annual percent weight change with risk of dementia and its subtypes by pooling data from 19 prospective cohort studies and four clinical trials using meta-analysis. Compared with body mass index-defined lower-normal weight (18.5-22.4 kg/m ), the risk of all-cause dementia was higher among underweight individuals but lower among those with upper-normal (22.5-24.9 kg/m ) levels. Obesity was associated with higher risk in vascular dementia. Similarly, relative to the lowest fifth of waist circumference, those in the highest fifth had nonsignificant higher vascular dementia risk. Weight loss was associated with higher all-cause dementia risk relative to weight maintenance. Weight gain was weakly associated with higher vascular dementia risk. The relationship between body size, weight change, and dementia is complex and exhibits non-linear associations depending on dementia subtype under scrutiny. Weight loss was associated with an elevated risk most likely due to reverse causality and/or pathophysiological changes in the brain, although the latter remains speculative.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.12989DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7079047PMC
April 2020

Association of CD14 with incident dementia and markers of brain aging and injury.

Neurology 2020 01 9;94(3):e254-e266. Epub 2019 Dec 9.

From the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (M.P.P.), Boston; Department of Neurology (J.J.H., A.S.B., C.L.S., H.J.A., S.S.), Boston University School of Medicine; Framingham Heart Study (M.P.P., J.J.H., A.S.B., C.D., E.R.M., C.L.S., H.J.A., D.L., S.S.), MA; Centre for Human Psychopharmacology (M.P.P.), Swinburne University of Technology; Melbourne Dementia Research Centre (M.P.P.), The Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health & The University of Melbourne, Australia; Department of Biostatistics (J.J.H., A.S.B.), Boston University School of Public Health, MA; Department of Neurology (C.D.), School of Medicine & Imaging of Dementia and Aging Laboratory, Center for Neuroscience, University of California Davis, Sacramento; Departments of Epidemiology (H.H.H.A.) and Radiology and Nuclear Medicine (H.H.H.A.), Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Department of Epidemiology (A.P.R., W.T.L., B.M.P.), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (A.P.R.), Department of Neurology (W.T.L.), Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, Department of Medicine (B.M.P., J.C.B.), and Department of Health Services (B.M.P.), University of Washington, Seattle; Human Genetics Center, Department of Epidemiology (M.F.), Human Genetics & Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health (M.F.), and The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, Research Center for Human Genetics (M.F.), University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston; Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (R.P.T.) and Biochemistry (R.P.T.), Larner College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington; Department of Neurology (O.L.), School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, PA; Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (B.M.P.), Seattle; The Population Sciences Branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (D.L.), NIH, Bethesda, MD; Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's and Neurodegenerative Diseases (S.S.), University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio; Department of Neurology (E.R.M.), Brigham & Women's Hospital; and Harvard Medical School (E.R.M.), Boston, MA.

Objective: To test the hypothesis that the inflammatory marker plasma soluble CD14 (sCD14) associates with incident dementia and related endophenotypes in 2 community-based cohorts.

Methods: Our samples included the prospective community-based Framingham Heart Study (FHS) and Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) cohorts. Plasma sCD14 was measured at baseline and related to the incidence of dementia, domains of cognitive function, and MRI-defined brain volumes. Follow-up for dementia occurred over a mean of 10 years (SD 4) in the FHS and a mean of 6 years (SD 3) in the CHS.

Results: We studied 1,588 participants from the FHS (mean age 69 ± 6 years, 47% male, 131 incident events) and 3,129 participants from the CHS (mean age 72 ± 5 years, 41% male, 724 incident events) for the risk of incident dementia. Meta-analysis across the 2 cohorts showed that each SD unit increase in sCD14 was associated with a 12% increase in the risk of incident dementia (95% confidence interval 1.03-1.23; = 0.01) following adjustments for age, sex, ε4 status, and vascular risk factors. Higher levels of sCD14 were associated with various cognitive and MRI markers of accelerated brain aging in both cohorts and with a greater progression of brain atrophy and a decline in executive function in the FHS.

Conclusion: sCD14 is an inflammatory marker related to brain atrophy, cognitive decline, and incident dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000008682DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7108812PMC
January 2020

Antihypertensive medications and risk for incident dementia and Alzheimer's disease: a meta-analysis of individual participant data from prospective cohort studies.

Lancet Neurol 2020 01 6;19(1):61-70. Epub 2019 Nov 6.

Intramural Research Program, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Dementia is a major health concern for which prevention and treatment strategies remain elusive. Lowering high blood pressure with specific antihypertensive medications (AHMs) could reduce the burden of disease. We investigated whether specific AHM classes reduced the risk for dementia.

Methods: We did a meta-analysis of individual participant data from eligible observational studies published between Jan 1, 1980, and Jan 1, 2019. Cohorts were eligible for inclusion if they prospectively recruited community-dwelling adults; included more than 2000 participants; collected data for dementia events over at least 5 years; had measured blood pressure and verified use of AHMs; included in-person exams, supplemented with additional data, to capture dementia events; and had followed up cases for mortality. We assessed the association of incident dementia and clinical Alzheimer's disease with use of five AHM classes, within strata of baseline high (systolic blood pressure [SBP] ≥140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure [DBP] ≥90 mm Hg) and normal (SBP <140 mm Hg and DBP <90 mm Hg) blood pressure. We used a propensity score to control for confounding factors related to the probability of receiving AHM. Study-specific effect estimates were pooled using random-effects meta-analyses.

Results: Six prospective community-based studies (n=31 090 well phenotyped dementia-free adults older than 55 years) with median follow-ups across cohorts of 7-22 years were eligible for analysis. There were 3728 incident cases of dementia and 1741 incident Alzheimer's disease diagnoses. In the high blood pressure stratum (n=15 537), those using any AHM had a reduced risk for developing dementia (hazard ratio [HR] 0·88, 95% CI 0·79-0·98; p=0·019) and Alzheimer's disease (HR 0·84, 0·73-0·97; p=0·021) compared with those not using AHM. We did not find any significant differences between one drug class versus all others on risk of dementia. In the normal blood pressure stratum (n=15 553), there was no association between AHM use and incident dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Interpretation: Over a long period of observation, no evidence was found that a specific AHM drug class was more effective than others in lowering risk of dementia. Among people with hypertensive levels of blood pressure, use of any AHM with efficacy to lower blood pressure might reduce the risk for dementia. These findings suggest future clinical guidelines for hypertension management should also consider the beneficial effect of AHM on the risk for dementia.

Funding: The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation and the National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(19)30393-XDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7391421PMC
January 2020

Accelerometer-determined physical activity and cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults from two generations of the Framingham Heart Study.

Alzheimers Dement (N Y) 2019 15;5:618-626. Epub 2019 Oct 15.

Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, MA, USA.

Introduction: Physical activity (PA) may play a role in maintenance of cognitive function in both middle and older ages and prevention of outcomes such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Methods: Cross-sectional regression analyses were performed in Framingham Heart Study Third Generation (n = 1861) and Offspring (n = 909) cohort participants assessing the association of accelerometry-measured PA with cognitive function, adjusting for age, sex, accelerometer wear time, education, occupational status/PA, and smoking status.

Results: In each cohort, achieving just 10-21.4 min/day moderate-to-vigorous PA related to better executive function ( < .02); and just 10 min/day moderate-to-vigorous PA was associated with better verbal memory in middle-aged adults in the Third Generation cohort ( = .02). In older adults of the Offspring cohort, total PA (measured in steps/day) was associated with better executive function ( < .02).

Discussion: PA at levels lower than the current PA Guidelines (just 10 min/day moderate-to-vigorous PA and total PA including lower intensity PA) were associated with better cognitive function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trci.2019.08.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6807299PMC
October 2019

Genetic architecture of subcortical brain structures in 38,851 individuals.

Nat Genet 2019 11 21;51(11):1624-1636. Epub 2019 Oct 21.

Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.

Subcortical brain structures are integral to motion, consciousness, emotions and learning. We identified common genetic variation related to the volumes of the nucleus accumbens, amygdala, brainstem, caudate nucleus, globus pallidus, putamen and thalamus, using genome-wide association analyses in almost 40,000 individuals from CHARGE, ENIGMA and UK Biobank. We show that variability in subcortical volumes is heritable, and identify 48 significantly associated loci (40 novel at the time of analysis). Annotation of these loci by utilizing gene expression, methylation and neuropathological data identified 199 genes putatively implicated in neurodevelopment, synaptic signaling, axonal transport, apoptosis, inflammation/infection and susceptibility to neurological disorders. This set of genes is significantly enriched for Drosophila orthologs associated with neurodevelopmental phenotypes, suggesting evolutionarily conserved mechanisms. Our findings uncover novel biology and potential drug targets underlying brain development and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0511-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7055269PMC
November 2019
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