Publications by authors named "Hilkka Soininen"

449 Publications

Effect of a Multidomain Lifestyle Intervention on Estimated Dementia Risk.

J Alzheimers Dis 2021 ;82(4):1461-1466

Karolinska Institutet, NVS, Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Solna, Stockholm, Sweden.

We investigated the effect of a multidomain lifestyle intervention on the risk of dementia estimated using the validated CAIDE risk score (post-hoc analysis). The Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER) is a 2-year randomized controlled trial among 1,260 at-risk older adults (60-77 years). Difference in the estimated mean change in CAIDE score at 2 years in the intervention compared to the control group was -0.16 (95 %CI -0.31 to 0.00) (p = 0.013), corresponding to a relative dementia risk reduction between 6.04-6.50%. This could be interpreted as a reflection of the prevention potential of the intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-210331DOI Listing
January 2021

Common variants in Alzheimer's disease and risk stratification by polygenic risk scores.

Nat Commun 2021 06 7;12(1):3417. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Servei de Neurologia, Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe, Valencia, Spain.

Genetic discoveries of Alzheimer's disease are the drivers of our understanding, and together with polygenetic risk stratification can contribute towards planning of feasible and efficient preventive and curative clinical trials. We first perform a large genetic association study by merging all available case-control datasets and by-proxy study results (discovery n = 409,435 and validation size n = 58,190). Here, we add six variants associated with Alzheimer's disease risk (near APP, CHRNE, PRKD3/NDUFAF7, PLCG2 and two exonic variants in the SHARPIN gene). Assessment of the polygenic risk score and stratifying by APOE reveal a 4 to 5.5 years difference in median age at onset of Alzheimer's disease patients in APOE ɛ4 carriers. Because of this study, the underlying mechanisms of APP can be studied to refine the amyloid cascade and the polygenic risk score provides a tool to select individuals at high risk of Alzheimer's disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22491-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8184987PMC
June 2021

Change in CAIDE Dementia Risk Score and Neuroimaging Biomarkers During a 2-Year Multidomain Lifestyle Randomized Controlled Trial: Results of a Post-Hoc Subgroup Analysis.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2021 Jul;76(8):1407-1414

Institute of Clinical Medicine/Neurology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.

The CAIDE (Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia) Risk Score is a validated tool estimating dementia risk. It was previously associated with imaging biomarkers. However, associations between dementia risk scores (including CAIDE) and dementia-related biomarkers have not been studied in the context of an intervention. This study investigated associations between change in CAIDE score and change in neuroimaging biomarkers (brain magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] and Pittsburgh Compound B-positron emission tomography [PiB-PET] measures) during the 2-year Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER) (post-hoc analyses). FINGER targeted at-risk older adults, aged 60-77 years, from the general population. Participants were randomized to either multidomain intervention (diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk management) or control group (general health advice). Neuroimaging (MRI and PiB-PET) data from baseline and 2-year visits were used. A toal of 112 participants had repeated brain MRI measures (hippocampal, total gray matter, and white matter lesion volumes, and Alzheimer's disease signature cortical thickness). Repeated PiB-PET scans were available for 39 participants. Reduction in CAIDE score (indicating lower dementia risk) during the intervention was associated with less decline in hippocampus volume in the intervention group, but not the control group (Randomization group × CAIDE change interaction β coefficient = -0.40, p = .02). Associations for other neuroimaging measures were not significant. The intervention may have benefits on hippocampal volume in individuals who succeed in improving their overall risk level as indicated by a reduction in CAIDE score. This exploratory finding requires further testing and validation in larger studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glab130DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8277089PMC
July 2021

Meta-analysis of genome-wide DNA methylation identifies shared associations across neurodegenerative disorders.

Genome Biol 2021 03 26;22(1):90. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Centre for Clinical Research, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, 4019, Australia.

Background: People with neurodegenerative disorders show diverse clinical syndromes, genetic heterogeneity, and distinct brain pathological changes, but studies report overlap between these features. DNA methylation (DNAm) provides a way to explore this overlap and heterogeneity as it is determined by the combined effects of genetic variation and the environment. In this study, we aim to identify shared blood DNAm differences between controls and people with Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease.

Results: We use a mixed-linear model method (MOMENT) that accounts for the effect of (un)known confounders, to test for the association of each DNAm site with each disorder. While only three probes are found to be genome-wide significant in each MOMENT association analysis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson's disease (and none with Alzheimer's disease), a fixed-effects meta-analysis of the three disorders results in 12 genome-wide significant differentially methylated positions. Predicted immune cell-type proportions are disrupted across all neurodegenerative disorders. Protein inflammatory markers are correlated with profile sum-scores derived from disease-associated immune cell-type proportions in a healthy aging cohort. In contrast, they are not correlated with MOMENT DNAm-derived profile sum-scores, calculated using effect sizes of the 12 differentially methylated positions as weights.

Conclusions: We identify shared differentially methylated positions in whole blood between neurodegenerative disorders that point to shared pathogenic mechanisms. These shared differentially methylated positions may reflect causes or consequences of disease, but they are unlikely to reflect cell-type proportion differences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-021-02275-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8004462PMC
March 2021

Research diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease: findings from the LipiDiDiet randomized controlled trial.

Alzheimers Res Ther 2021 03 25;13(1):64. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.

Background: To explore the utility of the International Working Group (IWG)-1 criteria in recruitment for Alzheimer's disease (AD) clinical trials, we applied the more recently proposed research diagnostic criteria to individuals enrolled in a randomized controlled prevention trial (RCT) and assessed their disease progression.

Methods: The multinational LipiDiDiet RCT targeted 311 individuals with IWG-1 defined prodromal AD. Based on centrally analyzed baseline biomarkers, participants were classified according to the IWG-2 and National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association (NIA-AA) 2011 and 2018 criteria. Linear mixed models were used to investigate the 2-year change in cognitive and functional performance (Neuropsychological Test Battery NTB Z scores, Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes CDR-SB) (criteria × time interactions; baseline score, randomization group, sex, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and age also included in the models). Cox models adjusted for randomization group, MMSE, sex, age, and study site were used to investigate the risk of progression to dementia over 2 years.

Results: In total, 88%, 86%, and 69% of participants had abnormal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) β-amyloid, total tau, and phosphorylated tau, respectively; 64% had an A+T+N+ profile (CSF available for N = 107). Cognitive-functional decline appeared to be more pronounced in the IWG-2 prodromal AD, NIA-AA 2011 high and intermediate AD likelihood, and NIA-AA 2018 AD groups, but few significant differences were observed between the groups within each set of criteria. Hazard ratio (95% CI) for dementia was 4.6 (1.6-13.7) for IWG-2 prodromal AD (reference group no prodromal AD), 7.4 (1.0-54.7) for NIA-AA 2011 high AD likelihood (reference group suspected non-AD pathology SNAP), and 9.4 (1.2-72.7) for NIA-AA 2018 AD (reference group non-Alzheimer's pathologic change). Compared with the NIA-AA 2011 high AD likelihood group (abnormal β-amyloid and neuronal injury markers), disease progression was similar in the intermediate AD likelihood group (medial temporal lobe atrophy; no CSF available).

Conclusions: Despite being less restrictive than the other criteria, the IWG-1 criteria reliably identified individuals with AD pathology. More pragmatic and easily applicable selection criteria might be preferred due to feasibility in certain situations, e.g., in multidomain prevention trials that do not specifically target β-amyloid/tau pathologies.

Trial Registration: Netherlands Trial Register, NL1620 . Registered on 9 March 2009.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13195-021-00799-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7995792PMC
March 2021

A competing risk joint model for dealing with different types of missing data in an intervention trial in prodromal Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimers Res Ther 2021 03 22;13(1):63. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Department of Biostatistics, Erasmus Medical Center, PO Box 2040, 3000, Rotterdam, CA, the Netherlands.

Background: Missing data can complicate the interpretability of a clinical trial, especially if the proportion is substantial and if there are different, potentially outcome-dependent causes.

Methods: We aimed to obtain unbiased estimates, in the presence of a high level of missing data, for the intervention effects in a prodromal Alzheimer's disease trial: the LipiDiDiet study. We used a competing risk joint model that can simultaneously model each patient's longitudinal outcome trajectory in combination with the timing and type of missingness.

Results: Using the competing risk joint model, we were able to provide unbiased estimates of the intervention effects in the presence of the different types of missingness. For the LipiDiDiet study, the intervention effects remained statistically significant after this correction for the timing and type of missingness.

Conclusion: Missing data is a common problem in (Alzheimer) clinical trials. It is important to realize that statistical techniques make specific assumptions about the missing data mechanisms. When there are different missing data sources, a competing risk joint model is a powerful method because it can explicitly model the association between the longitudinal data and each type of missingness.

Trial Registration: Dutch Trial Register, NTR1705 . Registered on 9 March 2009.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13195-021-00801-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7983401PMC
March 2021

Obesity and Brain Vulnerability in Normal and Abnormal Aging: A Multimodal MRI Study.

J Alzheimers Dis Rep 2021 Jan 20;5(1):65-77. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Department of Neuroscience, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.

Background: How the relationship between obesity and MRI-defined neural properties varies across distinct stages of cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease is unclear.

Objective: We used multimodal neuroimaging to clarify this relationship.

Methods: Scans were acquired from 47 patients clinically diagnosed with mild Alzheimer's disease dementia, 68 patients with mild cognitive impairment, and 57 cognitively healthy individuals. Voxel-wise associations were run between maps of gray matter volume, white matter integrity, and cerebral blood flow, and global/visceral obesity.

Results: Negative associations were found in cognitively healthy individuals between obesity and white matter integrity and cerebral blood flow of temporo-parietal regions. In mild cognitive impairment, negative associations emerged in frontal, temporal, and brainstem regions. In mild dementia, a positive association was found between obesity and gray matter volume around the right temporoparietal junction.

Conclusion: Obesity might contribute toward neural tissue vulnerability in cognitively healthy individuals and mild cognitive impairment, while a healthy weight in mild Alzheimer's disease dementia could help preserve brain structure in the presence of age and disease-related weight loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/ADR-200267DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7903016PMC
January 2021

27-Hydroxycholesterol, cognition, and brain imaging markers in the FINGER randomized controlled trial.

Alzheimers Res Ther 2021 03 6;13(1):56. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Center for Alzheimer Research, NVS, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: 27-Hydroxycholesterol (27-OH), the main circulating oxysterol in humans and the potential missing link between peripheral hypercholesterolemia and Alzheimer's disease (AD), has not been investigated previously in relation to cognition and neuroimaging markers in the context of preventive interventions.

Methods: The 2-year Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER) included older individuals (60-77 years) at increased risk for dementia but without dementia or substantial cognitive impairment from the general population. Participants were randomized to a multidomain intervention (diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk management) or control group (general health advice) in a 1:1 ratio. Outcome assessors were masked to group allocation. This FINGER exploratory sub-study included 47 participants with measures of 27-OH, cognition, brain MRI, brain FDG-PET, and PiB-PET. Linear regression models were used to assess the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between 27-OH, cognition, and neuroimaging markers, considering several potential confounders/intervention effect modifiers.

Results: 27-OH reduction during the intervention was associated with improvement in cognition (especially memory). This was not observed in the control group. The intervention reduced 27-OH particularly in individuals with the highest 27-OH levels and younger age. No associations were found between changes in 27-OH levels and neuroimaging markers. However, at baseline, a higher 27-OH was associated with lower total gray matter and hippocampal volume, and lower cognitive scores. These associations were unaffected by total cholesterol levels. While sex seemed to influence associations at baseline, it did not affect longitudinal associations.

Conclusion: 27-OH appears to be a marker not only for dementia/AD risk, but also for monitoring the effects of preventive interventions on cholesterol metabolism.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov , NCT01041989 . Registered on 4 January 2010.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13195-021-00790-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7937194PMC
March 2021

The diagnostic and prognostic capabilities of plasma biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 07 25;17(7):1145-1156. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden.

Introduction: This study investigated the diagnostic and disease-monitoring potential of plasma biomarkers in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia and cognitively unimpaired (CU) individuals.

Methods: Plasma was analyzed using Simoa assays from 99 CU, 107 MCI, and 103 AD dementia participants.

Results: Phosphorylated-tau181 (P-tau181), neurofilament light, amyloid-β (Aβ42/40), Total-tau and Glial fibrillary acidic protein were altered in AD dementia but P-tau181 significantly outperformed all biomarkers in differentiating AD dementia from CU (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.91). P-tau181 was increased in MCI converters compared to non-converters. Higher P-tau181 was associated with steeper cognitive decline and gray matter loss in temporal regions. Longitudinal change of P-tau181 was strongly associated with gray matter loss in the full sample and with Aβ measures in CU individuals.

Discussion: P-tau181 detected AD at MCI and dementia stages and was strongly associated with cognitive decline and gray matter loss. These findings highlight the potential value of plasma P-tau181 as a non-invasive and cost-effective diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12283DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8359457PMC
July 2021

Metabolic phenotyping reveals a reduction in the bioavailability of serotonin and kynurenine pathway metabolites in both the urine and serum of individuals living with Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimers Res Ther 2021 01 9;13(1):20. Epub 2021 Jan 9.

UK Dementia Research Institute, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, London, W12 0NN, UK.

Background: Both serotonergic signalling disruption and systemic inflammation have been associated with the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The common denominator linking the two is the catabolism of the essential amino acid, tryptophan. Metabolism via tryptophan hydroxylase results in serotonin synthesis, whilst metabolism via indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) results in kynurenine and its downstream derivatives. IDO is reported to be activated in times of host systemic inflammation and therefore is thought to influence both pathways. To investigate metabolic alterations in AD, a large-scale metabolic phenotyping study was conducted on both urine and serum samples collected from a multi-centre clinical cohort, consisting of individuals clinically diagnosed with AD, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and age-matched controls.

Methods: Metabolic phenotyping was applied to both urine (n = 560) and serum (n = 354) from the European-wide AddNeuroMed/Dementia Case Register (DCR) biobank repositories. Metabolite data were subsequently interrogated for inter-group differences; influence of gender and age; comparisons between two subgroups of MCI - versus those who remained cognitively stable at follow-up visits (sMCI); and those who underwent further cognitive decline (cMCI); and the impact of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication on metabolite concentrations.

Results: Results revealed significantly lower metabolite concentrations of tryptophan pathway metabolites in the AD group: serotonin (urine, serum), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (urine), kynurenine (serum), kynurenic acid (urine), tryptophan (urine, serum), xanthurenic acid (urine, serum), and kynurenine/tryptophan ratio (urine). For each listed metabolite, a decreasing trend in concentrations was observed in-line with clinical diagnosis: control > MCI > AD. There were no significant differences in the two MCI subgroups whilst SSRI medication status influenced observations in serum, but not urine.

Conclusions: Urine and serum serotonin concentrations were found to be significantly lower in AD compared with controls, suggesting the bioavailability of the neurotransmitter may be altered in the disease. A significant increase in the kynurenine/tryptophan ratio suggests that this may be a result of a shift to the kynurenine metabolic route due to increased IDO activity, potentially as a result of systemic inflammation. Modulation of the pathways could help improve serotonin bioavailability and signalling in AD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13195-020-00741-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7797094PMC
January 2021

Quantifying dementia prevention potential in the FINGER randomized controlled trial using the LIBRA prevention index.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 07 6;17(7):1205-1212. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Center for Alzheimer Research, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences, and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Introduction: Individuals in early dementia prevention trials may differ in how much they benefit from interventions depending on their initial risk level. Additionally, modifiable dementia risk scores might be used as surrogate/intermediate outcomes.

Methods: In the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER), we investigated in post hoc analyses (N = 1207) whether the cognitive benefits of the 2-year multi-domain lifestyle intervention differed by baseline dementia risk measured with the "LIfestyle for BRAin Health" (LIBRA) score. We also investigated intervention effects on change in LIBRA score over time.

Results: Overall, higher baseline LIBRA was related to less cognitive improvement over time. This association did not differ between the intervention and control groups. The intervention was effective in decreasing LIBRA scores over time, regardless of baseline demographics or cognition.

Discussion: The cognitive benefit of the FINGER intervention was similar across individuals with different LIBRA scores at baseline. Furthermore, LIBRA may be useful as a surrogate/intermediate endpoint and surveillance tool to monitor intervention success during trial execution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12281DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8359273PMC
July 2021

Healthy ageing through internet counselling in the elderly (HATICE): a multinational, randomised controlled trial.

Lancet Digit Health 2019 12 14;1(8):e424-e434. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

Department of Neurology, Amsterdam University Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Background: Although web-based interventions have been promoted for cardiovascular risk management over the past decade, there is limited evidence for effectiveness of these interventions in people older than 65 years. The healthy ageing through internet counselling in the elderly (HATICE) trial aimed to determine whether a coach-supported internet intervention for self-management can reduce cardiovascular risk in community-dwelling older people.

Methods: This prospective open-label, blinded endpoint clinical trial among people age 65 years or over at increased risk of cardiovascular disease randomly assigned participants in the Netherlands, Finland, and France to an interactive internet intervention stimulating coach-supported self-management or a control platform. Primary outcome was the difference from baseline to 18 months on a standardised composite score (Z score) of systolic blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and body-mass index (BMI). Secondary outcomes included individual risk factors and cardiovascular endpoints. This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, 48151589, and is closed to accrual.

Findings: Among 2724 participants, complete primary outcome data were available for 2398 (88%). After 18 months, the primary outcome improved in the intervention group versus the control group (0·09 vs 0·04, respectively; mean difference -0·05, 95% CI -0·08 to -0·01; p=0·008). For individual components of the primary outcome, mean differences (intervention vs control) were systolic blood pressure -1·79 mm Hg versus -0·67 mm Hg (-1·12, -2·51 to 0·27); BMI -0·23 kg/m versus -0·08 kg/m (-0·15, -0·28 to -0·01); and LDL -0·12 mmol/L versus -0·07 mmol/L (-0·05, -0·11 to 0·01). Cardiovascular disease occurred in 30 (2·2%) of 1382 patients in the intervention versus 32 (2·4%) of 1333 patients in the control group (hazard ratio 0·86, 95% CI 0·52 to 1·43).

Interpretation: Coach-supported self-management of cardiovascular risk factors using an interactive internet intervention is feasible in an older population, and leads to a modest improvement of cardiovascular risk profile. When implemented on a large scale this could potentially reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease.

Funding: European Commission Seventh Framework Programme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2589-7500(19)30153-0DOI Listing
December 2019

Cardiovascular health metrics from mid- to late-life and risk of dementia: A population-based cohort study in Finland.

PLoS Med 2020 12 15;17(12):e1003474. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Aging Research Center & Center for Alzheimer Research, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS), Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Very few studies have explored the patterns of cardiovascular health (CVH) metrics in midlife and late life in relation to risk of dementia. We examined the associations of composite CVH metrics from midlife to late life with risk of incident dementia.

Methods And Findings: This cohort study included 1,449 participants from the Finnish Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging, and Dementia (CAIDE) study, who were followed from midlife (baseline from1972 to 1987; mean age 50.4 years; 62.1% female) to late life (1998), and then 744 dementia-free survivors were followed further into late life (2005 to 2008). We defined and scored global CVH metrics based on 6 of the 7 components (i.e., smoking, physical activity, and body mass index [BMI] as behavioral CVH metrics; fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, and blood pressure as biological CVH metrics) following the modified American Heart Association (AHA)'s recommendations. Then, the composite global, behavioral, and biological CVH metrics were categorized into poor, intermediate, and ideal levels. Dementia was diagnosed following the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria. Data were analyzed with Cox proportional hazards and the Fine and Gray competing risk regression models. During the follow-up examinations, dementia was diagnosed in 61 persons in 1998 and additional 47 persons in 2005 to 2008. The fully adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of dementia was 0.71 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.43, 1.16; p = 0.174) and 0.52 (0.29, 0.93; p = 0.027) for midlife intermediate and ideal levels (versus poor level) of global CVH metrics, respectively; the corresponding figures for late-life global CVH metrics were 0.60 (0.22, 1.69; p = 0.338) and 0.91 (0.34, 2.41; p = 0.850). Compared with poor global CVH metrics in both midlife and late life, the fully adjusted HR of dementia was 0.25 (95% CI: 0.08, 0.86; p = 0.028) for people with intermediate global CVH metrics in both midlife and late life and 0.14 (0.02, 0.76; p = 0.024) for those with midlife ideal and late-life intermediate global CVH metrics. Having an intermediate or ideal level of behavioral CVH in both midlife and late life (versus poor level in both midlife and late life) was significantly associated with a lower dementia risk (HR range: 0.03 to 0.26; p < 0.05), whereas people with midlife intermediate and late-life ideal biological CVH metrics had a significantly increased risk of dementia (p = 0.031). Major limitations of this study include the lack of data on diet and midlife plasma glucose, high rate of attrition, as well as the limited power for certain subgroup analyses.

Conclusions: In this study, we observed that having the ideal CVH metrics, and ideal behavioral CVH metrics in particular, from midlife onwards is associated with a reduced risk of dementia as compared with people having poor CVH metrics. Maintaining life-long health behaviors may be crucial to reduce late-life risk of dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003474DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7737898PMC
December 2020

Regional Strength of Large-Scale Functional Brain Networks is Associated with Regional Volumes in Older Adults and in Alzheimer's Disease.

Brain Connect 2021 04 28;11(3):201-212. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Neuroscience, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.

The association between regional volumes and resting-state functional networks was tested within the default-mode network (DMN), influenced by Alzheimer pathology, salience network (SalN), not under similar pathological influence, and sensorimotor network (SMN), usually spared by pathology. A total of 148 participants, with Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and healthy controls underwent multimodal brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Functional network identification was achieved with group-level independent-component analysis of functional MRI (fMRI) scans. T1 weighted images were also analyzed. Ten regions of interest (ROI) were defined in core hubs of the three networks. Gray-matter volume/functional network strength association was tested within-ROI and cross-ROI in each group by using partial-correlation models and ROI-to-ROI, ROI-to-voxel, and voxel-to-voxel correlations. In controls, a negative association was found between right inferior-parietal volumes and SMN expression in the left precentral gyrus, as revealed by ROI-to-ROI models. In AD, DMN expression was positively associated with the volume of the left insula and the right inferior parietal lobule, and SalN expression was positively associated with volume of the left inferior parietal lobule. ROI-to-voxel models revealed significant associations between the volume of the posterior cingulate cortex and SMN expression in sensorimotor and premotor regions. No significant findings emerged in the MCI nor from voxel-to-voxel analyses. Regional volumes of main network hubs are significantly associated with hemodynamic network expression, although patterns are intricate and dependent on diagnostic status. Since distinct networks are differentially influenced by Alzheimer pathology, it appears that pathology plays a significant role in influencing the association between regional volumes and regional functional network strength.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/brain.2020.0899DOI Listing
April 2021

Urinary metabolic phenotyping for Alzheimer's disease.

Sci Rep 2020 12 10;10(1):21745. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Finding early disease markers using non-invasive and widely available methods is essential to develop a successful therapy for Alzheimer's Disease. Few studies to date have examined urine, the most readily available biofluid. Here we report the largest study to date using comprehensive metabolic phenotyping platforms (NMR spectroscopy and UHPLC-MS) to probe the urinary metabolome in-depth in people with Alzheimer's Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment. Feature reduction was performed using metabolomic Quantitative Trait Loci, resulting in the list of metabolites associated with the genetic variants. This approach helps accuracy in identification of disease states and provides a route to a plausible mechanistic link to pathological processes. Using these mQTLs we built a Random Forests model, which not only correctly discriminates between people with Alzheimer's Disease and age-matched controls, but also between individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment who were later diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and those who were not. Further annotation of top-ranking metabolic features nominated by the trained model revealed the involvement of cholesterol-derived metabolites and small-molecules that were linked to Alzheimer's pathology in previous studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-78031-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7730184PMC
December 2020

White Matter Hyperintensities Are No Major Confounder for Alzheimer's Disease Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers.

J Alzheimers Dis 2021 ;79(1):163-175

Department of Geriatrics, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud Alzheimer Centre, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Background: The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers amyloid-β 1-42 (Aβ42), total and phosphorylated tau (t-tau, p-tau) are increasingly used to assist in the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, CSF biomarker levels can be affected by confounding factors.

Objective: To investigate the association of white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) present in the brain with AD CSF biomarker levels.

Methods: We included CSF biomarker and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data of 172 subjects (52 controls, 72 mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 48 AD patients) from 9 European Memory Clinics. A computer aided detection system for standardized automated segmentation of WMHs was used on MRI scans to determine WMH volumes. Association of WMH volume with AD CSF biomarkers was determined using linear regression analysis.

Results: A small, negative association of CSF Aβ42, but not p-tau and t-tau, levels with WMH volume was observed in the AD (r2 = 0.084, p = 0.046), but not the MCI and control groups, which was slightly increased when including the distance of WMHs to the ventricles in the analysis (r2 = 0.105, p = 0.025). Three global patterns of WMH distribution, either with 1) a low, 2) a peak close to the ventricles, or 3) a high, broadly-distributed WMH volume could be observed in brains of subjects in each diagnostic group.

Conclusion: Despite an association of WMH volume with CSF Aβ42 levels in AD patients, the occurrence of WMHs is not accompanied by excess release of cellular proteins in the CSF, suggesting that WMHs are no major confounder for AD CSF biomarker assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-200496DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7902951PMC
January 2021

Presynaptic Vesicle Protein SEPTIN5 Regulates the Degradation of APP C-Terminal Fragments and the Levels of Aβ.

Cells 2020 11 15;9(11). Epub 2020 Nov 15.

Institute of Biomedicine, University of Eastern Finland, 70210 Kuopio, Finland.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by aberrant amyloid-β (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau aggregation. We have previously investigated the involvement of SEPTIN family members in AD-related cellular processes and discovered a role for SEPTIN8 in the sorting and accumulation of β-secretase. Here, we elucidated the potential role of SEPTIN5, an interaction partner of SEPTIN8, in the cellular processes relevant for AD, including amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing and the generation of Aβ. The in vitro and in vivo studies both revealed that the downregulation of SEPTIN5 reduced the levels of APP C-terminal fragments (APP CTFs) and Aβ in neuronal cells and in the cortex of Septin5 knockout mice. Mechanistic elucidation revealed that the downregulation of SEPTIN5 increased the degradation of APP CTFs, without affecting the secretory pathway-related trafficking or the endocytosis of APP. Furthermore, we found that the APP CTFs were degraded, to a large extent, via the autophagosomal pathway and that the downregulation of SEPTIN5 enhanced autophagosomal activity in neuronal cells as indicated by altered levels of key autophagosomal markers. Collectively, our data suggest that the downregulation of SEPTIN5 increases the autophagy-mediated degradation of APP CTFs, leading to reduced levels of Aβ in neuronal cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9112482DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7696542PMC
November 2020

Telomere Length Change in a Multidomain Lifestyle Intervention to Prevent Cognitive Decline: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2021 02;76(3):491-498

Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Centre for Alzheimer Research, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Shorter leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with aging and dementia. Impact of lifestyle changes on LTL, and relation to cognition and genetic susceptibility for dementia, has not been investigated in randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

Methods: Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability is a 2-year RCT enrolling 1260 participants at risk for dementia from the general population, aged 60-77 years, randomly assigned (1:1) to multidomain lifestyle intervention or control group. The primary outcome was cognitive change (Neuropsychological Test Battery z-score). Relative LTL was measured using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (trial registration: NCT01041989).

Results: This exploratory LTL substudy included 756 participants (377 intervention, 379 control) with baseline and 24-month LTL measurements. The mean annual LTL change (SD) was -0.016 (0.19) in the intervention group and -0.023 (0.17) in the control group. Between-group difference was nonsignificant (unstandardized β-coefficient 0.007, 95% CI -0.015 to 0.030). Interaction analyses indicated better LTL maintenance among apolipoprotein E (APOE)-ε4 carriers versus noncarriers: 0.054 (95% CI 0.007 to 0.102); younger versus older participants: -0.005 (95% CI -0.010 to -0.001); and those with more versus less healthy lifestyle changes: 0.047 (95% CI 0.005 to 0.089). Cognitive intervention benefits were more pronounced among participants with better LTL maintenance for executive functioning (0.227, 95% CI 0.057 to 0.396) and long-term memory (0.257, 95% CI 0.024 to 0.489), with a similar trend for Neuropsychological Test Battery total score (0.127, 95% CI -0.011 to 0.264).

Conclusions: This is the first large RCT showing that a multidomain lifestyle intervention facilitated LTL maintenance among subgroups of older people at risk for dementia, including APOE-ε4 carriers. LTL maintenance was associated with more pronounced cognitive intervention benefits.

Clinical Trials Registration Number: NCT01041989.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glaa279DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7907495PMC
February 2021

The reliability of a deep learning model in clinical out-of-distribution MRI data: A multicohort study.

Med Image Anal 2020 12 1;66:101714. Epub 2020 May 1.

Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Neuroimaging, Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.

Deep learning (DL) methods have in recent years yielded impressive results in medical imaging, with the potential to function as clinical aid to radiologists. However, DL models in medical imaging are often trained on public research cohorts with images acquired with a single scanner or with strict protocol harmonization, which is not representative of a clinical setting. The aim of this study was to investigate how well a DL model performs in unseen clinical datasets-collected with different scanners, protocols and disease populations-and whether more heterogeneous training data improves generalization. In total, 3117 MRI scans of brains from multiple dementia research cohorts and memory clinics, that had been visually rated by a neuroradiologist according to Scheltens' scale of medial temporal atrophy (MTA), were included in this study. By training multiple versions of a convolutional neural network on different subsets of this data to predict MTA ratings, we assessed the impact of including images from a wider distribution during training had on performance in external memory clinic data. Our results showed that our model generalized well to datasets acquired with similar protocols as the training data, but substantially worse in clinical cohorts with visibly different tissue contrasts in the images. This implies that future DL studies investigating performance in out-of-distribution (OOD) MRI data need to assess multiple external cohorts for reliable results. Further, by including data from a wider range of scanners and protocols the performance improved in OOD data, which suggests that more heterogeneous training data makes the model generalize better. To conclude, this is the most comprehensive study to date investigating the domain shift in deep learning on MRI data, and we advocate rigorous evaluation of DL models on clinical data prior to being certified for deployment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.media.2020.101714DOI Listing
December 2020

Diabetes is associated with familial idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus: a case-control comparison with family members.

Fluids Barriers CNS 2020 Sep 15;17(1):57. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Department of Neurosurgery, Kuopio University Hospital, P.O.Box 100, 70029, Kuopio, KYS, Finland.

Background: The pathophysiological basis of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) is still unclear. Previous studies have shown a familial aggregation and a potential heritability when it comes to iNPH. Our aim was to conduct a novel case-controlled comparison between familial iNPH (fNPH) patients and their elderly relatives, involving multiple different families.

Methods: Questionnaires and phone interviews were used for collecting the data and categorising the iNPH patients into the familial (fNPH) and the sporadic groups. Identical questionnaires were sent to the relatives of the potential fNPH patients. Venous blood samples were collected for genetic studies. The disease histories of the probable fNPH patients (n = 60) were compared with their ≥ 60-year-old relatives with no iNPH (n = 49). A modified Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) was used to measure the overall disease burden. Fisher's exact test (two-tailed), the Mann-Whitney U test (two-tailed) and a multivariate binary logistic regression analysis were used to perform the statistical analyses.

Results: Diabetes (32% vs. 14%, p = 0.043), arterial hypertension (65.0% vs. 43%, p = 0.033), cardiac insufficiency (16% vs. 2%, p = 0.020) and depressive symptoms (32% vs. 8%, p = 0.004) were overrepresented among the probable fNPH patients compared to their non-iNPH relatives. In the age-adjusted multivariate logistic regression analysis, diabetes remained independently associated with fNPH (OR = 3.8, 95% CI 1.1-12.9, p = 0.030).

Conclusions: Diabetes is associated with fNPH and a possible risk factor for fNPH. Diabetes could contribute to the pathogenesis of iNPH/fNPH, which motivates to further prospective and gene-environmental studies to decipher the disease modelling of iNPH/fNPH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12987-020-00217-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7493374PMC
September 2020

White Matter Changes on Diffusion Tensor Imaging in the FINGER Randomized Controlled Trial.

J Alzheimers Dis 2020 ;78(1):75-86

Institute of Clinical Medicine/Neurology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.

Background: Early pathological changes in white matter microstructure can be studied using the diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). It is not only important to study these subtle pathological changes leading to cognitive decline, but also to ascertain how an intervention would impact the white matter microstructure and cognition in persons at-risk of dementia.

Objectives: To study the impact of a multidomain lifestyle intervention on white matter and cognitive changes during the 2-year Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER), a randomized controlled trial in at-risk older individuals (age 60-77 years) from the general population.

Methods: This exploratory study consisted of a subsample of 60 FINGER participants. Participants were randomized to either a multidomain intervention (diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk management, n = 34) or control group (general health advice, n = 26). All underwent baseline and 2-year brain DTI. Changes in fractional anisotropy (FA), diffusivity along domain (F1) and non-domain (F2) diffusion orientations, mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AxD), radial diffusivity (RD), and their correlations with cognitive changes during the 2-year multidomain intervention were analyzed.

Results: FA decreased, and cognition improved more in the intervention group compared to the control group (p < 0.05), with no significant intergroup differences for changes in F1, F2, MD, AxD, or RD. The cognitive changes were significantly positively related to FA change, and negatively related to RD change in the control group, but not in the intervention group.

Conclusion: The 2-year multidomain FINGER intervention may modulate white matter microstructural alterations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-200423DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7683078PMC
September 2021

36-month LipiDiDiet multinutrient clinical trial in prodromal Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 01 13;17(1):29-40. Epub 2020 Sep 13.

Deutsches Institut für Demenz Prävention (DIDP), Medical Faculty, Saarland University, Kirrbergerstraße, Homburg, Germany.

Introduction: The LipiDiDiet trial investigates the effects of the specific multinutrient combination Fortasyn Connect on cognition and related measures in prodromal Alzheimer's disease (AD). Based on previous results we hypothesized that benefits increase with long-term intervention.

Methods: In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 311 people with prodromal AD were recruited using the International Working Group-1 criteria and assigned to active product (125 mL once-a-day drink) or an isocaloric, same tasting, placebo control drink. Main outcome was change in cognition (Neuropsychological Test Battery [NTB] 5-item composite). Analyses were by modified intention-to-treat, excluding (ie, censoring) data collected after the start of open-label active product and/or AD medication.

Results: Of the 382 assessed for eligibility, 311 were randomized, of those 162 participants completed the 36-month study, including 81 with 36-month data eligible for efficacy analysis. Over 36 months, significant reductions in decline were observed for the NTB 5-item composite (-60%; between-group difference 0.212 [95% confidence interval: 0.044 to 0.380]; P = 0.014), Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes (-45%; P = 0.014), memory (-76%; P = 0.008), and brain atrophy measures; small to medium Cohen's d effect size (0.25-0.31) similar to established clinically relevant AD treatment.

Discussion: This multinutrient intervention slowed decline on clinical and other measures related to cognition, function, brain atrophy, and disease progression. These results indicate that intervention benefits increased with long-term use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12172DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7821311PMC
January 2021

cCOG: A web-based cognitive test tool for detecting neurodegenerative disorders.

Alzheimers Dement (Amst) 2020 25;12(1):e12083. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Combinostics Ltd Tampere Finland.

Introduction: Web-based cognitive tests have potential for standardized screening in neurodegenerative disorders. We examined accuracy and consistency of cCOG, a computerized cognitive tool, in detecting mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia.

Methods: Clinical data of 306 cognitively normal, 120 mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 69 dementia subjects from three European cohorts were analyzed. Global cognitive score was defined from standard neuropsychological tests and compared to the corresponding estimated score from the cCOG tool containing seven subtasks. The consistency of cCOG was assessed comparing measurements administered in clinical settings and in the home environment.

Results: cCOG produced accuracies (receiver operating characteristic-area under the curve [ROC-AUC]) between 0.71 and 0.84 in detecting MCI and 0.86 and 0.94 in detecting dementia when administered at the clinic and at home. The accuracy was comparable to the results of standard neuropsychological tests (AUC 0.69-0.77 MCI/0.91-0.92 dementia).

Discussion: cCOG provides a promising tool for detecting MCI and dementia with potential for a cost-effective approach including home-based cognitive assessments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7446945PMC
August 2020

Detecting Amyloid Positivity in Elderly With Increased Risk of Cognitive Decline.

Front Aging Neurosci 2020 30;12:228. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Institute of Clinical Medicine/Neurology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.

The importance of early interventions in Alzheimer's disease (AD) emphasizes the need to accurately and efficiently identify at-risk individuals. Although many dementia prediction models have been developed, there are fewer studies focusing on detection of brain pathology. We developed a model for identification of amyloid-PET positivity using data on demographics, vascular factors, cognition, genotype, and structural MRI, including regional brain volumes, cortical thickness and a visual medial temporal lobe atrophy (MTA) rating. We also analyzed the relative importance of different factors when added to the overall model. The model used baseline data from the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER) exploratory PET sub-study. Participants were at risk for dementia, but without dementia or cognitive impairment. Their mean age was 71 years. Participants underwent a brain 3T MRI and PiB-PET imaging. PiB images were visually determined as positive or negative. Cognition was measured using a modified version of the Neuropsychological Test Battery. Body mass index (BMI) and hypertension were used as cardiovascular risk factors in the model. Demographic factors included age, gender and years of education. The model was built using the Disease State Index (DSI) machine learning algorithm. Of the 48 participants, 20 (42%) were rated as Aβ positive. Compared with the Aβ negative group, the Aβ positive group had a higher proportion of ε4 carriers (53 vs. 14%), lower executive functioning, lower brain volumes, and higher visual MTA rating. AUC [95% CI] for the complete model was 0.78 [0.65-0.91]. MRI was the most effective factor, especially brain volumes and visual MTA rating but not cortical thickness. was nearly as effective as MRI in improving detection of amyloid positivity. The model with the best performance (AUC 0.82 [0.71-0.93]) was achieved by combining and MRI. Our findings suggest that combining demographic data, vascular risk factors, cognitive performance, genotype, and brain MRI measures can help identify Aβ positivity. Detecting amyloid positivity could reduce invasive and costly assessments during the screening process in clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2020.00228DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7406705PMC
July 2020

Dickkopf-1 Overexpression in vitro Nominates Candidate Blood Biomarkers Relating to Alzheimer's Disease Pathology.

J Alzheimers Dis 2020 ;77(3):1353-1368

University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Background: Previous studies suggest that Dickkopf-1 (DKK1), an inhibitor of Wnt signaling, plays a role in amyloid-induced toxicity and hence Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the effect of DKK1 expression on protein expression, and whether such proteins are altered in disease, is unknown.

Objective: We aim to test whether DKK1 induced protein signature obtained in vitro were associated with markers of AD pathology as used in the amyloid/tau/neurodegeneration (ATN) framework as well as with clinical outcomes.

Methods: We first overexpressed DKK1 in HEK293A cells and quantified 1,128 proteins in cell lysates using aptamer capture arrays (SomaScan) to obtain a protein signature induced by DKK1. We then used the same assay to measure the DKK1-signature proteins in human plasma in two large cohorts, EMIF (n = 785) and ANM (n = 677).

Results: We identified a 100-protein signature induced by DKK1 in vitro. Subsets of proteins, along with age and apolipoprotein E ɛ4 genotype distinguished amyloid pathology (A + T-N-, A+T+N-, A+T-N+, and A+T+N+) from no AD pathology (A-T-N-) with an area under the curve of 0.72, 0.81, 0.88, and 0.85, respectively. Furthermore, we found that some signature proteins (e.g., Complement C3 and albumin) were associated with cognitive score and AD diagnosis in both cohorts.

Conclusions: Our results add further evidence for a role of DKK regulation of Wnt signaling in AD and suggest that DKK1 induced signature proteins obtained in vitro could reflect theATNframework as well as predict disease severity and progression in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-200208DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7683080PMC
September 2021

Earlier life leisure-time physical activity in relation to age-related frailty syndrome.

Age Ageing 2021 01;50(1):161-168

Public Health Promotion Unit, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Background: frailty syndrome is common amongst older people. Low physical activity is part of frailty, but long-term prospective studies investigating leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) during the life course as a predictor of frailty are still warranted. The aim of this study is to investigate whether earlier life LTPA predicts frailty in older age.

Methods: the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER) included older adults (aged 60-77 years) from the general population who were at increased risk of cognitive decline. Frailty was assessed for 1,137 participants at a baseline visit using a modified version of Fried's phenotype, including five criteria: weight loss, exhaustion, weakness, slowness and low physical activity. Self-reported data on earlier life LTPA were available from previous population-based studies (average follow-up time 13.6 years). A binomial logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the association between earlier life LTPA and pre-frailty/frailty in older age.

Results: the prevalence of frailty and pre-frailty was 0.8% and 27.3%, respectively. In the analyses, pre-frail and frail groups were combined. People who had been physically very active (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.23-0.60) or moderately active (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.32-0.65) earlier in life had lower odds of becoming pre-frail/frail than individuals who had been sedentary.

Conclusions: frailty was rare in this relatively healthy study population, but almost a third of the participants were pre-frail. Earlier life LTPA was associated with lower levels of pre-frailty/frailty. The results highlight the importance of physical activity when aiming to promote healthy old age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afaa132DOI Listing
January 2021

Dementia risk scores as surrogate outcomes for lifestyle-based multidomain prevention trials-rationale, preliminary evidence and challenges.

Alzheimers Dement 2020 12 16;16(12):1674-1685. Epub 2020 Aug 16.

Department of Neurology, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Introduction: Although not designed as such, dementia risk scores might be useful surrogate outcomes for dementia prevention trials. Their suitability may be improved by using continuous scoring systems, taking into account all changes in risk factors, not only those crossing cut-off values.

Methods: In three large multidomain dementia prevention trials with 1.5 to 2 years of follow-up (Multidomain Alzheimer Preventive Trial, Prevention of Dementia by Intensive Vascular Care and Healthy Ageing Through Internet Counselling in the Elderly) we assessed (1) responsiveness (sensitivity to change) and (2) actual and simulated intervention effects of the original and crude/weighted z-score versions of the cardiovascular risk factors, aging and incidence of dementia, and Lifestyle for Brain Health scores.

Results: All versions of the risk scores were generally responsive, and able to detect small though statistically significant between-group differences after multidomain interventions. Simulated intervention effects were well detected in z-score versions as well as in the original scores.

Discussion: Dementia risk scores and their z-score versions show potential as surrogate outcomes. How changes in risk scores affect dementia remains to be determined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12169DOI Listing
December 2020

The genetic architecture of human brainstem structures and their involvement in common brain disorders.

Nat Commun 2020 08 11;11(1):4016. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

Brainstem regions support vital bodily functions, yet their genetic architectures and involvement in common brain disorders remain understudied. Here, using imaging-genetics data from a discovery sample of 27,034 individuals, we identify 45 brainstem-associated genetic loci, including the first linked to midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata volumes, and map them to 305 genes. In a replication sample of 7432 participants most of the loci show the same effect direction and are significant at a nominal threshold. We detect genetic overlap between brainstem volumes and eight psychiatric and neurological disorders. In additional clinical data from 5062 individuals with common brain disorders and 11,257 healthy controls, we observe differential volume alterations in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis, mild cognitive impairment, dementia, and Parkinson's disease, supporting the relevance of brainstem regions and their genetic architectures in common brain disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17376-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7421944PMC
August 2020

Attitudes of at-risk older adults about prevention of cardiovascular disease and dementia using eHealth: a qualitative study in a European context.

BMJ Open 2020 08 6;10(8):e037050. Epub 2020 Aug 6.

Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Center for Alzheimer Research, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Objectives: Prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and dementia is a key health priority among older adults. Understanding individuals' attitudes to, the prevention of these conditions, particularly when delivered through novel eHealth tools, could help in designing effective prevention programmes. The aim of the study was to explore the attitudes of older adults at increased risk of CVD and dementia regarding engagement in eHealth self-management prevention programmes, and to describe the facilitators and barriers.

Design: A qualitative research approach was used. Data were collected through eight focus groups in Finland, France and the Netherlands. Data were analysed following the principles of grounded theory.

Setting And Participants: Forty-four community-dwellers aged 65+ at risk of CVD were recruited from a previous trial cohort in Finland, and through general practices in France and the Netherlands.

Results: The study identified three categories: access to reliable information, trust in the healthcare providers and burden and stigma of dementia. A core category was also identified: the interactive process of the three categories influencing engagement in self-management prevention programme. The categories were interconnected through an interactive process and influenced by the local healthcare culture and context which shaped them differently, becoming either facilitators or barriers to engage in eHealth self-management prevention programmes.

Conclusions: The study emphasises the importance of considering the interactions between the identified categories in this study, grounded in the local healthcare culture and context in further developments of eHealth self-management interventions that aim to prevent CVD and dementia.

Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN48151589.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-037050DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7412614PMC
August 2020
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