J Alzheimers Dis 2020 ;73(2):619-632
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, School of Biological Sciences, Division of Neuroscience & Experimental Psychology, The University of Manchester, Salford Royal Hospital, Salford, UK.
In the present study, we have characterized and compared individuals whose brains were donated as part of The University of Manchester Longitudinal Study of Cognition in Normal Healthy Old Age (UoM) with those donated through the Manchester arm of the UK Brains for Dementia Research (BDR) program. The aim of this study was to investigate how differences in study recruitment may affect final pathological composition of cohort studies. The UoM cohort was established as a longitudinal study of aging and cognition whereas the BDR program was established, prima facie, to collect brains from both demented and non-demented individuals for the purpose of building a tissue research resource. Consequently, the differences in recruitment patterns generated differences in demographic, clinical, and neuropathological characteristics. There was a higher proportion of recruits with dementia [mostly Alzheimer's disease (AD)] within the BDR cohort than in the UoM cohort. In pathological terms, the BDR cohort was more 'polarized', being more composed of demented cases with high Braak pathology scores and non-demented cases with low Braak scores, and fewer non-AD pathology cases, than the UoM cohort. In both cohorts, cerebral amyloid angiopathy tended to be greater in demented than non-demented individuals. Such observations partly reflect the recruitment of demented and non-demented individuals into the BDR cohort, and also that insufficient study time may have elapsed for disease onset and development in non-demented individuals to take place. Conversely, in the UoM cohort, where there had been nearly 30 years of study time, a broader spread of AD-type pathological changes had 'naturally' evolved in the brains of both demented and non-demented participants.