ABSTRACT: With an emphasis on evolving concepts in the field, we evaluated neuropathologic data from very old research volunteers whose brain autopsies were performed at the University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center, incorporating data from the Georgia Centenarian Study (n = 49 cases included), Nun Study (n = 17), and University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center (n = 11) cohorts. Average age of death was 102.0 (range: 98-107) years overall. Alzheimer's disease pathology was not universal (62% with "moderate" or "frequent" neuritic amyloid plaque densities), whereas frontotemporal lobar degeneration was absent. By contrast, some hippocampal neurofibrillary tangles (including primary age-related tauopathy) were observed in every case. Lewy body pathology was seen in 16.9% of subjects and hippocampal sclerosis of aging in 20.8%. We describe anatomic distributions of pigment-laden macrophages, expanded Virchow-Robin spaces, and arteriolosclerosis among Georgia Centenarians. Moderate or severe arteriolosclerosis pathology, throughout the brain, was associated with both hippocampal sclerosis of aging pathology and an ABCC9 gene variant. These results provide fresh insights into the complex cerebral multimorbidity, and a novel genetic risk factor, at the far end of the human aging spectrum.
Project description:Hippocampal sclerosis of ageing is a prevalent brain disease that afflicts older persons and has been linked with cerebrovascular pathology. Arteriolosclerosis is a subtype of cerebrovascular pathology characterized by concentrically thickened arterioles. Here we report data from multiple large autopsy series (University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Centre, Nun Study, and National Alzheimer's Coordinating Centre) showing a specific association between hippocampal sclerosis of ageing pathology and arteriolosclerosis. The present analyses incorporate 226 cases of autopsy-proven hippocampal sclerosis of ageing and 1792 controls. Case-control comparisons were performed including digital pathological assessments for detailed analyses of blood vessel morphology. We found no evidence of associations between hippocampal sclerosis of ageing pathology and lacunar infarcts, large infarcts, Circle of Willis atherosclerosis, or cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Individuals with hippocampal sclerosis of ageing pathology did not show increased rates of clinically documented hypertension, diabetes, or other cardiac risk factors. The correlation between arteriolosclerosis and hippocampal sclerosis of ageing pathology was strong in multiple brain regions outside of the hippocampus. For example, the presence of arteriolosclerosis in the frontal cortex (Brodmann area 9) was strongly associated with hippocampal sclerosis of ageing pathology (P < 0.001). This enables informative evaluation of anatomical regions outside of the hippocampus. To assess the morphology of brain microvasculature far more rigorously than what is possible using semi-quantitative pathological scoring, we applied digital pathological (Aperio ScanScope) methods on a subsample of frontal cortex sections from hippocampal sclerosis of ageing (n = 15) and control (n = 42) cases. Following technical studies to optimize immunostaining methods for small blood vessel visualization, our analyses focused on sections immunostained for smooth muscle actin (a marker of arterioles) and CD34 (an endothelial marker), with separate analyses on grey and white matter. A total of 43 834 smooth muscle actin-positive vascular profiles and 603 798 CD34-positive vascular profiles were evaluated. In frontal cortex of cases with hippocampal sclerosis of ageing, smooth muscle actin-immunoreactive arterioles had thicker walls (P < 0.05), larger perimeters (P < 0.03), and larger vessel areas (P < 0.03) than controls. Unlike the arterioles, CD34-immunoreactive capillaries had dimensions that were unchanged in cases with hippocampal sclerosis of ageing versus controls. Arteriolosclerosis appears specific to hippocampal sclerosis of ageing brains, because brains with Alzheimer's disease pathology did not show the same morphological alterations. We conclude that there may be a pathogenetic change in aged human brain arterioles that impacts multiple brain areas and contributes to hippocampal sclerosis of ageing.
Project description:The pathology-based classification of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases is a work in progress that is important for both clinicians and basic scientists. Analyses of large autopsy series, biomarker studies, and genomics analyses have provided important insights about AD and shed light on previously unrecognized conditions, enabling a deeper understanding of neurodegenerative diseases in general. After demonstrating the importance of correct disease classification for AD and primary age-related tauopathy, we emphasize the public health impact of an underappreciated AD "mimic," which has been termed "hippocampal sclerosis of aging" or "hippocampal sclerosis dementia." This pathology affects >20% of individuals older than 85 years and is strongly associated with cognitive impairment. In this review, we provide an overview of current hypotheses about how genetic risk factors (GRN, TMEM106B, ABCC9, and KCNMB2), and other pathogenetic influences contribute to TDP-43 pathology and hippocampal sclerosis. Because hippocampal sclerosis of aging affects the "oldest-old" with arteriolosclerosis and TDP-43 pathologies that extend well beyond the hippocampus, more appropriate terminology for this disease is required. We recommend "cerebral age-related TDP-43 and sclerosis" (CARTS). A detailed case report is presented, which includes neuroimaging and longitudinal neurocognitive data. Finally, we suggest a neuropathology-based diagnostic rubric for CARTS.
Project description:Risk factors and cognitive sequelae of brain arteriolosclerosis pathology are not fully understood. To address this, we used multimodal data from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center and Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative data sets. Previous studies showed evidence of distinct neurodegenerative disease outcomes and clinical-pathological correlations in the "oldest-old" compared to younger cohorts. Therefore, using the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center data set, we analyzed clinical and neuropathological data from two groups according to ages at death:?<?80 years (n?=?1008) and ?80 years (n?=?1382). In both age groups, severe brain arteriolosclerosis was associated with worse performances on global cognition tests. Hypertension (but not diabetes) was a brain arteriolosclerosis risk factor in the younger group. In the???80 years age at death group, an ABCC9 gene variant (rs704180), previously associated with aging-related hippocampal sclerosis, was also associated with brain arteriolosclerosis. A post-hoc arterial spin labeling neuroimaging experiment indicated that ABCC9 genotype is associated with cerebral blood flow impairment; in a convenience sample from Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (n?=?15, homozygous individuals), non-risk genotype carriers showed higher global cerebral blood flow compared to risk genotype carriers. We conclude that brain arteriolosclerosis is associated with altered cognitive status and a novel vascular genetic risk factor.
Project description:Hippocampal sclerosis of aging (HS-Aging) is a neurodegenerative disease that mimics Alzheimer disease (AD) clinically and has a prevalence rivaling AD in advanced age. Whereas clinical biomarkers are not yet optimized, HS-Aging has distinctive pathological features that distinguish it from other diseases with "hippocampal sclerosis" pathology, such as epilepsy, cerebrovascular perturbations, and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. By definition, HS-Aging brains show neuronal cell loss and gliosis in the hippocampal formation out of proportion to AD-type pathology; it is strongly associated with aberrant TDP-43 pathology and arteriolosclerosis. Here, we describe 2 cases of "segmental" HS-Aging in which "sclerosis" in the hippocampus was evident only in a subset of brain sections by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stain. In these cases, TDP-43 pathology was more widespread on immunostained sections than the neuronal cell loss and gliosis seen in H&E stains. The 2 patients were cognitively intact at baseline and were tracked longitudinally over a decade using cognitive studies with at least 1 neuroimaging scan. We discuss the relevant HS-Aging literature, which indicates the need for a clearer consensus-based delineation of "hippocampal sclerosis" and TDP-43 pathologies in aged subjects.
Project description:Hippocampal sclerosis of aging (HS-Aging) is a high-morbidity brain disease in the elderly but risk factors are largely unknown. We report the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) with HS-Aging pathology as an endophenotype. In collaboration with the Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium, data were analyzed from large autopsy cohorts: (#1) National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC); (#2) Rush University Religious Orders Study and Memory and Aging Project; (#3) Group Health Research Institute Adult Changes in Thought study; (#4) University of California at Irvine 90+ Study; and (#5) University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center. Altogether, 363 HS-Aging cases and 2,303 controls, all pathologically confirmed, provided statistical power to test for risk alleles with large effect size. A two-tier study design included GWAS from cohorts #1-3 (Stage I) to identify promising SNP candidates, followed by focused evaluation of particular SNPs in cohorts #4-5 (Stage II). Polymorphism in the ATP-binding cassette, sub-family C member 9 (ABCC9) gene, also known as sulfonylurea receptor 2, was associated with HS-Aging pathology. In the meta-analyzed Stage I GWAS, ABCC9 polymorphisms yielded the lowest p values, and factoring in the Stage II results, the meta-analyzed risk SNP (rs704178:G) attained genome-wide statistical significance (p = 1.4 × 10(-9)), with odds ratio (OR) of 2.13 (recessive mode of inheritance). For SNPs previously linked to hippocampal sclerosis, meta-analyses of Stage I results show OR = 1.16 for rs5848 (GRN) and OR = 1.22 rs1990622 (TMEM106B), with the risk alleles as previously described. Sulfonylureas, a widely prescribed drug class used to treat diabetes, also modify human ABCC9 protein function. A subsample of patients from the NACC database (n = 624) were identified who were older than age 85 at death with known drug history. Controlling for important confounders such as diabetes itself, exposure to a sulfonylurea drug was associated with risk for HS-Aging pathology (p = 0.03). Thus, we describe a novel and targetable dementia risk factor.
Project description:TDP-43 proteinopathy is very prevalent among the elderly (affecting at least 25% of individuals over 85?years of age) and is associated with substantial cognitive impairment. Risk factors implicated in age-related TDP-43 proteinopathy include commonly inherited gene variants, comorbid Alzheimer's disease pathology, and thyroid hormone dysfunction. To test parameters that are associated with aging-related TDP-43 pathology, we performed exploratory analyses of pathologic, genetic, and biochemical data derived from research volunteers in the University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center autopsy cohort (n?=?136 subjects). Digital pathologic methods were used to discriminate and quantify both neuritic and intracytoplasmic TDP-43 pathology in the hippocampal formation. Overall, 46.4% of the cases were positive for TDP-43 intracellular inclusions, which is consistent with results in other prior community-based cohorts. The pathologies were correlated with hippocampal sclerosis of aging (HS-Aging) linked genotypes. We also assayed brain parenchymal thyroid hormone (triiodothyronine [T3] and thyroxine [T4]) levels. In cases with SLCO1A2/IAPP or ABCC9 risk associated genotypes, the T3/T4 ratio tended to be reduced (p?=?.051 using 2-tailed statistical test), and in cases with low T3/T4 ratios (bottom quintile), there was a higher likelihood of HS-Aging pathology (p?=?.025 using 2-tailed statistical test). This is intriguing because the SLCO1A2/IAPP and ABCC9 risk associated genotypes have been associated with altered expression of the astrocytic thyroid hormone receptor (protein product of the nearby gene SLCO1C1). These data indicate that dysregulation of thyroid hormone signaling may play a role in age-related TDP-43 proteinopathy.
Project description:Alzheimer's dementia is significantly more common in women than in men. However, few pathological studies have addressed sex difference in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other brain pathologies. We leveraged postmortem data from 1453 persons who participated in one of two longitudinal community-based studies of older adults, the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project. Postmortem examination identified AD pathologies, neocortical Lewy bodies, DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), hippocampal sclerosis, gross and micro infarcts, atherosclerosis, arteriolosclerosis, and cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Linear and logistic regressions examined the association of sex with each of the pathologic measures. Two-thirds of subjects were women (n?=?971; 67%), with a mean age at death of 89.8 (SD?=?6.6) years in women and 87.3 (SD?=?6.6) in men. Adjusted for age and education, women had higher levels on a global measure of AD pathology (estimate?=?0.102, SE?=?0.022, p?<?0.001), and tau tangle density in particular (estimate?=?0.334, SE?=?0.074, p?<?0.001), and there was a borderline difference between women and men in amyloid-? load (estimate?=?0.124, SE?=?0.065, p?=?0.056). In addition, compared to men, women were more likely to have more severe arteriolosclerosis (OR?=?1.28, 95% CI:1.04-1.58, p?=?0.018), and less likely to have gross infarcts (OR?=?0.78, 95% CI:0.61-0.98, p?=?0.037), although the association with gross infarct was attenuated after controlling for vascular risk factors. These data help elucidate the neuropathologic footprint of sex difference in AD and other common brain pathologies of aging.
Project description:TAR-DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) proteinopathy is a common brain pathology in elderly persons, but much remains to be learned about this high-morbidity condition. Published stage-based systems for operationalizing disease severity rely on the involvement (presence/absence) of pathology in specific anatomic regions. To examine the comorbidities associated with TDP-43 pathology in aged individuals, we studied data from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC) Neuropathology Data Set. Data were analyzed from 929 included subjects with available TDP-43 pathology information, sourced from 27 different American Alzheimer's Disease Centers (ADCs). Cases with relatively unusual diseases including autopsy-proven frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD-TDP or FTLD-tau) were excluded from the study. Our data provide new information about pathologic features that are and are not associated with TDP-43 pathologies in different brain areas-spinal cord, amygdala, hippocampus, entorhinal cortex/inferior temporal cortex, and frontal neocortex. Different research centers used cite-specific methods including different TDP-43 antibodies. TDP-43 pathology in at least one brain region was common (31.4%) but the pathology was rarely observed in spinal cord (1.8%) and also unusual in frontal cortex (5.3%). As expected, TDP-43 pathology was positively associated with comorbid hippocampal sclerosis pathology and with severe AD pathology. TDP-43 pathology was also associated with comorbid moderate-to-severe brain arteriolosclerosis. The association between TDP-43 pathology and brain arteriolosclerosis appears relatively specific since there was no detected association between TDP-43 pathology and microinfarcts, lacunar infarcts, large infarcts, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), or circle of Willis atherosclerosis. Together, these observations provide support for the hypothesis that many aged brains are affected by a TDP-43 proteinopathy that is more likely to be seen in brains with AD pathology, arteriolosclerosis pathology, or both.
Project description:Hippocampal sclerosis of aging (HS-Aging) is a causative factor in a large proportion of elderly dementia cases. The current definition of HS-Aging rests on pathologic criteria: neuronal loss and gliosis in the hippocampal formation that is out of proportion to AD-type pathology. HS-Aging is also strongly associated with TDP-43 pathology. HS-Aging pathology appears to be most prevalent in the oldest-old: autopsy series indicate that 5-30 % of nonagenarians have HS-Aging pathology. Among prior studies, differences in study design have contributed to the study-to-study variability in reported disease prevalence. The presence of HS-Aging pathology correlates with significant cognitive impairment which is often misdiagnosed as AD clinically. The antemortem diagnosis is further confounded by other diseases linked to hippocampal atrophy including frontotemporal lobar degeneration and cerebrovascular pathologies. Recent advances characterizing the neurocognitive profile of HS-Aging patients have begun to provide clues that may help identify living individuals with HS-Aging pathology. Structural brain imaging studies of research subjects followed to autopsy reveal hippocampal atrophy that is substantially greater in people with eventual HS-Aging pathology, compared to those with AD pathology alone. Data are presented from individuals who were followed with neurocognitive and neuroradiologic measurements, followed by neuropathologic evaluation at the University of Kentucky. Finally, we discuss factors that are hypothesized to cause or modify the disease. We conclude that the published literature on HS-Aging provides strong evidence of an important and under-appreciated brain disease of aging. Unfortunately, there is no therapy or preventive strategy currently available.
Project description:Transactive response binding protein-43 (TDP-43) cytoplasmic neuronal and glial aggregates (pathologic TDP-43) have been described in multiple brain diseases. We describe the associations between neuropathologically confirmed TDP-43 and cognition in two population-based cohorts: the Nun Study (NS) and the Honolulu-Asia Aging Study (HAAS). In the HAAS, there was a significant association between hippocampal sclerosis (HS) and TDP-43 (OR?=?11.04, p?<?0.0001, 95% CI 3.57-34.13). In the NS, there were significant associations between TDP-43 and HS (OR?=?16.44, p?>?0.001 95%, CI 7.10-38.00) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) severity (OR?=?1.74, p?=?0.009, 95% CI 1.15-2.64). When cognitive scores were added to the model, HS remained significant but the other variables were not. When HS was removed from the model, the overall model remained significant and the associations between cognitive performance and TDP-43 (OR?=?2.11, p?=?0.022, 95% CI 1.11-4.02) were significant. In the NS, there was a significant association between cognitive performance and TDP-43 (OR 1.94 p?=?0.005, 95% CI 1.22-3.09) (HS remained significant, but AD did not). When HS was removed from the model, only CERAD was significant (OR?=?2.43 p?<?0.001, 95% CI 1.58-3.74). These results support a consistent association between pathologic TDP-43, HS, and the development of cognitive impairment in two large studies of brain aging, while the relationship between AD pathology and TDP-43 may vary according to cohort-specific features.