Project description:Cognitive impairment is highly prevalent among individuals with late-life depression (LLD) and tends to persist even after successful treatment. The biological mechanisms underlying cognitive impairment in LLD are complex and likely involve abnormalities in multiple pathways, or 'cascades,' reflected in specific biomarkers. Our aim was to evaluate peripheral (blood-based) evidence for biological pathways associated with cognitive impairment in older adults with LLD. To this end, we used a data-driven comprehensive proteomic analysis (multiplex immunoassay including 242 proteins), along with measures of structural brain abnormalities (gray matter atrophy and white matter hyperintensity volume via magnetic resonance imaging), and brain amyloid-? (A?) deposition (PiB-positron emission tomography). We analyzed data from 80 older adults with remitted major depression (36 with mild cognitive impairment (LLD+MCI) and 44 with normal cognitive (LLD+NC)) function. LLD+MCI was associated with differential expression of 24 proteins (P<0.05 and q-value <0.30) related mainly to the regulation of immune-inflammatory activity, intracellular signaling, cell survival and protein and lipid homeostasis. Individuals with LLD+MCI also showed greater white matter hyperintensity burden compared with LLD+NC (P=0.015). We observed no differences in gray matter volume or brain A? deposition between groups. Machine learning analysis showed that a group of three proteins (Apo AI, IL-12 and stem cell factor) yielded accuracy of 81.3%, sensitivity of 75% and specificity of 86.4% in discriminating participants with MCI from those with NC function (with an averaged cross-validation accuracy of 76.3%, sensitivity of 69.4% and specificity of 81.8% with nested cross-validation considering the model selection bias). Cognitive impairment in LLD seems to be related to greater cerebrovascular disease along with abnormalities in immune-inflammatory control, cell survival, intracellular signaling, protein and lipid homeostasis, and clotting processes. These results suggest that individuals with LLD and cognitive impairment may be more vulnerable to accelerated brain aging and shed light on possible mediators of their elevated risk for progression to dementia.
Project description:Studies on the impact of small vessel disease (SVD) on cognition generally focus on white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume. The extent to which WMH location relates to cognitive performance has received less attention, but is likely to be functionally important. We examined the relation between WMH location and cognition in a memory clinic cohort of patients with sporadic SVD.A total of 167 patients with SVD were recruited from memory clinics. Assumption-free region of interest-based analyses based on major white matter tracts and voxel-wise analyses were used to determine the association between WMH location and executive functioning, visuomotor speed and memory.Region of interest-based analyses showed that WMHs located particularly within the anterior thalamic radiation and forceps minor were inversely associated with both executive functioning and visuomotor speed, independent of total WMH volume. Memory was significantly associated with WMH volume in the forceps minor, independent of total WMH volume. An independent assumption-free voxel-wise analysis identified strategic voxels in these same tracts. Region of interest-based analyses showed that WMH volume within the anterior thalamic radiation explained 6.8% of variance in executive functioning, compared to 3.9% for total WMH volume; WMH volume within the forceps minor explained 4.6% of variance in visuomotor speed and 4.2% of variance in memory, compared to 1.8% and 1.3% respectively for total WMH volume.Our findings identify the anterior thalamic radiation and forceps minor as strategic white matter tracts in which WMHs are most strongly associated with cognitive impairment in memory clinic patients with SVD. WMH volumes in individual tracts explained more variance in cognition than total WMH burden, emphasizing the importance of lesion location when addressing the functional consequences of WMHs.
Project description:White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) are associated with poorer brain health, but their pathophysiological substrates remain elusive. To better understand the mechanistic underpinnings of WMHs among older adults, this study examined in vivo cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of ?-amyloid42 deposition (A?42), hyperphosphorylated tau pathology, neurodegeneration (total tau), and axonal injury (neurofilament light [NFL]) in relation to log-transformed WMHs volume. Participants free of clinical stroke and dementia were drawn from the Vanderbilt Memory & Aging Project (n = 148, 72 ± 6 years). Linear regression models adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, intracranial volume, modified Framingham Stroke Risk Profile (excluding points assigned for age), cognitive diagnosis, and APOE-?4 carrier status. A?42 (? = -0.001, p = 0.007) and NFL (? = 0.0003, p = 0.01) concentrations related to WMHs but neither hyperphosphorylated tau nor total tau associations with WMHs reached statistical significance (p-values > 0.21). In a combined model, NFL accounted for 3.2% of unique variance in WMHs and A?42 accounted for an additional 4.3% beyond NFL, providing novel evidence of the co-occurrence of at least 2 distinct pathways for WMHs among older adults, including amyloid deposition and axonal injury.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To investigate the vascular contribution to longitudinal changes in Alzheimer disease (AD) biomarkers.<h4>Methods</h4>The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative is a clinic based, longitudinal study with CSF, PET, and MRI biomarkers repeatedly measured in participants with normal cognition (NC), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and mild AD. Participants with severe cerebrovascular risks were excluded. Cardiovascular risk scores and MRI white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) were treated as surrogate markers for vascular burden. Generalized estimating equations were applied, and both vascular burden and its interaction with time (vascular burden × time) or time-varying WMHs were entered into regression models to assess whether biomarker rates of change were modified by vascular burden.<h4>Results</h4>Cardiovascular risk profiles were not predictive of progression in CSF ???-amyloid, [¹?F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET uptake, and MRI hippocampal atrophy. Greater baseline cardiovascular risks or WMHs were generally associated with cognitive impairment, particularly poor executive function. WMHs increased over time with a faster rate in MCI and AD than in NC. Increased time-varying WMH was associated with faster decline in executive function and lower FDG uptake in NC. Otherwise, WMH was not associated with CSF and MRI biomarkers in the 3 groups. These findings remained unchanged after accounting for APOE4.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Increased WMHs are associated with aging, decreased glucose metabolism, and decline in executive function but do not affect AD-specific pathologic progression, suggesting that the vascular contribution to dementia is probably additive although not necessarily independent of the amyloid pathway.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:American Indians experience substantial health disparities relative to the US population, including vascular brain aging. Poorer cognitive test performance has been associated with cranial magnetic resonance imaging findings in aging community populations, but no study has investigated these associations in elderly American Indians. METHODS:We examined 786 American Indians aged 64 years and older from the Cerebrovascular Disease and its Consequences in American Indians study (2010-2013). Cranial magnetic resonance images were scored for cortical and subcortical infarcts, hemorrhages, severity of white matter disease, sulcal widening, ventricle enlargement, and volumetric estimates for white matter hyperintensities (WMHs), hippocampus, and brain. Participants completed demographic, medical history, and neuropsychological assessments including testing for general cognitive functioning, verbal learning and memory, processing speed, phonemic fluency, and executive function. RESULTS:Processing speed was independently associated with the presence of any infarcts, white matter disease, and hippocampal and brain volumes, independent of socioeconomic, language, education, and clinical factors. Other significant associations included general cognitive functioning with hippocampal volume. Nonsignificant, marginal associations included general cognition with WMH and brain volume; verbal memory with hippocampal volume; verbal fluency and executive function with brain volume; and processing speed with ventricle enlargement. CONCLUSIONS:Brain-cognition associations found in this study of elderly American Indians are similar to those found in other racial/ethnic populations, with processing speed comprising an especially strong correlate of cerebrovascular disease. These findings may assist future efforts to define opportunities for disease prevention, to conduct research on diagnostic and normative standards, and to guide clinical evaluation of this underserved and overburdened population.
Project description:Brain regions related to saccadic control are affected by Parkinson's disease (PD) pathology and a relationship between abnormal saccades and cognitive features of PD has been suggested. We measured the latency of visually-evoked saccades, and correlated best-fit parameters in a LATER neuronal decision model ? and ? (mean and SD of the distribution of reciprocal latency, i.e. speed of response), and ?(E) (SD of the early component) with motor function, cognition and grey matter volume in 18 patients with PD and 17 controls. There was a negative correlation between verbal fluency and ?; no correlation was found between motor function and any of the latency parameters. Higher ? (shorter latency) positively correlated with grey matter volume in the prefrontal cortex, the cerebellar vermis, and the fusiform gyrus. There was a negative correlation between ? and grey matter volume in the frontal and parietal eye fields, the premotor cortex, and the lateral prefrontal cortex. ?(E) negatively correlated with grey matter volume in the frontal eye fields and the middle frontal gyrus. Our behavioural and imaging findings point to an association between saccade latency, executive function and the structural integrity within a well-defined oculomotor network.
Project description:Depression is a risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease and Related Dementia (ADRD). We conducted a systematic review between 2008 and October 2018, to evaluate the evidence for a conceptual mechanistic model linking depression and ADRD, focusing on frontal-executive and corticolimbic circuits. We focused on two neuroimaging modalities: diffusion-weighted imaging measuring white matter tract disruptions and resting-state functional MRI measuring alterations in network dynamics in late-life depression (LLD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and LLD+MCI vs. healthy control (HC) individuals. Our data synthesis revealed that in some but not all studies, impairment of both frontal-executive and corticolimbic circuits, as well as impairment of global brain topology was present in LLD, MCI, and LLD+MCI vs. HC groups. Further, posterior midline regions (posterior cingulate cortex and precuneus) appeared to have the most structural and functional alterations in all patient groups. Future cohort and longitudinal studies are required to address the heterogeneity of findings, and to clarify which subgroups of people with LLD are at highest risk for developing MCI and ADRD.
Project description:Developing more effective strategies to prevent relapse remains one of the major challenges of treating substance dependence. Previous studies have identified brain abnormalities in abstinent alcoholics. However, whether these persistent brain deficits in abstinence could predict early relapse to alcohol use has not been well established. This study aimed to identify biomarkers of relapse vulnerability by investigating persistent brain abnormalities in abstinent alcohol-dependent patients.Brain imaging and impulsive behavior data were collected from 56 abstinent alcohol-dependent male inpatients and 33 age-matched male healthy controls. Voxel-based morphometry was used to investigate the differences of grey matter volume between the groups. The resting-state functional connectivity was examined using brain areas with gray matter deficits as seed regions. A preliminary prospective study design was used to classify patients into abstainers and relapsers after a 62-day average abstinence period.Compared with healthy controls, both relapsers and abstainers exhibited significantly reduced gray matter volume in the cuneus. Functional connectivity analysis revealed that relapsers relative to abstainers demonstrated increased cuneus-centered negative functional connectivity within a network of brain regions which are involved in executive control and salience. Abnormal gray matter volume in the left cuneus and the functional connectivity between the right cuneus and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex could successfully predict relapse during the 3-month follow-up period.Findings suggest that the abnormal gray matter volume in the cuneus and resting-state cuneus-prefrontal functional connectivity may play an important role in poor treatment outcomes in alcoholics and serve as useful neural markers of relapse vulnerability.
Project description:Several studies have reported associations between brain iron deposits (IDs), white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) and cognitive ability in older individuals. Whether the association between brain IDs and cognitive abilities in older people is mediated by or independent of total brain tissue damage represented by WMHs visible on structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was examined.Data from 676 community-dwelling individuals from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936, with Mini-Mental State Examination scores >24, who underwent detailed cognitive testing and multimodal brain MRI at mean age 72.7 years were analysed. Brain IDs were assessed automatically following manual editing. WMHs were assessed semi-automatically. Brain microbleeds were visually counted. Structural equation modelling was used to test for mediation.Overall, 72.8% of the sample had IDs with a median total volume of 0.040 ml (i.e. 0.004% of the total brain volume). The total volume of IDs, significantly and negatively associated with general cognitive function (standardized ? = -0.17, P < 0.01), was significantly and positively associated with WMH volume (std ? = 0.13, P = 0.03). WMH volume had a significant negative association with general cognitive function, independent of IDs (std ? = -0.13, P < 0.01). The association between cognition and IDs in the brain stem (and minimally the total brain iron load) was partially and significantly mediated by WMH volume (P = 0.03).The negative association between brain IDs and cognitive ability in the elderly is partially mediated by WMHs, with this mediation mainly arising from the iron deposition load in the brain stem. IDs might be an indicator of small vessel disease that predisposes to white matter damage, affecting the neuronal networks underlying higher cognitive functioning.