Cognition

Higher midlife CAIDE score is associated with increased brain atrophy in a cohort of cognitively healthy middle-aged individuals

Xulin Liu, Maria-Eleni Dounavi, Karen Ritchie, Katie Wells, Craig W. Ritchie, Li Su, Graciela Muniz-Terrera & John T. O’Brien

Journal of Neurology. 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-10383-8

Summary
Cardiovascular factors have a strong association with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and brain atrophy. However, until recently, there has been limited longitudinal research in cognitive healthy middle-aged adults investigating these links. A recent PREVENT Dementia study used data from 167 participants in the PREVENT London cohort, to investigate associations between the CAIDE (Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging, and Dementia) score and structural MRI scans at both baseline and 2-year follow up. Participants in the high-risk group (i.e., those with a CAIDE score above 6) were on average, found to have a greater rate of brain atrophy. However, to identify the specific regions and structures driving this atrophy pattern, additional analysis was conducted using voxel based morphometry (VBM).

By using VBM to build on existing findings, the current study found significant associations between risk status determined based on the CAIDE score and grey matter atrophy in several regions, including the temporal, occipital, and fusiform cortex and lingual gyrus at baseline. Longitudinally, the supramarginal gyrus, angular gyrus, precuneus, lateral occipital cortex, superior parietal lobule and cingulate gyrus demonstrated accelerated atrophy over time. Many of these regions belong to the “AD signature cortical region” and are involved in processes such as consciousness and memory. This study highlights the potential for early interventions that focus on modifiable midlife vascular risk factors.

Key terms and abbreviations:

  • Atrophy= the progressive reduction in tissue
  • CAIDE score =Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging, and Incidence of Dementia score; A validated midlife dementia risk score, based on several factors, including age, gender, education, blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, physical activity and APOEe4 allele carriership.
  • VBM= Voxel based morphometry: An MRI technique that enables investigation of focal differences in anatomy throughout the brain
  • APOEe4 allele= One of the strongest genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease​

Gallery Game: Smartphone-based assessment of long-term memory in adults at risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Claire Lancaster, Ivan Koychev, Jasmine Blane, Amy Chinner, Christopher, Chatham, Kirsten Taylor, Chris Hinds

Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. 2019

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13803395.2020.1714551 

 

Protocol for a conversation-based analysis study: PREVENT-ED investigates dialogue features that may help predict dementia onset in later life

Sofia de la Fuente Garcia, Craig W. Ritchie, and Saturnino Luz

BMJ Open. 2019

DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026254 

This publication lays out plans for the PREVENT Elicitation of Dialogues (PREVENT-ED) substudy. This project aims to analyse specific features of speech during conversation with PREVENT participants. The researchers seek to determine if there are any associations between changes in spoken dialogue and other risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Ultimately they want to know whether such dialogue analysis could be useful in screening for early stages of disease.

Allocentric and Egocentric Spatial Processing in Middle-Aged Adults at High Risk of Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease: The PREVENT Dementia Study

Karen Ritchie, Isabelle Carriere, David Howett, Li Su, Michael Hornberger, John T. O’Brien, Craig W. Ritchie and Dennis Chan.
Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 65 (2018)
10.3233/JAD-180432

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The midlife cognitive profiles of adults at high risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease: The PREVENT study.

Ritchie K, Carrière I, Su L, O’Brien JT, Lovestone S, Wells K, Ritchie CW.
Alzheimer’s & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. 2017
10.1016/j.jalz.2017.02.008

Researchers analysed the results from PREVENT participants on various memory and thinking assessments. They found performance on particular spatial and navigation based tasks may be useful in differentiating between those deemed at high or low risk for later life dementia.

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