Lifestyle and neurodegeneration in midlife as expressed on functional magnetic resonance imaging: A systematic review

Hinesh Topiwala, Graciela Muniz Terrera, Lucy Stirland, Kathryn Saunderson, Tom C. Russ, Marshall F. Dozier and Craig W. Ritchie

Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, 2018

DOI: 10.1016/j.trci.2018.04.001

Functional neuroimaging findings in healthy middle-aged adults at risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Habib M, Mak E, Gabel S, Su L, Williams G, Waldman A, Wells K, Ritchie K, Ritchie C, O’Brien JT.
Ageing research reviews. 2017

Structural neuroimaging in preclinical dementia: from microstructural deficits and grey matter atrophy to macroscale connectomic changes.

Mak E, Gabel S, Mirette H, Su L, Williams GB, Waldman A, Wells K, Ritchie K, Ritchie C, O’Brien J.
Ageing research reviews. 2017

Cerebral small vessel disease in middle age and genetic predisposition to late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Stefaniak JD, Su L, Mak E, Sheikh-Bahaei N, Wells K, Ritchie K, Waldman A, Ritchie CW, O’Brien JT.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia. 2017

Studying brain scans of PREVENT participants, the health of the small blood vessels that feed the brain did not appear to significantly differ between those considered at higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease based on genetic factors compared to those at lower risk.

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Increased wear and tear of the small blood vessels supplying the brain is known to be associated with Alzheimer’s dementia in older people. Researchers studied the MRI brain scans of 160 PREVENT participants to see if they could identify any signs of greater wear and tear in those middle-aged participants deemed at potentially higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The level of risk attributed was based on genetic influences; having a parent with dementia and the version of a particular gene (the APOE gene) that someone has.

The group did not find any overall difference in the condition of the blood vessels between participants designated at increased risk of Alzheimer’s compared to those at lower risk. This might suggest that these brain changes happen closer to the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms and were not yet present in our younger volunteers – with an average age of 51. The scans only captured one snapshot in time and so the group are keen to look at how the brains of PREVENT participants may change as they attend future follow up visits.[/read]