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Neuroimage. 2019 Aug 1;196:152-160. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.04.024. Epub 2019 Apr 10.

Cardiovascular disease risk factors, tract-based structural connectomics, and cognition in older adults.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, 60607, USA; Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, 60612, USA.
2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260, USA.
3
Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32603, USA.
4
Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, 60607, USA.
5
Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260, USA.
6
Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, 60612, USA.
7
Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, 60607, USA; Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, 60612, USA; Department of Behavioral Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, 60612, USA. Electronic address: Melissa_Lamar@rush.edu.

Abstract

Cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVD-RFs) are associated with decreased gray and white matter integrity and cognitive impairment in older adults. Less is known regarding the interplay between CVD-RFs, brain structural connectome integrity, and cognition. We examined whether CVD-RFs were associated with measures of tract-based structural connectivity in 94 non-demented/non-depressed older adults and if alterations in connectivity mediated associations between CVD-RFs and cognition. Participants (age = 68.2 years; 52.1% female; 46.8% Black) underwent CVD-RF assessment, MRI, and cognitive evaluation. Framingham 10-year stroke risk (FSRP-10) quantified CVD-RFs. Graph theory analysis integrated T1-derived gray matter regions of interest (ROIs; 23 a-priori ROIs associated with CVD-RFs and dementia), and diffusion MRI-derived white matter tractography into connectivity matrices analyzed for local efficiency and nodal strength. A principal component analysis resulted in three rotated factor scores reflecting executive function (EF; FAS, Trail Making Test (TMT) B-A, Letter-Number Sequencing, Matrix Reasoning); attention/information processing (AIP; TMT-A, TMT-Motor, Digit Symbol); and memory (CVLT-II Trials 1-5 Total, Delayed Free Recall, Recognition Discriminability). Linear regressions between FSRP-10 and connectome ROIs adjusting for word reading, intracranial volume, and white matter hyperintensities revealed negative associations with nodal strength in eight ROIs (p-values<.05) and negative associations with efficiency in two ROIs, and a positive association in one ROI (p-values<.05). There was mediation of bilateral hippocampal strength on FSRP-10 and AIP, and left rostral middle frontal gyrus strength on FSRP-10 and AIP and EF. Stroke risk plays differential roles in connectivity and cognition, suggesting the importance of multi-modal neuroimaging biomarkers in understanding age-related CVD-RF burden and brain-behavior.

KEYWORDS:

Cardiovascular disease risk factors; Cognition; Dementia; Graph theory; Tract-based structural connectivity

PMID:
30980900
PMCID:
PMC6713222
[Available on 2020-08-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.04.024

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