The latest medical research on Dementia

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about dementia gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Effect of reduction in brain amyloid levels on change in cognitive and functional decline in randomized clinical trials: An instrumental variable meta-analysis.

Alzheimers & Dementia

Whether the reduction in brain amyloid beta (Aβ) plaque alone may substantially slow cognitive and functional decline in patients with dementia or mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains debated.

An instrumental variable meta-analysis was performed to infer the effect of change in positron emission tomography (PET)-measured Aβ standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR) on cognitive and functional decline.

Pooling data from 16 randomized trials demonstrates that each 0.1-unit decrease in PET Aβ SUVR is associated with a reduction (95% confidence interval) by 0.09 (0.034-0.15), 0.33 (0.12-0.55), and 0.13 (0.017-0.24) point in the average change of the Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes, the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale, and the Mini-Mental State Examination, respectively.

A widely cited meta-analysis article concluded amyloid beta reduction does not substantially improve cognition. We identified data inconsistencies in the initial publication and found new trial data. We repeated the meta-analysis after correcting data inconsistencies and adding new trial data. Updated results suggested statistically significant clinical benefit of amyloid beta reduction. Amyloid beta is a viable biological target for the treatment and prevention of AD.

Global, regional, and national trends of dementia incidence and risk factors, 1990-2019: A Global Burden of Disease study.

Alzheimers & Dementia

An ample literature documents the growing prevalence of dementia and associated costs. Less attention has been paid to decreased dementia incidence in some countries.

We analyzed trends in age-standardized dementia, stroke, and ischemic heart disease (the triple threat) incidence rates and population attributable fraction of death and disability attributable to 12 risk factors in 204 countries and territories and 51 regions using Global Burden of Disease 2019 data.

During 1990 to 2019, dementia incidence declined in 71 countries; 18 showed statistically significant declines, ranging from -12.1% (95% uncertainty intervals -16.9 to -6.8) to -2.4% (-4.6 to -0.5). During 2010 to 2019, 16 countries showed non-significant declines. Globally, the burden of the triple threat attributable to air pollution, dietary risks, non-optimal temperature, lead exposure, and tobacco use decreased from 1990 to 2019.

The declining incidence of dementia in some countries, despite growing prevalence, is encouraging and urges further investigation.

Implications of preclinical Alzheimer's disease biomarker disclosure for US policy and society.

Alzheimers Dementia Amsterdam

Disclosure of Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers to cognitively unimpaired adults are currently conducted only in research settings. Yet, US Food ...

To donate, or not to donate, that is the question: Latino insights into brain donation.

Alzheimers & Dementia

Latinos are underrepresented in brain autopsy research on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). The study's purpose is to identify Latinos' attitudes about brain donation (BD) to inform methods by which researchers can increase autopsy consent.

Forty Latinos (mean age: 59.4 years) completed a semi-structured interview and were presented with educational information about BD. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing their understanding of BD and willingness to donate their brain for research.

Among participants, there was near unanimous support for BD to study ADRD after hearing educational information. However, prior to the information presented, participants reported a lack of knowledge about BD and demonstrated a possibility that misunderstandings about BD may affect participation.

While nearly all study participants agree that donating is beneficial for research and for future generations, the lack of BD information must be addressed to help support positive attitudes and willingness for participation.

Lack of bidirectional association between age-related macular degeneration and Alzheimer's disease: A Mendelian randomization study.

Alzheimers & Dementia

Observational studies have reported inconsistent results on the relationship between age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Therefore, we aimed to determine whether there is a causal association between AMD and AD.

This two-sample bidirectional Mendelian randomization (MR) study evaluated causal associations between advanced AMD and AD using summary data from large genome-wide association studies.

Genetic liability for advanced AMD showed no statistical causal association with AD risk (odds ratio [OR] = 0.999, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.955-1.044, P = .948). Reverse MR analysis provided little support for a causal effect of AD on advanced AMD (OR = 0.973, 95%CI: 0.938-1.008, P = .133).

We evaluated the bidirectional causal relationship between advanced AMD and AD. Advanced AMD showed no statistical causal association with risk of AD. We found no evidence to support a causal effect of AD on advanced AMD risk. The associations observed in epidemiological studies should not be considered causal.

Increased plasma and brain immunoglobulin A in Alzheimer's disease is lost in apolipoprotein E ε4 carriers.

Journal Alzheimers Research Therapy

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is foremost characterized by β-amyloid (Aβ)-extracellular plaques, tau-intraneuronal fibrillary tangles (NFT), and neuroinflammation, but over the last years it has become evident that peripheral inflammation might also contribute to the disease. AD patients often demonstrate increased levels of circulating proinflammatory mediators and altered antibody levels in the blood. In our study, we investigated the plasma Immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels in association with apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 status and Aβ pathology.

IgA levels in antemortem-collected (cohort I) and postmortem-collected (cohort II) plasma samples from AD patients (n = 30 in cohort I and n = 16 in cohort II) and non-demented age-matched controls (NC) (n = 42 in cohort I and n = 7 in cohort II) were measured using ELISA. Hippocampal sections from cohort II were immunostained against IgA, and the IgA area fraction as well as the number of IgA positive (IgA+) cells in the cornu ammonis region were analysed using ImageJ. The relationship between plasma IgA levels and cognition, C-reactive protein (CRP), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) AD biomarkers in cohort I as well as neuropathology, IgA+ cell number, and IgA area fraction in cohort II was analysed before and after grouping the cohorts into APOEε4 carriers and APOEε4 non-carriers.

Plasma IgA levels were higher in AD patients compared to NC in both cohorts. Also, AD patients demonstrated higher IgA area fraction and IgA+ cell number compared to NC. When APOEε4 status was considered, higher plasma IgA levels in AD patients were only seen in APOEε4 non-carriers. Finally, plasma IgA levels, exclusively in APOEε4 non-carriers, were associated with cognition, CRP, and CSF Aβ levels in cohort I as well as with IgA area fraction, IgA+ cell number, and Aβ, Lewy body, and NFT neuropathology in cohort II.

Our study suggests that AD pathology and cognitive decline are associated with increased plasma IgA levels in an APOE allele-dependent manner, where the associations are lost in APOEε4 carriers.

Choroid and choriocapillaris changes in early-stage Parkinson's disease: a swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography-based cross-sectional study.

Journal Alzheimers Research Therapy

Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases in the aging population. Previous literature has reported thinning of the retinal nerve fiber layer, ganglion cell layer, inner plexiform layer, and photoreceptor layer in PD patients. However, very few studies have used swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) to study the choroid and choriocapillaris vascular changes in PD and their correlations with altered contrast sensitivity.

PD patients and controls were enrolled in the current study. We used a CSV-1000E instrument to assess contrast sensitivity and performed SS-OCT and SS-OCTA to measure outer retinal thickness, choroidal thickness, choriocapillaris flow density, choroidal vascular volume (CVV), and choroidal vascular index (CVI).

One hundred eyes of 52 PD patients and 200 eyes of 100 healthy controls were recruited in the present study. Our study found remarkably impaired contrast sensitivity in PD patients (all P < 0.05). Significant thinning of the outer retinal layer and the choroid was appreciated in the PD group compared with the healthy controls (all P < 0.05). Choriocapillaris flow density, CVI, and CVV were significantly decreased in PD patients compared with healthy controls (all P < 0.05). Contrast sensitivity was weakly associated with outer retina thickness in the 3 mm circular area, with 3 cycles per degree being the most relevant (r = 0.535, P < 0.001).

Our study indicates that there is a significant decrease in contrast sensitivity, outer retina thickness, choriocapillaris flow density, CVI, and CVV in PD patients. This research has also identified a positive correlation between outer retina thickness and contrast sensitivity.

Plasma apolipoprotein E levels in longitudinally followed patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

Journal Alzheimers Research Therapy

Low levels of plasma apolipoprotein E (apoE) and presence of the APOE ε4 allele are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although the increased risk of AD in APOE ε4-carriers is well-established, the protein levels have received limited attention.

We here report the total plasma apoE and apoE isoform levels at baseline from a longitudinally (24 months) followed cohort including controls (n = 39), patients with stable amnestic mild cognitive impairment during 24 months follow up (MCI-MCI, n = 30), patients with amnestic MCI (aMCI) that during follow-up were clinically diagnosed with AD with dementia (ADD) (MCI-ADD, n = 28), and patients with AD with dementia (ADD) at baseline (ADD, n = 28). We furthermore assessed associations between plasma apoE levels with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) AD biomarkers and α-synuclein, as well as both CSF and plasma neurofilament light chain (NfL), YKL-40 and kallikrein 6.

Irrespective of clinical diagnosis, the highest versus the lowest apoE levels were found in APOE ε2/ε3 versus APOE ε4/ε4 subjects, with the most prominent differences exhibited in females. Total plasma apoE levels were 32% and 21% higher in the controls versus MCI-ADD and ADD patients, respectively. Interestingly, MCI-ADD patients exhibited a 30% reduction in plasma apoE compared to MCI-MCI patients. This decrease appeared to be associated with brain amyloid-β (Aβ42) pathology regardless of disease status as assessed using the Amyloid, Tau, and Neurodegeneration (A/T/N) classification. In addition to the association between low plasma apoE and low levels of CSF Aβ42, lower apoE levels were also related to higher levels of CSF total tau (t-tau) and tau phosphorylated at Threonine 181 residue (p-tau) and NfL as well as a worse performance on the mini-mental-state-examination. In MCI-ADD patients, low levels of plasma apoE were associated with higher levels of CSF α-synuclein and kallikrein 6. No significant correlations between plasma apoE and the astrocytic inflammatory marker YKL40 were observed.

Our results demonstrate important associations between low plasma apoE levels, Aβ pathology, and progression from aMCI to a clinical ADD diagnosis.

Tau levels are higher in objective subtle cognitive decline but not subjective memory complaint.

Journal Alzheimers Research Therapy

The 2018 NIA-AA Alzheimer's Disease (AD) Research Framework states that subtle cognitive decline in cognitively unimpaired individuals can be measured by subjective reports or evidence of objective decline on neuropsychological measures. Both subjective memory complaint (SMC) and objective subtle cognitive decline (Obj-SCD) have been shown to be associated with future cognitive decline and AD biomarkers. We examined whether there are differences in tau PET levels between (a) SMC- vs. SMC+ participants, (b) Obj-SCD- vs. Obj-SCD+ participants, and (c) participants with overlapping vs. discrepant SMC and Obj-SCD classifications.

Cognitively unimpaired participants from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI; n = 236) were classified at baseline as positive or negative for SMC (SMC- n = 77; SMC+ n = 159) based on the first 12 items of the Cognitive Change Index and/or classified as positive or negative for Obj-SCD (Obj-SCD- n = 173; Obj-SCD+ n = 63) based on previously defined neuropsychological criteria. Analyses of covariance, adjusting for age, sex, APOE ε4 carrier status, and pulse pressure, examined the group differences in tau PET (AV-1451) using a composite standardized uptake variable ratio (SUVR) for regions consistent with Braak stage III/IV. The chi-squared tests examined the tau positivity rates across the groups.

Obj-SCD+ participants had higher tau continuous SUVR levels (p = .035, ηp2 = .019) and higher rates of tau positivity (15.8% Obj-SCD- vs. 30.2% Obj-SCD+) than Obj-SCD- participants. Neither tau levels (p = .381, ηp2 = .003) nor rates of tau positivity (18.2% SMC- and 20.1% SMC+) differed between the SMC groups. There was very little agreement between SMC and Obj-SCD classifications (42%; κ = 0.008, p = .862). Participants who were Obj-SCD+ without SMC had the highest tau PET levels and differed from participants who were SMC+ without Obj-SCD (p = .022). Tau levels in participants with both SMC and Obj-SCD did not differ from those with only Obj-SCD (p = .216). Tau positivity rates across the SMC-/Obj-SCD-, SMC+/Obj-SCD-, SMC-/Obj-SCD+, and SMC+/Obj-SCD+ groups were 10.5%, 18.1%, 40.0%, and 25.6%, respectively.

Participants with Obj-SCD had a greater tau PET burden than those without Obj-SCD, but SMC was not associated with higher tau levels. The combination of SMC and Obj-SCD did not have higher tau levels than Obj-SCD alone. Findings add to the evidence that the Obj-SCD classification is associated with AD biomarkers and faster cognitive decline in ADNI participants, but further work is needed to validate this approach in more representative/diverse cohorts.

White matter hyperintensities in former American football players.

Alzheimers & Dementia

The presentation, risk factors, and etiologies of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) in people exposed to repetitive head impacts are unknown. We examined the burden and distribution of WMH, and their association with years of play, age of first exposure, and clinical function in former American football players.

A total of 149 former football players and 53 asymptomatic unexposed participants (all men, 45-74 years) completed fluid-attenuated inversion recovery magnetic resonance imaging, neuropsychological testing, and self-report neuropsychiatric measures. Lesion Segmentation Toolbox estimated WMH. Analyses were performed in the total sample and stratified by age 60.

In older but not younger participants, former football players had greater total, frontal, temporal, and parietal log-WMH compared to asymptomatic unexposed men. In older but not younger former football players, greater log-WMH was associated with younger age of first exposure to football and worse executive function.

Older but not younger former football players had greater total, frontal, temporal, and parietal lobe white matter hyperintensities (WMH) compared to same-age asymptomatic unexposed men. Younger age of first exposure to football was associated with greater WMH in older but not younger former American football players. In former football players, greater WMH was associated with worse executive function and verbal memory.

CRISPR/Cas9 screen in human iPSC-derived cortical neurons identifies NEK6 as a novel disease modifier of C9orf72 poly(PR) toxicity.

Alzheimers & Dementia

The most common genetic cause of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are hexanucleotide repeats in chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72). These repeats produce dipeptide repeat proteins with poly(PR) being the most toxic one.

We performed a kinome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 knock-out screen in human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) -derived cortical neurons to identify modifiers of poly(PR) toxicity, and validated the role of candidate modifiers using in vitro, in vivo, and ex-vivo studies.

Knock-down of NIMA-related kinase 6 (NEK6) prevented neuronal toxicity caused by poly(PR). Knock-down of nek6 also ameliorated the poly(PR)-induced axonopathy in zebrafish and NEK6 was aberrantly expressed in C9orf72 patients. Suppression of NEK6 expression and NEK6 activity inhibition rescued axonal transport defects in cortical neurons from C9orf72 patient iPSCs, at least partially by reversing p53-related DNA damage.

We identified NEK6, which regulates poly(PR)-mediated p53-related DNA damage, as a novel therapeutic target for C9orf72 FTD/ALS.

No difference in retinal fluorescence after oral curcumin intake in amyloid-proven AD cases compared to controls.

Alzheimers Dementia Amsterdam

Previous work has showed the in vivo presence of retinal amyloid in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients using curcumin. We aimed to replicate these findings in an amyloid biomarker-confirmed cohort.

Twenty-six patients with AD (age 66 [+9], Mini-Mental Status Examination [MMSE] ≥17) and 14 controls (age 71 [+12]) used one of three curcumin formulations: Longvida, Theracurmin, and Novasol. Plasma levels were determined and pre- and post-curcumin retinal fluorescence scans were assessed visually in all cases and quantitatively assessed in a subset.

Visual assessment showed no difference between AD patients and controls for pre- and post-curcumin images. This was confirmed by quantitative analyses on a subset. Mean conjugated plasma curcumin levels were 198.7 nM (Longvida), 576.6 nM (Theracurmin), and 1605.8 nM (Novasol).

We found no difference in retinal fluorescence between amyloid-confirmed AD cases and control participants, using Longvida and two additional curcumin formulations. Additional replication studies in amyloid-confirmed cohorts are needed to assess the diagnostic value of retinal fluorescence as an AD biomarker.