Project: Amyloid Deposition, Vascular Disease, and Clinical Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease

P.I.: Ann Cohen, Ph.D.

The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is closely related to the presence of cardiovascular disease (CaVD), and as such an understanding of the relationship between and CaVD and amyloid-beta (Aβ) pathology, a hallmark pathology of AD, is critically important. The overarching goal of this study is to further the understanding of the complex relationships between AD pathology, including hallmark Aβ and tau deposits, neurodegeneration, cerebrovascular reactivity, and midlife CaVD. To achieve these goals, we will utilize a group of non-demented participants from an existing cohort drawn from the ongoing community-based Heart Strategies Concentrating on Risk Evaluation (Heart SCORE) study. Heart SCORE is a longitudinal study that began in 2003 with a cohort of 2000 participants (43% black) who were between the ages of 45-75 years at study entry, and in the ensuing years the Heart SCORE has collected a wealth of longitudinal vascular measures. The hypothesis to be tested is whether subclinical CaVD identified in midlife is associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease pathology later in life, evidenced by amyloid deposition and neurodegeneration. These changes in brain structure would be associated with alterations in cognition both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. A further hypothesis to be tested is whether a change in cognition results from a failure of vascular compensatory responses, marked by increases in regional cerebral blood flow and cerebrovascular reactivity.

Recent Publications

Snitz BE, Tudorascu DL, Yu Z, Campbell E, Lopresti BJ, Laymon CM, Minhas DS, Nadkarni NK, Aizenstein HJ, Klunk WE, Weintraub S, Gershon RC, Cohen AD (2020). Associations between NIH toolbox cognition battery and in vivo brain amyloid and tau pathology in non-demented older adults. Alzheimer’s & Dement. (Amst.)12(1):e12018.