Changes in vascular factors 28 years from midlife and late-life cortical thickness

Neurobiology of Aging. 2013 Jan 1; 34(1):100-109


We assessed midlife blood pressure (BP), body mass index, total cholesterol, and their changes over time in relation to cortical thickness on magnetic resonance imaging 28 years later in 63 elderly at risk of dementia. Participants in the population-based Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging, and Dementia study were first examined at midlife. A first follow-up was conducted after 21 years, and a second follow-up after an additional 7 years. Magnetic resonance images from the second follow-up were analyzed using algorithms developed at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Midlife hypertension was related to thinner cortex in several brain areas, including insular, frontal, and temporal cortices. In elderly with thinner insular cortex, there was a continuous decline in systolic BP and an increase in pulse pressure after midlife, while in elderly with thicker insular cortex the decline in systolic BP started at older ages, paralleled by a decline in pulse pressure. No associations were found between body mass index, cholesterol, or apolipoprotein E ε4 allele and cortical thickness in this group of elderly at risk individuals.

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