We sought to determine whether there is any association between a cardiac workload marker, rate pressure product (RPP), working memory, and cortical amyloid-β (Aβ) burden in 63 cognitively normal midlife adults (Mage = 62.8 years; range = 55 to 75 years) at risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD). The results show a small-to-moderate relationship between increasing cardiac workload (at rest) and neocortical amyloidosis in individuals at the preclinical stage of AD. Moreover, increasing RPP was linearly related to increasing relative impairments on a spatial working memory task (R2 = 0.30), but only for those individuals with neuroimaging evidence suggestive of preclinical AD. These results support a relationship between the aggregation of Aβ protein plaques in the neocortex, increased cognitive impairment, and more inefficient myocardial oxygen use in the absence of significant metabolic demands.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid beta-peptides; blood pressure; cardiovascular diseases; cerebrovascular disorders; comorbidity; memory; mild cognitive impairment; risk factors; short-term; workload.