Introduction: Phospholipids are altered in brains of patients with dementia and some studies suggest their plasma levels may be useful in the detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia.
Methods: We measured 188 plasma metabolites in participants who underwent a detailed neuropsychological assessment and classified as normal (n = 153), MCI (n = 145), or dementia (n = 143) by expert adjudication.
Results: Among 10 phospholipids recently implicated as altered in dementia, higher concentration of PC aa C36:6 was significantly associated with decreased prevalence of dementia (odds ratio = 0.71, 95% confidence interval = 0.50-1.00 per 1-SD increase). Adding these phospholipids to a model including multiple predictors of dementia led to only minimal improvement in detection (C statistic changed from 0.702 to 0.71).
Discussion: Some phospholipids and metabolites were altered in MCI and dementia but cross-sectional association was relatively weak and did not improve detection of MCI and dementia beyond information provided by clinical variables.
Keywords: AD; ARIC; ARIC-NCS; Alzheimer's disease; Dementia; MCI; Metabolites; Metabolomics; Mild cognitive impairment; Phospholipids; Plasma.