APOE Genotype Modifies the Association Between Central Arterial Stiffening and Cognition in Older Adults

Neurobiol Aging. 2018 Jul;67:120-127. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2018.02.009. Epub 2018 Feb 20.

Abstract

Arterial stiffening is associated with cognitive impairment and prodromal Alzheimer's disease. This study tested the interaction between arterial stiffening and an Alzheimer's disease genetic risk factor (apolipoprotein E [APOE] genotype) on cognition among older adults. Vanderbilt Memory & Aging Project participants with normal cognition (n = 162, 72 ± 7 years, 29% APOE-ε4 carrier) and mild cognitive impairment (n = 121, 73 ± 8 years, 42% APOE-ε4 carrier) completed neuropsychological assessment and cardiac MRI to assess aortic stiffening using pulse wave velocity (PWV, m/s). Linear regression models stratified by cognitive diagnosis related aortic PWV × APOE-ε4 status to neuropsychological performances, adjusting for demographic and vascular risk factors. PWV × APOE-ε4 related to poorer performance on measures of lexical retrieval (β = -0.29, p = 0.01), executive function (β = -0.44, p = 0.02), and episodic memory (β = -3.07, p = 0.02). Among participants with higher aortic PWV, APOE-ε4 modified the association between central arterial stiffening and cognition, such that carriers had worse performances than noncarriers. Findings add to a growing body of evidence for APOE-vascular interactions on cognition in older adults and warrant further research into less heart-healthy cohorts where the association between PWV and cognition among older adults might be stronger.

Keywords: Aging; Alzheimer's disease; Cardiac MRI; Mild cognitive impairment; Pulse wave velocity; Vascular risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / genetics*
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Aging / psychology
  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / etiology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Vascular Stiffness / genetics*
  • Vascular Stiffness / physiology*

Substances

  • Apolipoproteins E