Associations of Brain Pathology Cognitive and Physical Markers With Age in Cognitively Normal Individuals Aged 60-102 Years

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2020 Sep 16;75(9):1609-1617. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glz180.


The prevalence of brain pathologies increases with age and cognitive and physical functions worsen over the lifetime. It is unclear whether these processes show a similar increase with age. We studied the association of markers for brain pathology cognitive and physical functions with age in 288 cognitively normal individuals aged 60-102 years selected from the cross-sectional EMIF-AD PreclinAD and 90+ Study at the Amsterdam UMC. An abnormal score was consistent with a score below the 5th percentile in the 60- to 70-year-old individuals. Prevalence of abnormal scores was estimated using Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) models. The prevalence of abnormal handgrip strength, the Digit Symbol Substitution Test, and hippocampal volume showed the fastest increase with age and abnormal MMSE score, muscle mass, and amyloid aggregation the lowest. The increase in prevalence of abnormal markers was partly dependent on sex, level of education, and amyloid aggregation. We did not find a consistent pattern in which markers of brain pathology cognitive and physical processes became abnormal with age.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Brain aging; Cognitive function; Human aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / pathology*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Biomarkers
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cognitive Aging* / physiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Hand Strength
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Status and Dementia Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Sex Factors


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers