Cortical proteins may provide motor resilience in older adults

Sci Rep. 2021 May 28;11(1):11311. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-90859-3.


Motor resilience proteins may be a high value therapeutic target that offset the negative effects of pathologies on motor function. This study sought to identify cortical proteins associated with motor decline unexplained by brain pathologies that provide motor resilience. We studied 1226 older decedents with annual motor testing, postmortem brain pathologies and quantified 226 proteotypic peptides in prefrontal cortex. Twenty peptides remained associated with motor decline in models controlling for ten brain pathologies (FDR < 0.05). Higher levels of nine peptides and lower levels of eleven peptides were related to slower decline. A higher motor resilience protein score based on averaging the levels of all 20 peptides was related to slower motor decline, less severe parkinsonism and lower odds of mobility disability before death. Cortical proteins may provide motor resilience. Targeting these proteins in further drug discovery may yield novel interventions to maintain motor function in old age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement Disorders / etiology
  • Movement Disorders / metabolism*
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / metabolism*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / pathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychomotor Performance*


  • Peptides