Resilient Brain Aging: Characterization of Discordance between Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology and Cognition

Author(s): Selam Negash, Robert S. Wilson, Sue E. Leurgans, David A. Wolk, Julie A. Schneider, Aron S. Buchman, David A. Bennett, Steven. E. Arnold.

Journal Name: Current Alzheimer Research

Volume 10 , Issue 8 , 2013

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Abstract:

Background: Although it is now evident that normal cognition can occur despite significant AD pathology, few studies have attempted to characterize this discordance, or examine factors that may contribute to resilient brain aging in the setting of AD pathology. Methods: More than 2,000 older persons underwent annual evaluation as part of participation in the Religious Orders Study or Rush Memory Aging Project. A total of 966 subjects who had brain autopsy and comprehensive cognitive testing proximate to death were analyzed. Resilience was quantified as a continuous measure using linear regression modeling, where global cognition was entered as a dependent variable and global pathology was an independent variable. Studentized residuals generated from the model represented the discordance between cognition and pathology, and served as measure of resilience. The relation of resilience index to known risk factors for AD and related variables was examined. Results: Multivariate regression models that adjusted for demographic variables revealed significant associations for early life socioeconomic status, reading ability, APOE-ε4 status, and past cognitive activity. A stepwise regression model retained reading level (estimate = 0.10, SE = 0.02; p< 0.0001) and past cognitive activity (estimate = 0.27, SE = 0.09; p = 0.002), suggesting the potential mediating role of these variables for resilience. Conclusions: The construct of resilient brain aging can provide a framework for quantifying the discordance between cognition and pathology, and help identify factors that may mediate this relationship.

Keywords: Cognitive activity, neuropathology, reading level, reserve, resilience.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 10
ISSUE: 8
Year: 2013
Page: [844 - 851]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/15672050113109990157
Price: $58

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