Anatomy and Neuroscience - Research Publications

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    Higher Coffee Consumption Is Associated With Slower Cognitive Decline and Less Cerebral A beta-Amyloid Accumulation Over 126 Months: Data From the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers, and Lifestyle Study
    Gardener, SL ; Rainey-Smith, SR ; Villemagne, VL ; Fripp, J ; Dore, V ; Bourgeat, P ; Taddei, K ; Fowler, C ; Masters, CL ; Maruff, P ; Rowe, CC ; Ames, D ; Martins, RN ; AIBL, I (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-11-19)
    Background: Worldwide, coffee is one of the most popular beverages consumed. Several studies have suggested a protective role of coffee, including reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, there is limited longitudinal data from cohorts of older adults reporting associations of coffee intake with cognitive decline, in distinct domains, and investigating the neuropathological mechanisms underpinning any such associations. Methods: The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between self-reported habitual coffee intake, and cognitive decline assessed using a comprehensive neuropsychological battery in 227 cognitively normal older adults from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers, and Lifestyle (AIBL) study, over 126 months. In a subset of individuals, we also investigated the relationship between habitual coffee intake and cerebral Aβ-amyloid accumulation (n = 60) and brain volumes (n = 51) over 126 months. Results: Higher baseline coffee consumption was associated with slower cognitive decline in executive function, attention, and the AIBL Preclinical AD Cognitive Composite (PACC; shown reliably to measure the first signs of cognitive decline in at-risk cognitively normal populations), and lower likelihood of transitioning to mild cognitive impairment or AD status, over 126 months. Higher baseline coffee consumption was also associated with slower Aβ-amyloid accumulation over 126 months, and lower risk of progressing to "moderate," "high," or "very high" Aβ-amyloid burden status over the same time-period. There were no associations between coffee intake and atrophy in total gray matter, white matter, or hippocampal volume. Discussion: Our results further support the hypothesis that coffee intake may be a protective factor against AD, with increased coffee consumption potentially reducing cognitive decline by slowing cerebral Aβ-amyloid accumulation, and thus attenuating the associated neurotoxicity from Aβ-amyloid-mediated oxidative stress and inflammatory processes. Further investigation is required to evaluate whether coffee intake could be incorporated as a modifiable lifestyle factor aimed at delaying AD onset.
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    Using imputation to provide harmonized longitudinal measures of cognition across AIBL and ADNI
    Shishegar, R ; Cox, T ; Rolls, D ; Bourgeat, P ; Dore, V ; Lamb, F ; Robertson, J ; Laws, SM ; Porter, T ; Fripp, J ; Tosun, D ; Maruff, P ; Savage, G ; Rowe, CC ; Masters, CL ; Weiner, MW ; Villemagne, VL ; Burnham, SC (NATURE PORTFOLIO, 2021-12-10)
    To improve understanding of Alzheimer's disease, large observational studies are needed to increase power for more nuanced analyses. Combining data across existing observational studies represents one solution. However, the disparity of such datasets makes this a non-trivial task. Here, a machine learning approach was applied to impute longitudinal neuropsychological test scores across two observational studies, namely the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study (AIBL) and the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) providing an overall harmonised dataset. MissForest, a machine learning algorithm, capitalises on the underlying structure and relationships of data to impute test scores not measured in one study aligning it to the other study. Results demonstrated that simulated missing values from one dataset could be accurately imputed, and that imputation of actual missing data in one dataset showed comparable discrimination (p < 0.001) for clinical classification to measured data in the other dataset. Further, the increased power of the overall harmonised dataset was demonstrated by observing a significant association between CVLT-II test scores (imputed for ADNI) with PET Amyloid-β in MCI APOE-ε4 homozygotes in the imputed data (N = 65) but not for the original AIBL dataset (N = 11). These results suggest that MissForest can provide a practical solution for data harmonization using imputation across studies to improve power for more nuanced analyses.
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    Fifteen Years of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Study: Progress and Observations from 2,359 Older Adults Spanning the Spectrum from Cognitive Normality to Alzheimer's Disease
    Fowler, C ; Rainey-Smith, SR ; Bird, S ; Bomke, J ; Bourgeat, P ; Brown, BM ; Burnham, SC ; Bush, A ; Chadunow, C ; Collins, S ; Doecke, J ; Dore, V ; Ellis, KA ; Evered, L ; Fazlollahi, A ; Fripp, J ; Gardener, SL ; Gibson, S ; Grenfell, R ; Harrison, E ; Head, R ; Jin, L ; Kamer, A ; Lamb, F ; Lautenschlager, NT ; Laws, SM ; Li, Q-X ; Lim, L ; Lim, YY ; Louey, A ; Macaulay, SL ; Mackintosh, L ; Martins, RN ; Maruff, P ; Masters, CL ; McBride, S ; Milicic, L ; Peretti, M ; Pertile, K ; Porter, T ; Radler, M ; Rembach, A ; Robertson, J ; Rodrigues, M ; Rowe, CC ; Rumble, R ; Salvado, O ; Savage, G ; Silbert, B ; Soh, M ; Sohrabi, HR ; Taddei, K ; Taddei, T ; Thai, C ; Trounson, B ; Tyrrell, R ; Vacher, M ; Varghese, S ; Villemagne, VL ; Weinborn, M ; Woodward, M ; Xia, Y ; Ames, D (IOS PRESS, 2021-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Study commenced in 2006 as a prospective study of 1,112 individuals (768 cognitively normal (CN), 133 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 211 with Alzheimer's disease dementia (AD)) as an 'Inception cohort' who underwent detailed ssessments every 18 months. Over the past decade, an additional 1247 subjects have been added as an 'Enrichment cohort' (as of 10 April 2019). OBJECTIVE: Here we provide an overview of these Inception and Enrichment cohorts of more than 8,500 person-years of investigation. METHODS: Participants underwent reassessment every 18 months including comprehensive cognitive testing, neuroimaging (magnetic resonance imaging, MRI; positron emission tomography, PET), biofluid biomarkers and lifestyle evaluations. RESULTS: AIBL has made major contributions to the understanding of the natural history of AD, with cognitive and biological definitions of its three major stages: preclinical, prodromal and clinical. Early deployment of Aβ-amyloid and tau molecular PET imaging and the development of more sensitive and specific blood tests have facilitated the assessment of genetic and environmental factors which affect age at onset and rates of progression. CONCLUSION: This fifteen-year study provides a large database of highly characterized individuals with longitudinal cognitive, imaging and lifestyle data and biofluid collections, to aid in the development of interventions to delay onset, prevent or treat AD. Harmonization with similar large longitudinal cohort studies is underway to further these aims.
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    SPON1 Is Associated with Amyloid-beta and APOE epsilon 4-Related Cognitive Decline in Cognitively Normal Adults
    Fernandez, S ; Burnham, SC ; Milicic, L ; Savage, G ; Maruff, P ; Peretti, M ; Sohrabi, HR ; Lim, YY ; Weinborn, M ; Ames, D ; Masters, CL ; Martins, RN ; Rainey-Smith, S ; Rowe, CC ; Salvado, O ; Groth, D ; Verdile, G ; Villemagne, VL ; Porter, T ; Laws, SM (IOS PRESS, 2021-01-01)
    . BACKGROUND: Genetic variation in Spondin-1, specifically rs11023139, has been associated with reduced rates of cognitive decline in individuals with Alzheimer's disease. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess whether the association was present in cognitively normal older adults. METHODS: Longitudinal cognitive decline was investigated using linear mixed modelling in a cohort of 590 cognitively normal older adults enrolled in the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study. RESULTS: No independent effect of Spondin-1 rs11023139 on cognitive decline was observed. However, significant associations were observed for the interaction between Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4 and rs11023139 in individuals with high amyloid-β burden. APOE ɛ4/rs11023139-A carriers declined significantly faster than APOE ɛ4/rs11023139-G_G carriers in measures of global cognition (p = 0.011) and verbal episodic memory (p = 0.020). CONCLUSION: These results suggest that carriage of the Spondin-1 rs11023139-A allele significantly contributes to a worsening of cognitive performance in APOE ɛ4 cognitively normal older adults with a high neocortical amyloid-β burden.
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    Association of beta-Amyloid Level, Clinical Progression, and Longitudinal Cognitive Change in Normal Older Individuals
    Van der Kall, LM ; Thanh, T ; Burnham, SC ; Dore, V ; Mulligan, RS ; Bozinovski, S ; Lamb, F ; Bourgeat, P ; Fripp, J ; Schultz, S ; Lim, YY ; Laws, SM ; Ames, D ; Fowler, C ; Rainey-Smith, SR ; Martins, RN ; Salvado, O ; Robertson, J ; Maruff, P ; Masters, CL ; Villemagne, VL ; Rowe, CC (LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2021-02-02)
    OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of β-amyloid (Aβ) level on progression risk to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia and longitudinal cognitive change in cognitively normal (CN) older individuals. METHODS: All CN from the Australian Imaging Biomarkers and Lifestyle study with Aβ PET and ≥3 years follow-up were included (n = 534; age 72 ± 6 years; 27% Aβ positive; follow-up 5.3 ± 1.7 years). Aβ level was divided using the standardized 0-100 Centiloid scale: <15 CL negative, 15-25 CL uncertain, 26-50 CL moderate, 51-100 CL high, >100 CL very high, noting >25 CL approximates a positive scan. Cox proportional hazards analysis and linear mixed effect models were used to assess risk of progression and cognitive decline. RESULTS: Aβ levels in 63% were negative, 10% uncertain, 10% moderate, 14% high, and 3% very high. Fifty-seven (11%) progressed to MCI or dementia. Compared to negative Aβ, the hazard ratio for progression for moderate Aβ was 3.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3-7.6; p < 0.05), for high was 7.0 (95% CI 3.7-13.3; p < 0.001), and for very high was 11.4 (95% CI 5.1-25.8; p < 0.001). Decline in cognitive composite score was minimal in the moderate group (-0.02 SD/year, p = 0.05), while the high and very high declined substantially (high -0.08 SD/year, p < 0.001; very high -0.35 SD/year, p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: The risk of MCI or dementia over 5 years in older CN is related to Aβ level on PET, 5% if negative vs 25% if positive but ranging from 12% if 26-50 CL to 28% if 51-100 CL and 50% if >100 CL. This information may be useful for dementia risk counseling and aid design of preclinical AD trials.
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    Asymmetric thinning of the cerebral cortex across the adult lifespan is accelerated in Alzheimer's disease
    Roe, JM ; Vidal-Pineiro, D ; Sorensen, O ; Brandmaier, AM ; Duzel, S ; Gonzalez, HA ; Kievit, RA ; Knights, E ; Kuhn, S ; Lindenberger, U ; Mowinckel, AM ; Nyberg, L ; Park, DC ; Pudas, S ; Rundle, MM ; Walhovd, KB ; Fjell, AM ; Westerhausen, R (NATURE RESEARCH, 2021-02-01)
    Aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are associated with progressive brain disorganization. Although structural asymmetry is an organizing feature of the cerebral cortex it is unknown whether continuous age- and AD-related cortical degradation alters cortical asymmetry. Here, in multiple longitudinal adult lifespan cohorts we show that higher-order cortical regions exhibiting pronounced asymmetry at age ~20 also show progressive asymmetry-loss across the adult lifespan. Hence, accelerated thinning of the (previously) thicker homotopic hemisphere is a feature of aging. This organizational principle showed high consistency across cohorts in the Lifebrain consortium, and both the topological patterns and temporal dynamics of asymmetry-loss were markedly similar across replicating samples. Asymmetry-change was further accelerated in AD. Results suggest a system-wide dedifferentiation of the adaptive asymmetric organization of heteromodal cortex in aging and AD.
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    Risk prediction of late-onset Alzheimer's disease implies an oligogenic architecture
    Zhang, Q ; Sidorenko, J ; Couvy-Duchesne, B ; Marioni, RE ; Wright, MJ ; Goate, AM ; Marcora, E ; Huang, K-L ; Porter, T ; Laws, SM ; Sachdev, PS ; Mather, KA ; Armstrong, NJ ; Thalamuthu, A ; Brodaty, H ; Yengo, L ; Yang, J ; Wray, NR ; McRae, AF ; Visscher, PM (NATURE RESEARCH, 2020-09-23)
    Genetic association studies have identified 44 common genome-wide significant risk loci for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD). However, LOAD genetic architecture and prediction are unclear. Here we estimate the optimal P-threshold (Poptimal) of a genetic risk score (GRS) for prediction of LOAD in three independent datasets comprising 676 cases and 35,675 family history proxy cases. We show that the discriminative ability of GRS in LOAD prediction is maximised when selecting a small number of SNPs. Both simulation results and direct estimation indicate that the number of causal common SNPs for LOAD may be less than 100, suggesting LOAD is more oligogenic than polygenic. The best GRS explains approximately 75% of SNP-heritability, and individuals in the top decile of GRS have ten-fold increased odds when compared to those in the bottom decile. In addition, 14 variants are identified that contribute to both LOAD risk and age at onset of LOAD.