Medicine (Austin & Northern Health) - Research Publications

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    Trajectories of depressive and anxiety symptoms in older adults: a 6-year prospective cohort study
    Holmes, SE ; Esterlis, I ; Mazure, CM ; Lim, YY ; Ames, D ; Rainey-Smith, S ; Fowler, C ; Ellis, K ; Martins, RN ; Salvado, O ; Dore, V ; Villemagne, VL ; Rowe, CC ; Laws, SM ; Masters, CL ; Pietrzak, RH ; Maruff, P (WILEY, 2018-02-01)
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    Cerebrovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease biomarkers and longitudinal cognitive decline
    Yates, PA ; Villemagne, VL ; Ames, D ; Masters, CL ; Martins, RN ; Desmond, P ; Burnham, S ; Maruff, P ; Ellis, KA ; Rowe, CC (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2016-06-01)
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    Amyloid burden and incident depressive symptoms in cognitively normal older adults
    Harrington, KD ; Gould, E ; Lim, YY ; Ames, D ; Pietrzak, RH ; Rembach, A ; Rainey-Smith, S ; Martins, RN ; Salvado, O ; Villemagne, VL ; Rowe, CC ; Masters, CL ; Maruff, P (WILEY, 2017-04-01)
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    APOE and BDNF polymorphisms moderate amyloid beta-related cognitive decline in preclinical Alzheimer's disease
    Lim, YY ; Villemagne, VL ; Laws, SM ; Pietrzak, RH ; Snyder, PJ ; Ames, D ; Ellis, KA ; Harrington, K ; Rembach, A ; Martins, RN ; Rowe, CC ; Masters, CL ; Maruff, P (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2015-11-01)
    Accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ) in the brain is associated with memory decline in healthy individuals as a prelude to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Genetic factors may moderate this decline. We examined the role of apolipoprotein E (ɛ4 carrier[ɛ4(+)], ɛ4 non-carrier[ɛ4(-)]) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF(Val/Val), BDNF(Met)) in the extent to which they moderate Aβ-related memory decline. Healthy adults (n=333, Mage=70 years) enrolled in the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle study underwent Aβ neuroimaging. Neuropsychological assessments were conducted at baseline, 18-, 36- and 54-month follow-ups. Aβ positron emission tomography neuroimaging was used to classify participants as Aβ(-) or Aβ(+). Relative to Aβ(-)ɛ4(-), Aβ(+)ɛ4(+) individuals showed significantly faster rates of cognitive decline over 54 months across all domains (d=0.40-1.22), while Aβ(+)ɛ4(-) individuals showed significantly faster decline only on verbal episodic memory (EM). There were no differences in rates of cognitive change between Aβ(-)ɛ4(-) and Aβ(-)ɛ4(+) groups. Among Aβ(+) individuals, ɛ4(+)/BDNF(Met) participants showed a significantly faster rate of decline on verbal and visual EM, and language over 54 months compared with ɛ4(-)/BDNF(Val/Val) participants (d=0.90-1.02). At least two genetic loci affect the rate of Aβ-related cognitive decline. Aβ(+)ɛ4(+)/BDNF(Met) individuals can expect to show clinically significant memory impairment after 3 years, whereas Aβ(+)ɛ4(+)/BDNF(Val/Val) individuals can expect a similar degree of impairment after 10 years. Little decline over 54 months was observed in the Aβ(-) and Aβ(+) ɛ4(-) groups, irrespective of BDNF status. These data raise important prognostic issues in managing preclinical AD, and should be considered in designing secondary preventative clinical trials.
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    Sensitivity of composite scores to amyloid burden in preclinical Alzheimer's disease: Introducing the Z-scores of Attention, Verbal fluency, and Episodic memory for Nondemented older adults composite score.
    Lim, YY ; Snyder, PJ ; Pietrzak, RH ; Ukiqi, A ; Villemagne, VL ; Ames, D ; Salvado, O ; Bourgeat, P ; Martins, RN ; Masters, CL ; Rowe, CC ; Maruff, P (Wiley, 2016)
    INTRODUCTION: Cognitive composite scores developed for preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD) often consist of multiple cognitive domains as they may provide greater sensitivity to detect β-amyloid (Aβ)-related cognitive decline than episodic memory (EM) composite scores alone. However, this has never been empirically tested. We compared the rate of cognitive decline associated with high Aβ (Aβ+) and very high Aβ (Aβ++) in cognitively normal (CN) older adults on three multidomain cognitive composite scores and one single-domain (EM) composite score. METHODS: CN older adults (n = 423) underwent Aβ neuroimaging and completed neuropsychological assessments at baseline, and at 18-, 36-, 54-, and 72-month follow-ups. Four cognitive composite scores were computed: the ADCS-PACC (ADCS-Preclinical Alzheimer Cognitive Composite), ADCS-PACC without the inclusion of the mini-mental state examination (MMSE), an EM composite, and the Z-scores of Attention, Verbal fluency, and Episodic memory for Nondemented older adults (ZAVEN) composite. RESULTS: Compared with Aβ+ CN older adults, Aβ++ CN older adults showed faster rates of decline across all cognitive composites, with the largest decline observed for ZAVEN composite (d = 1.07). Similarly, compared with Aβ- CN older adults, Aβ+ CN older adults also showed faster rates of cognitive decline, but only for the ADCS-PACC no MMSE (d = 0.43), EM (d = 0.53), and ZAVEN (d = 0.50) composites. DISCUSSION: Aβ-related cognitive decline is best detected using validated neuropsychological instruments. Removal of the MMSE from the ADCS-PACC and replacing it with a test of executive function (verbal fluency; i.e., the ZAVEN) rendered this composite more sensitive even in detecting Aβ-related cognitive decline between Aβ+ and Aβ++ CN older adults.
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    Amyloid β-associated cognitive decline in the absence of clinical disease progression and systemic illness.
    Harrington, KD ; Lim, YY ; Ames, D ; Hassenstab, J ; Laws, SM ; Martins, RN ; Rainey-Smith, S ; Robertson, J ; Rowe, CC ; Salvado, O ; Doré, V ; Villemagne, VL ; Snyder, PJ ; Masters, CL ; Maruff, P (Wiley, 2017)
    INTRODUCTION: High levels of amyloid β (Aβ) are associated with cognitive decline in cognitively normal (CN) older adults. This study investigated the nature of cognitive decline in healthy individuals who did not progress to mild cognitive impairment or dementia. METHOD: Cognition was measured over 72 months and compared between low (Aβ-) and high (Aβ+) CN older adults (n = 335) who did not progress to mild cognitive impairment or dementia and who remained free of severe or uncontrolled systemic illness. RESULTS: Compared to the Aβ- group, the Aβ+ group showed no cognitive impairment at baseline but showed substantial decline in verbal learning, episodic memory, and attention over 72 months. DISCUSSION: Moderate cognitive decline, particularly for learning and memory, was associated with Aβ+ in CN older adults in the absence of clinical disease progression and uncontrolled or serious comorbid illness.
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    Genetic variation in Aquaporin-4 moderates the relationship between sleep and brain A beta-amyloid burden
    Rainey-Smith, SR ; Mazzucchelli, GN ; Villemagne, VL ; Brown, BM ; Porter, T ; Weinborn, M ; Bucks, RS ; Milicic, L ; Sohrabi, HR ; Taddei, K ; Ames, D ; Maruff, P ; Masters, CL ; Rowe, CC ; Salvado, O ; Martins, RN ; Laws, SM (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018-02-26)
    The glymphatic system is postulated to be a mechanism of brain Aβ-amyloid clearance and to be most effective during sleep. Ablation of the astrocytic end-feet expressed water-channel protein, Aquaporin-4, in mice, results in impairment of this clearance mechanism and increased brain Aβ-amyloid deposition, suggesting that Aquaporin-4 plays a pivotal role in glymphatic function. Currently there is a paucity of literature regarding the impact of AQP4 genetic variation on sleep, brain Aβ-amyloid burden and their relationship to each other in humans. To address this a cross-sectional observational study was undertaken in cognitively normal older adults from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) study. Genetic variants in AQP4 were investigated with respect to self-reported Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index sleep parameters, positron emission tomography derived brain Aβ-amyloid burden and whether these genetic variants moderated the sleep-Aβ-amyloid burden relationship. One AQP4 variant, rs72878776, was associated with poorer overall sleep quality, while several SNPs moderated the effect of sleep latency (rs491148, rs9951307, rs7135406, rs3875089, rs151246) and duration (rs72878776, rs491148 and rs2339214) on brain Aβ-amyloid burden. This study suggests that AQP4 genetic variation moderates the relationship between sleep and brain Aβ-amyloid burden, which adds weight to the proposed glymphatic system being a potential Aβ-amyloid clearance mechanism and suggests that AQP4 genetic variation may impair this function. Further, AQP4 genetic variation should be considered when interpreting sleep-Aβ relationships.
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    Mediterranean diet adherence and rate of cerebral A beta-amyloid accumulation: Data from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study of Ageing
    Rainey-Smith, SR ; Gu, Y ; Gardener, SL ; Doecke, JD ; Villemagne, VL ; Brown, BM ; Taddei, K ; Laws, SM ; Sohrabi, HR ; Weinborn, M ; Ames, D ; Fowler, C ; Macaulay, SL ; Maruff, P ; Masters, CL ; Salvado, O ; Rowe, CC ; Scarmeas, N ; Martins, RN (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018-10-30)
    Accumulating research has linked Mediterranean diet (MeDi) adherence with slower cognitive decline and reduced Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. However, no study to-date has examined the relationship between MeDi adherence and accumulation of cerebral Aβ-amyloid (Aβ; a pathological hallmark of AD) in older adults. Cognitively normal healthy control participants of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Study of Ageing completed the Cancer Council of Victoria Food Frequency Questionnaire at baseline, which was used to construct a MeDi score for each participant (score range 0-9; higher score indicating higher adherence). Cerebral Aβ load was quantified by Pittsburgh Compound B positron emission tomography at baseline, 18 and 36 months: Only individuals categorised as "Aβ accumulators", and thus considered to be on the AD pathway, were included in the analysis (N = 77). The relationship between MeDi adherence, MeDi components, and change in cerebral Aβ load (baseline to 36 months) was evaluated using Generalised Linear Modelling, accounting for age, gender, education, Apolipoprotein E ε4 allele status, body mass index and total energy intake. Higher MeDi score was associated with less Aβ accumulation in our cohort (β = -0.01 ± 0.004, p = 0.0070). Of the individual MeDi score components, a high intake of fruit was associated with less accumulation of Aβ (β = -0.04 ± 0.01, p = 0.00036). Our results suggest MeDi adherence is associated with reduced cerebral AD pathology accumulation over time. When our results are considered collectively with previous data linking the MeDi to slower cognitive decline, it is apparent that MeDi adherence warrants further investigation in the quest to delay AD onset.
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    Rates of age- and amyloid beta-associated cortical atrophy in older adults with superior memory performance
    Dang, C ; Yassi, N ; Harrington, KD ; Xia, Y ; Lim, YY ; Ames, D ; Laws, SM ; Hickey, M ; Rainey-Smith, S ; Sohrabi, HR ; Doecke, JD ; Fripp, J ; Salvado, O ; Snyder, PJ ; Weinborn, M ; Villemagne, VL ; Rowe, CC ; Masters, CL ; Maruff, P (WILEY, 2019-12-01)
    INTRODUCTION: Superior cognitive performance in older adults may reflect underlying resistance to age-associated neurodegeneration. While elevated amyloid β (Aβ) deposition (Aβ+) has been associated with increased cortical atrophy, it remains unknown whether "SuperAgers" may be protected from Aβ-associated neurodegeneration. METHODS: Neuropsychologically defined SuperAgers (n = 172) and cognitively normal for age (n = 172) older adults from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle study were case matched. Rates of cortical atrophy over 8 years were examined by SuperAger classification and Aβ status. RESULTS: Of the case-matched SuperAgers and cognitively normal for age older adults, 40.7% and 40.1%, respectively, were Aβ+. Rates of age- and Aβ-associated atrophy did not differ between the groups on any measure. Aβ- individuals displayed the slowest rates of atrophy. DISCUSSION: Maintenance of superior memory in late life does not reflect resistance to age- or Aβ-associated atrophy. However, those individuals who reached old age without cognitive impairment nor elevated Aβ deposition (i.e. Aβ-) displayed reduced rates of cortical atrophy.
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    A Polygenic Risk Score Derived From Episodic Memory Weighted Genetic Variants Is Associated With Cognitive Decline in Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease
    Porter, T ; Burnham, SC ; Savage, G ; Lim, YY ; Maruff, P ; Milicic, L ; Peretti, M ; Ames, D ; Masters, CL ; Martins, RN ; Rainey-Smith, S ; Rowe, CC ; Salvado, O ; Taddei, K ; Groth, D ; Verdile, G ; Villemagne, VL ; Laws, SM (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2018-12-19)
    Studies of Alzheimer's disease risk-weighted polygenic risk scores (PRSs) for cognitive performance have reported inconsistent associations. This inconsistency is particularly evident when PRSs are assessed independent of APOE genotype. As such, the development and assessment of phenotype-specific weightings to derive PRSs for cognitive decline in preclinical AD is warranted. To this end a episodic memory-weighted PRS (emPRS) was derived and assessed against decline in cognitive performance in 226 healthy cognitively normal older adults with high brain Aβ-amyloid burden participants from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) study. The effect size for decline in a verbal episodic memory was determined individually for 27 genetic variants in a reference sample (n = 151). These were then summed to generate a emPRS either including APOE (emPRSc̅APOE) or excluding APOE (emPRSs̅APOE ). Resultant emPRS were then evaluated, in a test sample (n = 75), against decline in global cognition, verbal episodic memory and a pre-Alzheimer's cognitive composite (AIBL-PACC) over 7.5 years. The mean (SD) age of the 226 participants was 72.2 (6.6) years and 116 (51.3%) were female. Reference and test samples did not differ significantly demographically. Whilst no association of emPRSs were observed with baseline cognition, the emPRSc̅ APOE was associated with longitudinal global cognition (-0.237, P = 0.0002), verbal episodic memory (-0.259, P = 0.00003) and the AIBL-PACC (-0.381, P = 0.02). The emPRSs̅ APOE was also associated with global cognition (-0.169, P = 0.021) and verbal episodic memory (-0.208, P = 0.004). Stratification by APOE ε4 revealed that the association between the emPRS and verbal episodic memory was limited to carriage of no ε4 or one ε4 allele. This was also observed for global cognition. The emPRS and rates of decline in AIBL-PACC were associated in those carrying one ε4 allele. Overall, the described novel emPRS has utility for the prediction of decline in cognition in preclinical AD. This study provides evidence to support the further use and evaluation of phenotype weightings in PRS development.