Neurodegeneration, Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers, and longitudinal verbal learning and memory performance in late middle age.

Allison, S., E. Jonaitis, R. Koscik, B. Hermann, K. Mueller, R. Cary, Y. Ma, H. Rowley, C. Carlsson, S. Asthana, H. Zetterberg, K. Blennow, B. Bendlin, and S. Johnson. “Neurodegeneration, Alzheimer’s Disease Biomarkers, and Longitudinal Verbal Learning and Memory Performance in Late Middle Age.”. Neurobiology of Aging, Vol. 102, 2021, pp. 151-60.

This study examined the effect of neurodegeneration, and its interaction with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, on longitudinal verbal learning and memory performance in cognitively unimpaired (CU) late middle-aged adults. Three hundred and forty-two CU adults (cognitive baseline mean age = 58.4), with cerebrospinal fluid and structural MRI, completed 2-10 (median = 5) cognitive assessments. Learning and memory were assessed using the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT). We used sequential comparison of nested linear mixed effects models to analyze the data. Model selection preserved a significant ptau181/Aβ42 × global atrophy × age interaction; individuals with less global atrophy and lower ptau181/Aβ42 levels had less learning and delayed recall decline than individuals with more global atrophy and/or higher levels of ptau181/Aβ42. The hippocampal volume × age × ptau181/Aβ42 interaction was not significant. Findings suggest that in a sample of CU late middle-aged adults, individuals with AD biomarkers, global atrophy, or both evidence greater verbal learning and memory decline than individuals without either risk factor.

DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2021.01.030

PubMed: 33765428