Author(s): Paulsen AJ, Schubert CR, Pinto A, Carlsson CM, Chappell RJ, Fischer ME, Klein BEK,Klein R, Tsai MY, Cruickshanks KJ. Neuroprotective biomarkers and cognitive function in a long-term prospective population-based study of aging US adults. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2020 Jan-Mar;34(1):31-39. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000341. PMID 31385821
BACKGROUND Relationships between brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), aldosterone, and cognition in aging were evaluated in the population-based Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study (1993 to present).
METHODS Beginning in 1998 to 2000, cognitive impairment was assessed by report of physician diagnoses and the Mini-Mental State Examination. In 2009 to 2010 and 2013 to 2016, information was collected on diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment/dementia. Decline in cognitive function was assessed by principal component analysis from additional tests administered during 2009 to 2010 and 2013 to 2016. BDNF, IGF-1, and aldosterone were measured in serum collected in 1998 to 2000.
RESULTS There were 1970 participants (mean age=66.9 y; 59.1% female) without cognitive impairment at baseline. Among women, low BDNF was associated with 16-year incident cognitive impairment [hazard ratio=1.76; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.04, 2.98]. Among men, increasing IGF-1 was associated with decreased risk [per SD: relative risk (RR)=0.57; 95% CI=0.35, 0.92], whereas increasing aldosterone levels were associated with increased risk (per SD: RR=1.28; 95% CI=1.01, 1.62) for 5-year incident mild cognitive impairment/dementia. Overall, low BDNF was associated with increased risk (RR=1.52; 95% CI=1.02, 2.26) for 5-year cognitive decline.
CONCLUSION Low levels of serum BDNF and IGF-1 were associated with poorer cognition during aging. There may be differential biomarker effects by sex.