JAMA Neurol. 2014 May;71(5):562-8 doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.186.

Arterial stiffness and β-amyloid progression in nondemented elderly adults

Hughes TM, Kuller LH, Barinas-Mitchell EJ, McDade EM, Klunk WE, Cohen AD, Mathis CA, Dekosky ST, Price JC, Lopez OL.


IMPORTANCE: Recent studies show that cerebral β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition is associated with blood pressure and measures of arterial stiffness in nondemented individuals.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between measures of arterial stiffness and change in Aβ deposition over time.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Deposition of Aβ was determined in a longitudinal observational study of aging by positron emission tomography using the Pittsburgh compound B twice 2 years apart in 81 nondemented individuals 83 years and older. Arterial stiffness was measured with a noninvasive and automated waveform analyzer at the time closest to the second positron emission tomography scan. All measures were performed under standardized conditions. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) was measured in the central (carotid-femoral and heart-femoral PWV), peripheral (femoral-ankle PWV), and mixed (brachial-ankle PWV) vascular beds.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The change in Aβ deposition over 2 years was calculated from the 81 individuals with repeat Aβ-positron emission tomography.
RESULTS: The proportion of Aβ-positive individuals increased from 48% at baseline to 75% at follow-up. Brachial-ankle PWV was significantly higher among Aβ-positive participants at baseline and follow-up. Femoral-ankle PWV was only higher among Aβ-positive participants at follow-up. Measures of central stiffness and blood pressure were not associated with Aβ status at baseline or follow-up, but central stiffness was associated with a change in Aβ deposition over time. Each standard deviation increase in central stiffness (carotid-femoral PWV, P = .001; heart-femoral PWV, P = .004) was linked with increases in Aβ deposition over 2 years.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This study showed that Aβ deposition increases with age in nondemented individuals and that arterial stiffness is strongly associated with the progressive deposition of Aβ in the brain, especially in this age group. The association between Aβ deposition changes over time and generalized arterial stiffness indicated a relationship between the severity of subclinical vascular disease and progressive cerebral Aβ deposition.

PMID: 24687165