Sub-Clinical Cognitive Decline and Resting Cerebral Blood Flow in Middle Aged Men

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BACKGROUND: Although dementia is associated with both global and regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) changes, little is known about cerebral perfusion in the early pre-clinical stages of cognitive decline preceding overt cognitive dysfunction. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of early sub-clinical cognitive decline with CBF.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study participants were recruited from a cohort of Danish men born in 1953. Based on a regression model we selected men who performed better (Group A, n = 94) and poorer (Group B, n = 95) on cognitive testing at age 57 than expected from testing at age 20. Participants underwent supplementary cognitive testing, blood sampling and MRI including measurements of regional and global CBF.

RESULTS: Regional CBF was lower in group B than in group A in the posterior cingulate gyrus and the precuneus. The associations were attenuated when corrected for global atrophy, but remained significant in regions of interest based analysis adjusting for regional gray matter volume and vascular risk factors. No influence of group on global CBF was observed.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that early sub-clinical cognitive decline is associated with reduced perfusion in the precuneus and posterior cingulate gyrus independently of regional atrophy and vascular risk factors, but cannot be statistically separated from an association with global atrophy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0169912
Issue number1
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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