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6 Pulse Pressure and APOE ε4 Dose Interact to Affect Cerebral Blood Flow in Older Adults Without Dementia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 December 2023

Lauren Edwards*
Affiliation:
San Diego State University/University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego, CA, USA.
Kelsey R Thomas
Affiliation:
Research Service, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA, USA. Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
Alexandra J Weigand
Affiliation:
San Diego State University/University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego, CA, USA.
Emily C Edmonds
Affiliation:
Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, Tuscon, AZ, USA. Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ, USA.
Alexandra L Clark
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA.
Einat K Brenner
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
Daniel A Nation
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA.
Lisa Delano-Wood
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA. Psychology Service, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA, USA
Mark W Bondi
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA. Psychology Service, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA, USA
Katherine J Bangen
Affiliation:
Research Service, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA, USA. Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
*
Correspondence: Lauren Edwards, San Diego State University/University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego, CA, USA, l3edwards@health.ucsd.edu
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Abstract

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Objective:

Alterations in cerebral blood flow (CBF) are associated with risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Although apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 and greater vascular risk burden have both been linked to reduced CBF in older adults, less is known about how APOE ε4 status and vascular risk may interact to influence CBF. We aimed to determine whether the effect of vascular risk on CBF varies by gene dose of APOE ε4 alleles (i.e., number of e4 alleles) in older adults without dementia.

Participants and Methods:

144 older adults without dementia from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) underwent arterial spin labeling (ASL) and T1-weighted MRI, APOE genotyping, fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), lumbar puncture, and blood pressure assessment. Vascular risk was assessed using pulse pressure (systolic blood pressure -diastolic blood pressure), which is thought to be a proxy for arterial stiffening. Participants were classified by number of APOE ε4 alleles (n0 alleles = 87, m allele = 46, n2 alleles = 11). CBF in six FreeSurfer-derived a priori regions of interest (ROIs) vulnerable to AD were examined: entorhinal cortex, hippocampus, inferior temporal cortex, inferior parietal cortex, rostral middle frontal gyrus, and medial orbitofrontal cortex. Linear regression models tested the interaction between categorical APOE ε4 dose (0, 1, or 2 alleles) and continuous pulse pressure on CBF in each ROI, adjusting for age, sex, cognitive diagnosis (cognitively unimpaired vs. mild cognitive impairment), antihypertensive medication use, cerebral metabolism (FDG-PET composite), reference CBF region (precentral gyrus), and AD biomarker positivity defined using the ADNI-optimized phosphorylated tau/ß-amyloid ratio cut-off of > 0.0251 pg/ml.

Results:

A significant pulse pressure X APOE ε4 dose interaction was found on CBF in the entorhinal cortex, hippocampus, and inferior parietal cortex (ps < .005). Among participants with two e4 alleles, higher pulse pressure was significantly associated with lower CBF (ps < .001). However, among participants with zero or one ε4 allele, there was no significant association between pulse pressure and CBF (ps > .234). No significant pulse pressure X APOE ε4 dose interaction was found in the inferior temporal cortex, rostral middle frontal gyrus, or medial orbitofrontal cortex (ps > .109). Results remained unchanged when additionally controlling for general vascular risk assessed via the modified Hachinski Ischemic Scale.

Conclusions:

These findings demonstrate that the cross-sectional association between pulse pressure and region-specific CBF differs by APOE ε4 dose. In particular, a detrimental effect of elevated pulse pressure on CBF in AD-vulnerable regions was found only among participants with the e4/e4 genotype. Our findings suggest that pulse pressure may play a mechanistic role in neurovascular unit dysregulation for those genetically at greater risk for AD. Given that pulse pressure is just one of many potentially modifiable vascular risk factors for AD, future studies should seek to examine how these other factors (e.g., diabetes, high cholesterol) may interact with APOE genotype to affect cerebrovascular dysfunction.

Type
Poster Session 01: Medical | Neurological Disorders | Neuropsychiatry | Psychopharmacology
Copyright
Copyright © INS. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2023