Neurology-related protein biomarkers are associated with cognitive ability and brain volume in older age

Sarah Harris, Simon Cox, Steven Bell, Riccardo Marioni, Bram P Prins, Alison Pattie, Janie Corley, Susana Muñoz Maniega, Maria Valdes Hernandez, Zoe Morrison, Sally L. John, Paola G Bronson, Elliot M Tucker-Drob, John Starr, Mark Bastin, Joanna Wardlaw, Adam S Butterworth, Ian Deary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Identifying biological correlates of late life cognitive function is important if we are to ascertain biomarkers for, and develop treatments to help reduce, age-related cognitive decline. Here, we investigated the associations between plasma levels of 90 neurology-related proteins (Olink® Proteomics) and general fluid cognitive ability in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (LBC1936, N=798), Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 (LBC1921, N=165), and the INTERVAL BioResource (N=4,451). In the LBC1936, 22 of the proteins were significantly associated with general fluid cognitive ability (β between -0.11 and -0.17). MRI-assessed total brain volume partially mediated the association between 10 of these proteins and general fluid cognitive ability. In an age-matched subsample of INTERVAL, effect sizes for the 22 proteins, although smaller, were all in the same direction as in LBC1936. Plasma levels of a number of neurology-related proteins are associated with general fluid cognitive ability in later life, mediated by brain volume in some cases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number800
JournalNature Communications
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2020

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