The role of circulating proteins in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is unknown. Using a follow-up of two decades, 4953 plasma proteins, and discovery (Whitehall II) and replication cohort (ARIC), we examined plasma proteins associated with cognitive decline rate and dementia. After replication and adjustment for known dementia risk factors, fifteen proteins were associated with cognitive decline rate and dementia. None of these were amyloid, tau, or neurofilament-related proteins. Currently approved medications can target five of the proteins. The results support systemic pathogenesis of dementias, may aid in early diagnosis, and suggest potential targets for drug development.
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