We recently showed that Alzheimer's disease patients have lower plasma concentrations of the phosphatidylcholines (PC16:0/20:5; PC16:0/22:6; and PC18:0/22:6) relative to healthy controls. We now extend these findings by examining associations between plasma concentrations of these PCs with cognition and brain function (measured by regional resting state cerebral blood flow; rCBF) in non-demented older individuals. Within the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging neuroimaging substudy, participants underwent cognitive assessments and brain 15 O-water positron emission tomography. Plasma phosphatidylcholines concentrations (PC16:0/20:5, PC16:0/22:6, and PC18:0/22:6), cognition (California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT), Trail Making Test A&B, the Mini-Mental State Examination, Benton Visual Retention, Card Rotation, and Fluencies - Category and Letter), and rCBF were assessed. Lower plasma phosphatidylcholine concentrations were associated with lower baseline memory performance (CVLT long delay recall task - PC16:0/20:5: -2.17 -1.39 -0.60 p = 0.001 (β with 95% confidence interval subscripts)) and lower rCBF in several brain regions including those associated with memory performance and higher order cognitive processes. Our findings suggest that lower plasma concentrations of PC16:0/20:5, PC16:0/22:6, and PC18:0/22:6 are associated with poorer memory performance as well as widespread decreases in brain function during aging. Dysregulation of peripheral phosphatidylcholine metabolism may therefore be a common feature of both Alzheimer's disease and age-associated differences in cognition.
- Alzheimer's disease's
- positron emission tomography imaging
- verbal memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine