Parental longevity is associated with cognition and brain ageing in middle-aged offspring

Joanne M. Murabito, Alexa S. Beiser, Charles DeCarli, Sudha Seshadri, Philip A. Wolf, Rhoda Au

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: offspring of long-lived individuals have lower risk for dementia. We examined the relation between parental longevity and cognition and subclinical markers of brain ageing in community-dwelling adult offspring. Methods: offspring participants with both parents in the Framingham Heart Study, aged >55 years and dementia-free underwent baseline and repeat neuropsychological (NP) testing and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Parental longevity was defined as having at least one parent survive to age >85 years. To test the association between parental longevity and measures of cognition and brain volumes, we used multivariable linear and logistic regression adjusting for age, sex, education and time to NP testing or brain MRI. Results: of 728 offspring (mean age 66 years, 54% women), 407 (56%) had >1 parent achieve longevity. In cross-sectional analysis, parental longevity was associated with better scores on attention (beta 0.21 ± 0.08, P = 0.006) and a lower odds of extensive white matter hyperintensity on brain MRI (odds ratio 0.59, 95% CI: 0.38, 0.92, P = 0.019). The association with white matter hyperintensity was no longer significant in models adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors and disease. In longitudinal analysis (6.7 ± 1.7 years later), offspring with parental longevity had slower decline in attention (0.18 ± 0.08, P = 0.038), executive function (beta 0.19 ± 0.09, P = 0.031) and visual memory (beta -0.18 ± 0.08, P = 0.023), and less increase in temporal horn volume (beta -0.25 ± 0.09, P = 0.005). The associations persisted in fully adjusted models. Conclusion: parental longevity is associated with better brain ageing in middle-aged offspring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-363
Number of pages6
JournalAge and Ageing
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Brain ageing
  • Brain imaging
  • Cognition
  • Longevity
  • Neuropsychological testing
  • Older people
  • Parental longevity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Medicine(all)

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