Compared to males, females have an accelerated trajectory of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The neurobiological factors underlying the more rapid cognitive decline in AD in females remain unclear. This study explored how sex-dependent alterations in hippocampal connectivity over 2 years are associated with cerebrovascular and amyloid pathologies in normal aging.
Thirty-three females and 21 males 65 to 93 years of age with no cognitive impairment performed a face-name associative memory functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task with a 2-year follow-up. We acquired baseline carbon 11-labeled Pittsburgh compound B ([11C]PiB) positron emission tomography (PET) and T2-weighted fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (T2-FLAIR) MRI to quantify amyloid β (Aβ) burden and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume, respectively.
Males had increased hippocampal-prefrontal connectivity over 2 years, associated with greater Aβ burden. Females had increased bilateral hippocampal functional connectivity, associated with greater WMH volume.
These findings suggest sex-dependent compensatory mechanisms in the memory network in the presence of cerebrovascular and AD pathologies and may explain the accelerated trajectory of cognitive decline in females.
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This post is Copyright: Noah Schweitzer,
Rebecca C. Thurston,
William E. Klunk,
M. Ilyas Kamboh,
Victor L. Villemagne,
Minjie Wu | October 11, 2023