Association of Carotid Intima Media Thickening with Future Brain Region Specific Amyloid-β Burden

Hediyeh Baradaran, Gina M. Peloso, Joseph F. Polak, Ronald J. Killiany, Saptaparni Ghosh, Charles S. Decarli, Emma G. Thibault, Reisa A. Sperling, Keith A. Johnson, Alexa Beiser, Jose R. Romero, Sudha Seshadri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Carotid atherosclerosis is associated with cognitive impairment and dementia, though there is limited evidence of a direct link between carotid disease and amyloid-β (Aβ) burden. Objective: We studied the association of baseline and progressive carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) with Aβ on 11C-Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB) to determine if those with carotid atherosclerosis would have higher Aβ burden. Methods: We studied 47 participants from the Framingham Offspring cohort with carotid ultrasounds measuring CIMT at their 6th clinic examination (aged 49.5±5.7 years) and an average of 9.6 years later, and PiB imaging measuring Aβ on average 22.1 years post baseline. We used multivariate linear regression analyses to relate baseline, follow-up, mean, and progression of internal carotid artery (ICA) and common carotid artery (CCA) CIMT to Aβ in brain regions associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related dementias (ADRD), adjusting for age, sex, and other vascular risk factors. Results: Participants with higher mean ICA IMT had more Aβ in the precuneus (beta±standard error [β±SE]: 0.466±0.171 mm, p = 0.01) and the frontal, lateral, and retrosplenial regions (β±SE: 0.392±0.164 mm, p = 0.022) after adjusting for age, sex, vascular risk factors, and medication use. We did not find an association between any CCA IMT measures and Aβ or progression of ICA or CCA IMT and Aβ. Conclusion: Carotid atherosclerosis, as measured by ICA IMT, is associated with increased Aβ burden later in life. These findings support a link between vascular disease and AD/ADRD pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-232
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • amyloid
  • carotid atherosclerosis
  • carotid ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • General Neuroscience


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