Plasma EFEMP1 Is Associated with Brain Aging and Dementia: The Framingham Heart Study

Emer R. McGrath, Jayandra J. Himali, Daniel Levy, Qiong Yang, Charles S. Decarli, Paul Courchesne, Claudia L. Satizabal, Rebecca Finney, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Alexa S. Beiser, Sudha Seshadri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Epidermal growth factor containing fibulin extracellular matrix protein-1 (EFEMP1) has been associated with increased white matter hyperintensities (WMH) burden and disorders of premature aging and may have a shared pathophysiological role in the development of WMH and dementia. Objective: To determine the association between plasma EFEMP1 levels and MRI markers of vascular brain injury and incident all-cause and Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia. Methods: We measured plasma EFEMP1 levels in 1597 [53% women, mean age 68.7 (SD 5.7) years] dementia-free Framingham Offspring cohort participants between 1998-2001 and subsequently followed them for incident dementia. Secondary outcomes included stroke, structural MRI brain measures and neurocognitive test performance. Results: During a median 11.8 [Q1, Q3 : 7.1, 13.3] year follow-up, 131 participants developed dementia. The highest quintile of plasma EFEMP1, compared to the bottom four quintiles, was associated with an increased risk of time to incident all-cause dementia (HR 1.77, 95% CI 1.18-2.64) and AD dementia (HR 1.76, 95% CI 1.11-2.81) but not with markers of vascular brain injury (WMH, covert brain infarcts or stroke). Higher circulating EFEMP1 concentrations were also cross-sectionally associated with lower total brain (β±SE, -0.28±0.11, p = 0.01) and hippocampal volumes (-0.006±0.003, p = 0.04) and impaired abstract reasoning (Similarities test, -0.18±0.08, p = 0.018 per standard deviation increment in EFEMP1). Conclusion: Elevated circulating EFEMP1 is associated with an increased risk of all-cause and AD dementia, smaller hippocampal and total brain volumes, and poorer cognitive performance. EFEMP1 may play an important biological role in the development of AD dementia. Further studies to validate these findings are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1657-1666
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume85
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Alzheimer disease
  • biomarkers
  • dementia
  • vascular brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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