The progression of carotid atherosclerosis and imaging markers of dementia

Hediyeh Baradaran, Serkalem Demissie, Jayandra J. Himali, Alexa Beiser, Ajay Gupta, Joseph F. Polak, Charles DeCarli, Sudha Seshadri, Jose R. Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction: We studied the association of carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) with hippocampal volume (HV) in community dwelling individuals, testing the hypothesis that persons with carotid atherosclerosis progression would have lower HV. Methods: We studied 1376 Framingham Offspring participants with two carotid ultrasounds and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs). We used multivariable linear regression analyses to relate CIMT progression and HV and total brain volume. Regression models were adjusted for demographics and vascular risk factors, time interval between imaging examinations, and baseline CIMT. We assessed effect modification by hypertension treatment (HRx). Results: Participants with higher ICA IMT progression had significantly lower HV after adjustment for vascular risk factors and baseline IMT (standardized beta ± standard error: −0.067 ± 0.027, P =.01). We observed weaker association between ICA IMT change and HV among subjects treated for hypertension (β = −0.047, P =.19 vs β = −0.096, P =.026). Discussion: Cumulative vascular risk factor exposure, reflected by CIMT progression, may increase the risk of neurodegeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12015
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • atherosclerosis
  • carotid artery
  • carotid ultrasound
  • hippocampus
  • magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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