Traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder are not associated with Alzheimer's disease pathology measured with biomarkers

for the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and the Department of Defense Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Epidemiological studies report an association between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and clinically diagnosed Alzheimer's disease (AD). We examined the association between TBI/PTSD and biomarker-defined AD. Methods: We identified 289 non-demented veterans with TBI and/or PTSD and controls who underwent clinical evaluation, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), amyloid beta (Aβ) and tau positron emission tomography, and apolipoprotein E testing. Participants were followed for up to 5.2 years. Results: Exposure groups (TBI, PTSD, and TBI + PTSD) had higher prevalence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI: P <.0001) and worse Mini-Mental State Examination scores (PTSD: P =.008; TBI & PTSD: P =.009) than controls. There were no significant differences in other cognitive scores, MRI volumes, Aβ or tau accumulation, or in most longitudinal measures. Discussion: TBI and/or PTSD were not associated with elevated AD biomarkers. The poorer cognitive status of exposed veterans may be due to other comorbid pathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • amyloid
  • cerebrovascular disease
  • cognitive decline
  • head injury
  • neurodegeneration
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • tau
  • traumatic brain injury
  • veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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