Abstract 36: Association of Parental Stroke with Cognitive and Brain MRI Measures in Offspring - The Framingham Heart Study
Objectives- Parental stroke is related to an increased risk of stroke among the offspring. Vascular related brain changes, however, often occur before clinical stroke and the association of parental history of stroke and structural brain measures and cognition has not been fully explored. We hypothesized that prospectively verified parental stroke will be associated with increased vascular brain injury and poorer cognitive performance.
Methods- A total of 1,297 Framingham offspring (mean age: 61 ± 9 years, 54% women) were studied. Of these, 9.9% had prospectively identified stroke in one or both parents before age 65. Volumetric brain MRI measures of total cerebral brain volume (TCBV), regional brain volumes, white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV), and covert brain infarcts (CBI) and performance on tests of verbal memory, abstract reasoning, verbal learning and visuospatial memory (VRd) were compared for offspring with and without parental history of stroke. All measures were assessed cross-sectionally and longitudinally (mean duration of follow-up was 6.1±1.2 years). We used models adjusted only for age, sex, education and also additionally adjusted for vascular risk factors and for WMHV as an index of subclinical vascular brain injury. GEE models were used to adjust for sibling relationships among offspring.
Results- Higher WMHV (β±SE=0.17±0.08;p=0.027) and lower VRd scores (β±SE=-0.80±0.34; p=0.017) at baseline were found in offspring with parental history of stroke. In addition, participants with parental stroke by age 65 years were more likely to be in the highest quintile of increase in WMHV (OR=1.87;p=0.04) as well as worsening executive function (Trails B-A) (OR:1.81;p=0.03). Parental stroke was not associated with total and regional brain volumes or with memory, abstract reasoning and verbal learning.
Conclusions- In our community-based sample of middle-aged asymptomatic subjects, the occurrence of parental stroke by age 65 years is associated with higher baseline WMHV and with a more rapid increase in WMHV. Further, parental stroke is also associated with poorer performance on VRd and a decline in executive function. The effects on baseline WMH and VRd were substantial equivalent to 2.8 and 7 years of brain aging, respectively.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.