Plasma phospholipids and prevalence of mild cognitive impairment and/or dementia in the ARIC Neurocognitive Study (ARIC-NCS)

Danni Li, Jeffrey R. Misialek, Eric Boerwinkle, Rebecca F. Gottesman, A. Richey Sharrett, Thomas H. Mosley, Josef Coresh, Lisa M. Wruck, David S. Knopman, Alvaro Alonso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Introduction: Phospholipids are altered in brains of patients with dementia and some studies suggest their plasma levels may be useful in the detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia. Methods: We measured 188 plasma metabolites in participants who underwent a detailed neuropsychological assessment and classified as normal (n = 153), MCI (n = 145), or dementia (n = 143) by expert adjudication. Results: Among 10 phospholipids recently implicated as altered in dementia, higher concentration of PC aa C36:6 was significantly associated with decreased prevalence of dementia (odds ratio = 0.71, 95% confidence interval = 0.50-1.00 per 1-SD increase). Adding these phospholipids to a model including multiple predictors of dementia led to only minimal improvement in detection (C statistic changed from 0.702 to 0.71). Discussion: Some phospholipids and metabolites were altered in MCI and dementia but cross-sectional association was relatively weak and did not improve detection of MCI and dementia beyond information provided by clinical variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-82
Number of pages10
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Sources of funding: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Community (ARIC) Study is carried out as a collaborative study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute contracts (HHSN268201100005C, HHSN268201100006C, HHSN268201100007C, HHSN268201100008C, HHSN268201100009C, HHSN2682011000010C, HHSN2682011000011C, and HHSN2682011000012C). Neurocognitive data are collected by the support of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute U01 HL096812 , HL096814 , HL096899 , HL096902 , and HL096917 with previous brain MRI examinations funded by R01-HL70825.


  • AD
  • ARIC
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • MCI
  • Metabolites
  • Metabolomics
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Phospholipids
  • Plasma

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