Association of Head Injury with Brain Amyloid Deposition: The ARIC-PET Study

Andrea L.C. Schneider, Elizabeth Selvin, Menglu Liang, Lawrence Latour, L. Christine Turtzo, Silvia Koton, Josef Coresh, Thomas Mosley, Christopher T. Whitlow, Yun Zhou, Dean F. Wong, Geoffrey Ling, Rebecca F. Gottesman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Our objective was to examine associations of head injury with total and regional brain amyloid deposition. We performed cross-sectional analyses of 329 non-demented participants (81 with prior head injury) in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities-Positron Emission Tomography (ARIC-PET) Study who underwent 18-florbetapir PET imaging in 2012-2014. A history of head injury was defined by self-report or emergency department/hospitalization International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes. Generalized linear regression models adjusted for demographic, socioeconomic, and dementia/cardiovascular risk factors were used to estimate prevalence ratios (PRs; 95% confidence intervals [CIs]) for elevated (> 1.2) global and regional standard uptake value ratios (SUVRs). Mean age of participants was 76 years, 57% were women, and 43% were black. Head injury was associated with increased prevalence of elevated SUVR >1.2 globally (PR: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.19-1.57), as well as in the orbitofrontal cortex (PR: 1.23); (95% CI: 1.04-1.46), prefrontal cortex (PR: 1.18; 95% CI: 1.00-1.39), superior frontal cortex (PR: 1.24; 95% CI: 1.05-1.48), and posterior cingulate (PR: 1.26; 95% CI: 1.04-1.52). There also was evidence for a dose-response relationship, whereby a history of ≥1 head injury was associated with elevated SUVR >1.2 in the prefrontal cortex and superior frontal cortex compared with persons with a history of one head injury (all, p < 0.05). In conclusion, head injury was associated with increased amyloid deposition globally and in the frontal cortex and posterior cingulate, with suggestion of a dose-response association of head injuries with beta-amyloid deposition. Further work is needed to determine if increased amyloid deposition contributes to dementia in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2549-2557
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • PET amyloid imaging
  • cohort study
  • epidemiology
  • head injury


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