The immune system substantially influences age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progression, affected by genetic and environmental factors. In a Mayo Clinic Study of Aging cohort, we examined how risk factors like APOE genotype, age, and sex affect inflammatory molecules and AD biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Among cognitively unimpaired individuals over 65 (N = 298), we measured 365 CSF inflammatory molecules, finding age, sex, and diabetes status predominantly influencing their levels. We observed age-related correlations with AD biomarkers such as total tau, phosphorylated tau-181, neurofilament light chain (NfL), and YKL40. APOE4 was associated with lower Aβ42 and higher SNAP25 in CSF. We explored baseline variables predicting cognitive decline risk, finding age, CSF Aβ42, NfL, and REG4 to be independently correlated. Subjects with older age, lower Aβ42, higher NfL, and higher REG4 at baseline had increased cognitive impairment risk during follow-up. This suggests that assessing CSF inflammatory molecules and AD biomarkers could predict cognitive impairment risk in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereadk3674
JournalScience Advances
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 2024


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