Blood pressure is associated with higher brain amyloid burden and lower glucose metabolism in healthy late middle-age persons
Epidemiological studies suggest that elevated blood pressure (BP) in midlife is associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in late life. In this preliminary study, we investigated the extent to which BP measurements are related to positron emission tomography (PET) measurements of fibrillar amyloid-beta burden using Pittsburgh Compound-B (PiB) and fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET measures of cerebral metabolic rate for glucose metabolism (CMRgl) in cognitively normal, late middle-aged to older adult apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 homozygotes, heterozygotes and noncarriers. PiB PET results revealed that systolic BP (SBP) and pulse pressure (PP) were each positively correlated with cerebral-to-cerebellar PiB distribution volume ratio (DVR) in frontal, temporal, and posterior-cingulate/precuneus regions, whereas no significant positive correlations were found between PiB distribution volume ratios and diastolic BP (DBP). FDG PET results revealed significant inverse correlations between each of the BP measures and lower glucose metabolism in frontal and temporal brain regions. These preliminary findings provide additional evidence that higher BP, likely a reflection of arterial stiffness, during late midlife may be associated with increased risk of presymptomatic AD.