Relationships between Cognitive Performance, Neuroimaging and Vascular Disease: The DHS-MIND Study

Fang Chi Hsu, Laura M. Raffield, Christina E. Hugenschmidt, Amanda Cox, Jianzhao Xu, J. Jeffery Carr, Barry I. Freedman, Joseph A Maldjian, Jeff D. Williamson, Donald W. Bowden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus increases the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and elevated burdens of vascular disease are hypothesized to contribute to this risk. These relationships were examined in the Diabetes Heart Study-MIND using a battery of cognitive tests, neuroimaging measures and subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden assessed by coronary artery calcified (CAC) plaque. We hypothesized that CAC would attenuate the association between neuroimaging measures and cognition performance. Methods: Associations were examined using marginal models in this family-based cohort of 572 European Americans from 263 families. All models were adjusted for age, gender, education, type 2 diabetes and hypertension, with some neuroimaging measures additionally adjusted for intracranial volume. Results: Higher total brain volume was associated with better performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution Task and Semantic Fluency (both p ≤ 7.0 × 10-4). Higher gray matter volume was associated with better performance on the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination and Semantic Fluency (both p ≤ 9.0 × 10-4). Adjusting for CAC caused minimal changes to the results. Conclusions: Relationships exist between neuroimaging measures and cognitive performance in a type 2 diabetes-enriched European American cohort. Associations were minimally attenuated after adjusting for subclinical CVD. Additional work is needed to understand how subclinical CVD burden interacts with other factors and impacts relationships between neuroimaging and cognitive testing measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 20 2015


  • Cognitive testing
  • Coronary artery calcified plaque
  • Neuroimaging
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Vascular disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Clinical Neurology


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