Plasma neurofilament light and brain volumetric outcomes among middle-aged urban adults





Citation of Original Publication

Beydoun, May A., et al. "Plasma neurofilament light and brain volumetric outcomes among middle-aged urban adults" Neurobiology of Aging (02 May,2023).


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Elevated plasma neurofilament light chain (NfL) is associated with dementia, though underlying mechanisms remain unknown. We examined cross-sectional relationships of time-dependent plasma NfL with selected brain structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) prognostic markers of dementia. The sample was drawn from the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity Across the Life Span (HANDLS) study, selecting participants with complete v₁ (2004-2009) and v₂ (2009-2013) plasma NfL exposure and ancillary sMRI data at vₛcₐₙ (2011-2015, n=179, mean v1 to vₛcₐₙ time: 5.4y). Multivariable-adjusted linear regression models were conducted, overall, by sex, and by race, correcting for multiple testing with q-values. NfL(ᵥ₁) was associated with larger WMLV (both Loge transformed), after 5-6 years’ follow-up, overall (β=+2.131±0.660, b=+0.29, p=0.001, q=0.0029) and among females. NfL(ᵥ₂) was linked to a 125 mm³ lower left hippocampal volume (p=0.004, q=0.015) in reduced models, mainly among males, as was observed for annualized longitudinal change in NfL (𝛿NfLbₐyₑₛ). Among African American adults, NfL(ᵥ₁) was inversely related to total, gray and white matter volumes. Plasma NfL may reflect future brain pathologies in middle-aged adults.