In anticipation of the sequencing of the human genome and description of the human proteome, the Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study (AGES-Reykjavik) was initiated in 2002. AGES-Reykjavik was designed to examine risk factors, including genetic susceptibility and gene/environment interaction, in relation to disease and disability in old age. The study is multidisciplinary, providing detailed phenotypes related to the cardiovascular, neurocognitive (including sensory), and musculoskeletal systems, and to body composition and metabolic regulation. Relevant quantitative traits, subclinical indicators of disease, and medical diagnoses are identified by using biomarkers, imaging, and other physiologic indicators. The AGES-Reykjavik sample is drawn from an established population-based cohort, the Reykjavik Study. This cohort of men and women born between 1907 and 1935 has been followed in Iceland since 1967 by the Icelandic Heart Association. The AGES-Reykjavik cohort, with cardiovascular risk factor assessments earlier in life and detailed late-life phenotypes of quantitative traits, will create a comprehensive study of aging nested in a relatively genetically homogeneous older population. This approach should facilitate identification of genetic factors that contribute to healthy aging as well as the chronic conditions common in old age.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Cerebral infarcts increase the risk for cognitive impairment. The relevance of location and number of infarcts with respect to cognitive function is less clear. METHODS: We studied the cross-sectional association between number and location of infarcts and cognitive performance in 4030 nondemented participants of the Age Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study. Composite scores for memory, processing speed, and executive function were created from a neuropsychological battery. Subcortical, cortical, and cerebellar infarcts were identified on brain MRI. We performed linear regression analyses adjusted for demographic and vascular risk factors, depression, white matter lesions, and atrophy. RESULTS: Compared to participants with no infarcts, those with infarcts in multiple locations (n=287, 7%) had slower processing speed (beta=-0.19; P1 location is associated with poor performance in memory, processing speed, and executive function, independent of cardiovascular comorbidities, white matter lesions, and brain atrophy, suggesting that both the number and the distribution of infarcts jointly contribute to cognitive impairment.
Persons with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of cognitive dysfunction. Less is known about which cognitive abilities are affected and how undiagnosed diabetes and impaired fasting glucose relate to cognitive performance. The authors explored this question using data from 1,917 nondemented men and women (average age = 76 years) in the population-based Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study (2002-2006). Glycemic status groups included diagnosed diabetes (self-reported diabetes or diabetic medication use; n = 163 (8.5%)), undiagnosed diabetes (fasting blood glucose >or=7.0 mmol/L without diagnosed diabetes; n = 55 (2.9%)), and impaired fasting glucose (fasting blood glucose 5.6-6.9 mmol/L; n = 744 (38.8%)). Composites of memory, processing speed (PS), and executive function were constructed from a neuropsychological battery. Linear regression was used to investigate cross-sectional differences in cognitive performance between glycemic groups, adjusted for demographic and health factors. Persons with diagnosed diabetes had slower PS than normoglycemics (beta = -0.12; P or=15 years was associated with significantly poorer PS and executive function. Undiagnosed diabetics had slower PS (beta = -0.22; P