Amyloid, cerebrovascular disease, and neurodegeneration biomarkers are associated with cognitive trajectories in a racially and ethnically diverse, community-based sample

We characterized the additive contribution of cerebrovascular biomarkers to amyloid and neurodegeneration biomarkers (AV(N)) when modeling prospective, longitudinal cognitive trajectories within 3 major racial/ethnic groups. Participants (n = 172; age = 69-96 years; 62% women; 31%/49%/20% Non-Hispanic White/Non-Hispanic Black/Hispanic) from the Washington Heights-Inwood Columbia Aging Project were assessed for amyloid (Florbetaben PET), neurodegeneration (cortical thickness, hippocampal volume), and cerebrovascular disease (white matter hyperintensity (WMH), infarcts). Neuropsychological assessments occurred every 2.3 ± 0.6 years for up to 6 visits (follow-up time: 4.2 ± 3.2 years). Linear mixed-effects models were stratified by race/ethnicity groups. Higher amyloid was associated with faster memory decline in all 3 racial/ethnic groups, but was related to faster cognitive decline beyond memory in minoritized racial/ethnic groups. Higher WMH was associated with faster language, processing speed/executive function, and visuospatial ability decline in Non-Hispanic Black participants, while infarcts were associated with faster processing speed/executive function decline in Non-Hispanic White participants. Complementary information from AD, neurodegenerative, and cerebrovascular biomarkers explain decline in multiple cognitive domains, which may differ within each racial/ethnic group. Importantly, treatment strategies exist to minimize vascular contributions to cognitive decline.