• Users Online: 67
  • Print this page
  • Email this page
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 91-97

Vascular burden and brain aging in a senior volunteer cohort: A pilot study


1 Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital and Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan
2 Department of Journalism, Chinese Culture University, Taipei, Taiwan
3 Society for Comprehensive Medicine, Hualien, Taiwan
4 Department of Psychology, National University, Taipei, ; Neurobiology and Cognitive Science Center, National University, Taipei, Taiwan
5 Department of Nursing, Tzu Chi University of Science and Technology, Hualien, Taiwan
6 Tzu Chi Medical Mission, Hualien, Taiwan
7 Department of Psychology, National University, Taipei, ; Neurobiology and Cognitive Science Center, National University, Taipei, ; Graduate Institute of Brain and Mind Sciences, National University, Taipei, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Raymond Y Lo
Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, 707, Section 3, Chung-Yang Road, Hualien
Taiwan
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/tcmj.tcmj_21_17

Get Permissions

Objective: To test the feasibility of establishing a senior volunteer cohort and describe vascular risks, cognitive function, and brain aging indices in a pilot study. Materials and Methods: We enrolled 40 senior volunteers from the Tzu Chi Foundation and other organizations in Hualien in 2014–2015. We conducted in-person interviews to collect information on demographic features, physical fitness, dietary habits, comorbidities, and narratives of aging. Vascular risks including blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), serum glucose level, and lipid profile were examined. Each participant underwent a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests and structural brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Descriptive statistics and tabulation were applied to characterize this pilot cohort. Results: There were more volunteers from the Tzu Chi Foundation (n = 25) than other organizations. The mean age was 66.7 years (standard deviation = 5.1) and there was a female predominance (M:F = 13:27). The mean number of comorbid chronic diseases was 2.1 and the mean BMI was 24.5. Most participants (77.5%) engaged in outdoor walking activities every week. Nutrient intake in vegetarians (n = 18) did not differ from nonvegetarians except for lower Vitamin B12 levels (mean = 0.9 μg). All participants but one scored 26 or above in the Mini–Mental State Examination (mean = 28.4). Among the other cognitive tests, only one task related to inhibition and switching abilities was at the low average level. The mean values of vascular risk markers were within the normal ranges. The most common genotype of apolipoprotein E was μ3/μ3 (n = 32). The quality of MRI was sufficient for volumetric analysis. Conclusion: It is feasible to establish a volunteer-based cohort to study brain aging in Taiwan. The senior volunteers were physically active and cognitively healthy. Vascular risks were well distributed among these participants. Future longitudinal study will allow us to observe changes in these markers over time and provide dynamic evidence about vascular health and cognitive aging.


[FULL TEXT] [PDF]*
Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)
 

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed331    
    Printed36    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded52    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal