Positive association between plasma amylin and cognition in a homebound elderly population
Our recent study reported that amylin, a pancreatic peptide that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier, improves learning and memory in Alzheimer's disease mouse models. However, the relationship between peripheral amylin and cognition in humans is unknown. In this follow-up study, using a cross-sectional, homebound elderly population, improvement in cognitive function with increasing quartiles of plasma amylin was suggested by positive association with verbal memory (p = 0.0002) and visuoconstruction tasks (p = 0.004), and inverse association with timed measures of attention (p < 0.0001) and executive function (p = 0.04). After adjusting for demographic information, apolipoprotein E4 allele, diabetes, stroke, kidney function, and lipid profile, log10 of plasma amylin remained associated with these cognitive domains. In contrast, plasma amyloid-β peptide was not associated with these specific cognitive domains. Our study suggests that peripheral amylin may be protective for cognitive decline, especially in the domains affected by Alzheimer's disease.
Qiu, W. Q., Au, R., Zhu, H., Wallack, M., Liebson, E., Li, H., ... Stern, R. A. (2014). Positive association between plasma amylin and cognition in a homebound elderly population. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 42(2), 555-63. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-140210