Association of homocysteine-related subcortical brain atrophy with white matter lesion volume and cognition in healthy aging

Hyun Song, Pradyumna K. Bharadwaj, David A. Raichlen, Christian G. Habeck, Matthew J. Huentelman, Georg A. Hishaw, Theodore P. Trouard, Gene E. Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Homocysteine (Hcy) is a vascular risk factor associated with cognitive impairment and cerebrovascular disease but has also been implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Using multivariate Scaled Subprofile Model (SSM) analysis, we sought to identify a network pattern in structural neuroimaging reflecting the regionally distributed association of plasma Hcy with subcortical gray matter (SGM) volumes and its relation to other health risk factors and cognition in 160 healthy older adults, ages 50–89. We identified an SSM Hcy-SGM pattern that was characterized by bilateral hippocampal and nucleus accumbens volume reductions with relative volume increases in bilateral caudate, pallidum, and putamen. Greater Hcy-SGM pattern expression was associated with greater white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume, older age, and male sex, but not with other vascular and AD-related risk factors. Mediation analyses revealed that age predicted WMH volume, which predicted Hcy-SGM pattern expression, which, in turn, predicted cognitive processing speed performance. These findings suggest that the multivariate SSM Hcy-SGM pattern may be indicative of cognitive aging, reflecting a potential link between vascular health and cognitive dysfunction in healthy older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Cognitive aging
  • Gray matter atrophy
  • Scaled Subprofile Model
  • Vascular risk
  • White matter hyperintensity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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