Early signature in the blood lipidome associated with subsequent cognitive decline in the elderly: A case-control analysis nested within the Three-City cohort study


Background: Brain lipid metabolism appears critical for cognitive aging, but whether alterations in the lipidome relate to cognitive decline remains unclear at the system level. Methods: We studied participants from the Three-City study, a multicentric cohort of older persons, free of dementia at time of blood sampling, and who provided repeated measures of cognition over 12 subsequent years. We measured 189 serum lipids from 13 lipid classes using shotgun lipidomics in a case-control sample on cognitive decline (matched on age, sex and level of education) nested within the Bordeaux study center (discovery, n = 418). Associations with cognitive decline were investigated using bootstrapped penalized regression, and tested for validation in the Dijon study center (validation, n = 314). Findings: Among 17 lipids identified in the discovery stage, lower levels of the triglyceride TAG50:5, and of four membrane lipids (sphingomyelin SM40:2,2, phosphatidylethanolamine PE38:5(18:1/20:4), ether-phosphatidylethanolamine PEO34:3(16:1/18:2), and ether-phosphatidylcholine PCO34:1(16:1/18:0)), and higher levels of PCO32:0(16:0/16:0), were associated with greater odds of cognitive decline, and replicated in our validation sample. Interpretation: These findings indicate that in the blood lipidome of non-demented older persons, a specific profile of lipids involved in membrane fluidity, myelination, and lipid rafts, is associated with subsequent cognitive decline.

EBioMedicine, 64:103216