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WTC Responders With Impaired Cognition Have Brain Changes

Another study IDs plasma proteins associated with PTSD, MCI, both in World Trade Center responders

TUESDAY, Aug. 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) — World Trade Center (WTC) responders with cognitive impairment have reductions in cortical thickness (CTX), while posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can be identified among WTC responders based on protein expression. These are the findings of two studies presented virtually at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2020 and published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring and Translational Psychiatry.

Sean A.P. Clouston, Ph.D., from Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in New York, and colleagues recruited 99 WTC responders with/without cognitive impairment who completed a T1-weighted magnetization-prepared rapid gradient echo protocol. CTX was computed in 34 regions of interest. The researchers found that the global mean CTX was reduced in responders with cognitive impairment and across 21 of the regions of interest. When adjusted for multiple comparisons, reduced CTX was revealed across the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes in surface-based analyses.

Pei-Fen Kuan, Ph.D., from Stony Brook University in New York, and colleagues profiled 276 plasma proteins with known involvement in neurobiological processes in WTC responders with both PTSD and MCI, both compared to those with either disorder alone or unaffected controls. The researchers identified 16 proteins associated with comorbid PTSD-MCI, 20 proteins associated with PTSD only, and 24 proteins associated with MCI only. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curves for the multiprotein composite score were 0.84, 0.77, and 0.83 for PTSD-MCI, PTSD only, and MCI only, respectively, versus unaffected controls.

“This population of patients who have cognitive impairment not only have psychological problems such as PTSD but may be at high-risk for neurodegenerative disorders, a possibility that needs immediate and continued investigation,” a coauthor from both studies said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

Abstract/Full Text – Clouston

Abstract/Full Text – Kuan

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