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Optimized prediction of cognition based on brain morphometry across the adult life span

Tsapanou, Angeliki; Stern, Yaakov; Habeck, Christian G.

We mapped out the combined and unique contributions of 5 different biomarkers for 2 cognitive outcomes in cognitively healthy adults. Beside associations of biomarkers with cognition in the full experimental sample, we focused on how well any such associations would persist in held-out data. Three hundred thirty-five cognitively normal participants, 20–80 years older, were included in the study. Z-scores were computed for fluid reasoning and vocabulary. The following imaging data were included: regional brain volume, regional thickness, fractional anisotropy of white-matter tracts, volumes of select deep gray-matter regions, and global white-matter hyperintensity. Volume accounted for most of the variance in both cognitive domains. In out-of-sample data, fluid reasoning was best predicted by volumes, but vocabulary by the combination of all modalities. Although the predictive utility was better overall for older participants, the information gleaned relative to null models was less for older participants. An optimized set of brain biomarkers can thus predict cognition in out-of-sample data, to various degrees, for both fluid and crystallized intelligence.



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May 4, 2021