Water exchange rate across the blood-brain barrier is associated with CSF amyloid-β 42 in healthy older adults

Brian T. Gold, Xingfeng Shao, Tiffany L. Sudduth, Gregory A. Jicha, Donna M. Wilcock, Elayna R. Seago, Danny J.J. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction: We tested if water exchange across the blood-brain barrier (BBB), estimated with a noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique, is associated with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and neuropsychological function. Methods: Forty cognitively normal older adults (67–86 years old) were scanned with diffusion-prepared, arterial spin labeling (DP-ASL), which estimates water exchange rate across the BBB (kw). Participants also underwent CSF draw and neuropsychological testing. Multiple linear regression models were run with kw as a predictor of CSF concentrations and neuropsychological scores. Results: In multiple brain regions, BBB kw was positively associated with CSF amyloid beta (Aβ)42 concentration levels. BBB kw was only moderately associated with neuropsychological performance. Discussion: Our results suggest that low water exchange rate across the BBB is associated with low CSF Aβ42 concentration. These findings suggest that kw may be a promising noninvasive indicator of BBB Aβ clearance functions, a possibility which should be further tested in future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2020-2029
Number of pages10
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Dr. Shoshana Bardach for help with participant recruitment and Dr. David Powell, Beverly Meacham and Eric Foreman for assisting/conducting the MRI scans. This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant numbers NIA R01AG055449, NIA P30 AG028383 NIGMS S10 OD023573, UH3‐NS100614, R01‐NS114382, and R01‐EB028297). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of these granting agencies.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Alzheimer's & Dementia published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Alzheimer's Association

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Water exchange rate across the blood-brain barrier is associated with CSF amyloid-β 42 in healthy older adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this