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INTRODUCTION: Our aim was to study whether systemic metabolites are associated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of brain and hippocampal atrophy and white matter hyperintensities (WMH). METHODS: We studied associations of 143 plasma-based metabolites with MRI measures of brain and hippocampal atrophy and WMH in three independent cohorts (n = 3962). We meta-analyzed the results of linear regression analyses to determine the association of metabolites with MRI measures. RESULTS: Higher glucose levels and lower levels of three small high density lipoprotein (HDL) particles were associated with brain atrophy. Higher glucose levels were associated with WMH. DISCUSSION: Glucose levels were associated with brain atrophy and WMH, and small HDL particle levels were associated with brain atrophy. Circulating metabolites may aid in developing future intervention trials.

Original publication




Journal article


Alzheimers Dement

Publication Date



Alzheimer's disease, cholesterol, glucose, lipids, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), metabolism