Brain tau deposition linked to systemic causes of death in normal elderly

Keith A. Josephs, Nirubol Tosakulwong, Stephen D. Weigand, Melissa E. Murray, Jennifer L. Whitwell, Joseph E. Parisi, Dennis W. Dickson, Ronald C. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The relationship between causes of death and 4 major neurodegenerative brain proteins (beta-amyloid, tau, alpha-synuclein, and the TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) were assessed in 94 cognitively normal elderly participants that died without a neurodegenerative disease. There was an association between tau and causes of death (p = 0.01). Tau in the brain was associated with a reduced likelihood of dying from systemic cancers (p = 0.046), and with an increased likelihood of dying from pulmonary (p = 0.03) and gastrointestinal (p = 0.049) diseases. There were no associations between beta-amyloid, alpha-synuclein, or TDP-43 and causes of death. Tau deposition in the brain may have a relationship with systemic causes of death, including cancer, in the cognitively normal elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-166
Number of pages4
JournalNeurobiology of aging
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Mortality
  • Normal aging
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Tau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Brain tau deposition linked to systemic causes of death in normal elderly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this