Mapping creatinine- and cystatin C-related white matter brain deficits in the elderly

Priya Rajagopalan, Helga Refsum, Xue Hua, Arthur W. Toga, Clifford R. Jack, Michael W. Weiner, Paul M. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Poor kidney function is associated with increased risk of cognitive decline and generalized brain atrophy. Chronic kidney disease impairs glomerular filtration rate, and this deterioration is indicated by elevated blood levels of kidney biomarkers such as creatinine and cystatin C. Here we hypothesized that impaired renal function would be associated with brain deficits in regions vulnerable to neurodegeneration. Using tensor-based morphometry, we related patterns of brain volumetric differences to creatinine, cystatin C levels, and glomerular filtration rate in a large cohort of 738 (mean age, 75.5 ± 6.8 years; 438 men, 300 women) elderly Caucasian subjects scanned as part of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Elevated kidney biomarkers were associated with volume deficits in the white matter region of the brain. All 3 renal parameters in our study showed significant associations consistently with a region that corresponds with the anterior limb of internal capsule, bilaterally. This is the first study to report a marked profile of structural alterations in the brain associated with elevated kidney biomarkers, helping us to explain the cognitive deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1230
Number of pages10
JournalNeurobiology of aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Brain atrophy
  • Brain structure
  • Brain volumes
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Creatinine
  • Cystatin C
  • GFR
  • Kidney function
  • Neuroimaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping creatinine- and cystatin C-related white matter brain deficits in the elderly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this