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1.  The Risk of Parkinson Disease Associated with Urate in a Community-Based Cohort of Older Adults 
Neuroepidemiology  2011;36(4):223-229.
Studies suggest an inverse association between urate concentration and the risk of Parkinson disease (PD). We investigated this in the Cardiovascular Health Study in an elderly community-based cohort of adults.
The association of baseline urate (μmol/l) and incident PD over 14 years was assessed with locally weighted scatterplot smoothing (LOESS) regression from which categories of low (<300 μmol/l), middle (300–500 μmol/l), and high (>500 μmol/l) urate ranges were derived. Multivariate logistic regression models assessed the risk of PD for each urate range. Linear and quadratic terms were tested when modeling the association between urate and the risk of PD.
Women had significantly lower urate concentrations than did men [316.8 μmol/l (SD 88.0) vs. 367.4 μmol/l (SD 87.7), p < 0.0001] and in women no associations between urate and PD risk were observed. In men, LOESS curves suggested a U-shaped or threshold effect between urate and PD risk. With the middle range as reference, the risk of developing PD was significantly increased for urate <300 μmol/l (OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.03–2.78) but not for urate >500 μmol/l (OR 1.55, 95% CI 0.72–3.32) in men. A negative linear term was significant for urate <500 μmol/l, and across the entire range a convex quadratic term was significant.
Results suggest a more complex relationship than previously reported between urate levels and the risk of PD in men. Low urate concentrations were associated with a higher PD risk and high urate concentrations were not associated with a further decrease in PD risk.
PMCID: PMC3124452  PMID: 21677446
Parkinson disease; Risk factors; Oxidative stress; Epidemiology; Uric acid
2.  Executive Function, Memory, and Gait Speed Decline in Well-Functioning Older Adults 
In community-dwelling older adults, global cognitive function predicts longitudinal gait speed decline. Few prospective studies have evaluated whether specific executive cognitive deficits in aging may account for gait slowing over time.
Multiple cognitive tasks were administered at baseline in 909 participants in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study Cognitive Vitality Substudy (mean age 75.2 ± 2.8 years, 50.6% women, 48.4% black). Usual gait speed (m/s) over 20 minutes was assessed at baseline and over a 5-year follow-up.
Poorer performance in each cognitive task was cross-sectionally associated with slower gait independent of demographic and health characteristics. In longitudinal analyses, each 1 SD poorer performance in global function, verbal memory, and executive function was associated with 0.003–0.004 m/s greater gait speed decline per year (p =.03–.05) after adjustment for baseline gait speed, demographic, and health characteristics.
In this well-functioning cohort, several cognitive tasks were associated with gait speed cross-sectionally and predicted longitudinal gait speed decline. These data are consistent with a shared pathology underlying cognitive and motor declines but do not suggest that specific executive cognitive deficits account for slowing of usual gait in aging.
PMCID: PMC2949334  PMID: 20581339
Aging; Cognitive function; Gait speed
3.  Concurrent Change in Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate and Functional Performance in the Oldest Old: Results From the Cardiovascular Health Study All Stars Study 
The correlation between dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) decline and age led to the hypothesis that DHEAS might be a marker of primary aging, though conflicting data from observational studies of mortality do not support this. We evaluated concurrent DHEAS and functional decline in a very old cohort to test if DHEAS change tracks with functional change during aging.
DHEAS and functional performance (gait speed, grip strength, Modified Mini-Mental State Examination [3MSE] score, and digit symbol substitution test [DSST] score) were measured in 1996–1997 and 2005–2006 in 989 participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study All Stars study (mean age 85.2 years in 2005–2006, 63.5% women and 16.5% African American). We used multivariable linear regression to test the association of DHEAS decline with functional decline.
After adjustment, each standard deviation decrease in DHEAS was associated with greater declines in gait speed (0.12 m/s, p = .01), grip strength (0.09 kg, p = .03), 3MSE score (0.13 points, p < .001), and DSST score (0.14 points, p = .001) in women only. Additional adjustment for baseline DHEAS attenuated the association with grip strength but did not alter other estimates appreciably, and baseline DHEAS was unassociated with functional decline.
In this cohort of very old individuals, DHEAS decline tracked with declines in gait speed, 3MSE score, and DSST score, but not grip strength, in women independent of baseline DHEAS level. DHEAS decline might be a marker for age-associated performance decline, but its relevance is specific to women.
PMCID: PMC2920580  PMID: 20466773
Aging; Biomarker; Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate; Function

Results 1-3 (3)