The current study examined the interactive effect of type 2 diabetes
and Alzheimer disease
(AD) risk factors on the rate of functional decline in cognitively normal participants from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.
Participants underwent annual assessments that included the Functional Activities Questionnaire, an informant-rated measure of everyday functioning
. Multilevel modeling, controlling for demographic variables and ischemic risk, examined the interactive effects of diabetes
, n=69; no diabetes
, n=744) and AD risk factors in the prediction of 5-year longitudinal change in everyday functioning
. One model was run for each AD risk factor, including: objectively-defined subtle cognitive decline
(Obj-SCD), and genetic susceptibility [apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOE ε4) as well as cerebrospinal fluid β-amyloid (Aβ), total tau (tau), and hyperphosphorylated tau (p-tau).
The 3-way diabetes
×AD risk factor×time interaction predicted increased rates of functional decline in models that examined Obj-SCD, APOE ε4, tau, and p-tau positivity, but not Aβ positivity.
Participants with both diabetes
and at least 1 AD risk factor (ie, Obj-SCD, APOE ε4, tau, and p-tau positivity) demonstrated faster functional decline compared with those without both risk factors (diabetes
or AD). These findings have implications for early identification of, and perhaps earlier intervention for, diabetic individuals at risk for future functional difficulty.