Brain atrophy is correlated with risk of cognitive impairment, functional decline, and dementia. Despite a high infectious disease burden, Tsimane forager-horticulturists of Bolivia have the lowest prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis of any studied population and present few cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors despite a high burden of infections and therefore inflammation. This study (A) examines the statistical association between brain volume and age for Tsimane, and (B) compares this association to that of three industrialized populations in the U.S. and Europe. This cohort-based panel study enrolled 746 participants aged 40 to 94 (396 males), from whom computed tomography (CT) head scans were acquired. Brain volume (BV) and intracranial volume (ICV) were calculated from automatic head CT segmentations.

Published in

The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, May 2021