Biomechanical response of the CNS is associated with frailty in NPH-suspected patients

A. Vallet*, N. Del Campo, E. O. Hoogendijk, A. Lokossou, O. Balédent, Z. Czosnyka, L. Balardy, P. Payoux, P. Swider, S. Lorthois, E. Schmidt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Frailty is known to predict dementia. However, its link with neurodegenerative alterations of the central nervous system (CNS) is not well understood at present. We investigated the association between the biomechanical response of the CNS and frailty in older adults suspected of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) presenting with markers of multiple co-existing pathologies. The biomechanical response of the CNS was characterized by the CNS elastance coefficient inferred from phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging and intracranial pressure monitoring during a lumbar infusion test. Frailty was assessed with an index of health deficit accumulation. We found a significant association between the CNS elastance coefficient and frailty, with an effect size comparable to that between frailty and age, the latter being the strongest known risk factor for frailty. Results were independent of CSF dynamics, showing that they are not specific to the NPH neuropathological condition. The CNS biomechanical characterization may help to understand how frailty is related to neurodegeneration and detect the shift from normal to pathological brain ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1389-1400
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number5
Early online date1 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

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