Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers and stroke risk factors independently predict cognitive impairment, likely through independent disease pathways. However, limited work has sought to describe the dynamic interplay between these important risk factors. This article evaluated the interaction between stroke risk and AD biomarkers on hippocampal volume and cognitive performance. We first evaluated the interaction between stroke risk factors and AD biomarkers using data from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI, n = 1202). We then extended our findings to an independent autopsy data set from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC, n = 1122) using measures of AD pathology. Stroke risk was quantified using the Framingham Stroke Risk Profile. In ADNI, stroke risk interacted with tau and amyloid levels in relation to baseline and longitudinal cognitive performance. Similarly, in NACC, stroke risk interacted with amyloid and tau positivity on cognitive performance. The effect of stroke risk factors on cognition was strongest in the absence of AD biomarkers or neuropathology, providing additional evidence that AD biomarkers and stroke risk factors relate to cognition through independent pathways.
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