Associations of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme-1 and Angiotensin II Blood Levels and Cognitive Function

Sevil Yasar, Vijay R. Varma, Gregory C. Harris, Michelle C. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Emerging evidence suggests a possible role of the renin angiotensin system in the pathophysiologic process of Alzheimer's disease, of which angiotensin converting enzyme-1 (ACE-1) and angiotensin II (ANGII) are important proteins. Few studies evaluated associations between blood ACE-1 and none between ANGII levels, and cognition. Objective: Our pilot study was aimed to examine associations between blood ACE-1 and ANG II levels and cognitive function in non-demented participants at baseline and over a 1-year period. Methods: 56 participants were included from the Brain Health Substudy of the Baltimore Experience Corps Study. Linear regression analysis, adjusting for confounders, was used to determine associations between baseline ACE-1 and ANGII, and baseline and 1-year follow-up measures of psychomotor and processing speed, executive function, verbal learning memory and working memory, and whether these associations were mediated by blood pressure. Results: Participants were predominantly female (75%), African-American (93%), with mean age of 67.8 years and education of 14.3 years. There were no associations between baseline ACE-1 or ANGII levels and cognitive function; however, there were significant association between baseline ACE-1 levels and 1-year follow-up Trail Making Test, Part A (β=0.003, p=0.04) and Digit Span (β=-0.001, p=0.02). Conclusions: In this cognitively intact sample, elevated ACE-1 levels were associated with worse processing speed and working memory after 1 year. Findings from this pilot study suggest that changes in the RAS are associated with alterations in cognitive function warranting further assessment of the role of RAS in neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-664
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018


  • Angiotensin II
  • angiotensin converting enzyme-1
  • cognition
  • cohort study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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