The relationship between adiponectin and neurocognitive results has proven inconsistent. As a result, researchers set out to investigate the relationship between adiponectin and subclinical indicators of both neurocognitive impairment and neuroimaging abnormalities. The Dallas Heart Study, a multiethnic cohort study, had 1,199 individuals (mean age 43.4, 62.6% non-white, 56.5% female). Adiponectin was assessed at exam 1 (2000-2002), while brain MRI (3T, Philips) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test scores were obtained at exam 2 (2007-2009), providing measurements of total brain volume, hippocampus volume, and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume. Baseline variables were compared among adiponectin quintiles according to race and gender. Regression models adjusted for age, race, gender, education, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, and abdomen fat were used to examine the relationship between adiponectin, MoCA, and brain MRI results.

Women had greater adiponectin levels (8.9 μg/mL) than males (6.37 μg/mL), while whites had higher levels (9.15 μg/mL) than non-whites (6.99 μg/mL). Higher levels of adiponectin were linked to better metabolic profiles. Although there was no association between adiponectin and the reported outcomes when analyzed as a continuous variable (per SD), investigators found a consistent, non-linear relationship between adiponectin and MoCA, brain volume, and hippocampal volume, with quintile 3 having the highest MoCA score and brain volume measure (vs. quintile 1). When adiponectin was evaluated as a continuous (per SD) or ordinal variable, they found no consistent connection between adiponectin and WMH.

A group of middle-aged people discovered a non-linear relationship between adiponectin and both MoCA scores and brain sizes. More study was needed to understand how intermediate levels of adiponectin might promote better neurocognitive outcomes.