Weight changes are common in aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and post-mortem findings suggested a relation between lower body mass index (BMI) and increased AD brain pathology. In the current multicenter study, we tested whether lower BMI is associated with higher core AD brain pathology as assessed by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) based biological markers of AD in 751 living subjects: 308 patients with AD, 296 subjects with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 147 elderly healthy controls (HC). Based upon a priori cutoff values on CSF concentration of total tau and beta-amyloid (Aβ1-42), subjects were binarized into a group with abnormal CSF biomarker signature (CSF+) and those without (CSF−). Results showed that BMI was significantly lower in the CSF+ when compared to the CSF− group (F = 27.7, df = 746, p < 0.001). There was no interaction between CSF signature and diagnosis or ApoE genotype. In conclusion, lower BMI is indicative of AD pathology as assessed with CSF-based biomarkers in demented and non-demented elderly subjects.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, body mass index, cerebrospinal fluid, tau protein, Aβ1-42