Measures of neuronal damage/dysfunction are likely good surrogates for disease progression in Alzheimer disease (AD). CSF markers of neuronal injury may offer utility in predicting disease progression and guiding prognostic and outcome assessments in therapeutic trials. Visinin-like protein-1 (VILIP-1) has demonstrated potential utility as a marker of neuronal injury. We here investigate the utility of VILIP-1 and VILIP-1/Aβ42 in predicting rates of cognitive decline in early AD.
Individuals with a clinical diagnosis of very mild or mild AD (n = 60) and baseline CSF measures of VILIP-1, tau, p-tau181, and Aβ42 were followed longitudinally for an average of 2.6 years. Annual assessments included the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR), CDR–sum of boxes (CDR-SB), and global composite scores. Mixed linear models assessed the ability of CSF biomarker measures to predict rates of cognitive decline over time.
Baseline CSF VILIP-1 and VILIP-1/Aβ42 levels predicted rates of future decline in CDR-SB and global composite scores over the follow-up period. Individuals with CSF VILIP-1 ≥560 pg/mL (corresponding to the upper tercile) progressed much more rapidly in CDR-SB (1.61 boxes/year; p = 0.0077) and global scores (−0.53 points/year; p = 0.0002) than individuals with lower values (0.85 boxes/year and −0.15 points/year, respectively) over the follow-up period. CSF tau, p-tau181, tau/Aβ42, and p-tau181/Aβ42 also predicted more rapid cognitive decline in CDR-SB and global scores over time.
These findings suggest that CSF VILIP-1 and VILIP-1/Aβ42 predict rates of global cognitive decline similarly to tau and tau/Aβ42, and may be useful CSF surrogates for neurodegeneration in early AD.
The relationship between neurodegeneration and the two hallmark proteins of Alzheimer's disease, amyloid-β (Aβ) and tau, is still unclear. Here, we examined 286 non-demented participants (107 cognitively normal older adults and 179 memory impaired individuals) who underwent longitudinal MR imaging and lumbar puncture. Using mixed effects models, we investigated the relationship between longitudinal entorhinal cortex atrophy, CSF p-tau181p and CSF Aβ1-42. We found a significant relationship between elevated entorhinal cortex atrophy and decreased CSF Aβ1-42 only with elevated CSF p-tau181p. Our findings indicate that Aβ-associated volume loss occurs only in the presence of phospho-tauin humans at risk for dementia.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of Aβ peptide 1-42 (Aβ42), tau, and phosphorylated tau (ptau) are potential biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We hypothesized that these biomarkers might predict the rate of cognitive change in individuals with very mild dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT).
Retrospective analysis of CSF biomarkers and clinical data.
An academic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.
Research volunteers in a longitudinal study of aging and cognition. Participants (n=49) had a clinical diagnosis of very mild DAT with a Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) of 0.5 at the time of lumbar puncture. All participants had at least one follow-up assessment (mean years of follow-up = 3.5 ± 1.8 years).
Main outcome measures
Baseline CSF levels of Aβ42, Aβ40, tau and tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (ptau181), rate of dementia progression as measured by CDR-sum of boxes (CDR-SB) and by psychometric performance,
The rate of dementia progression was significantly more rapid in individuals with lower baseline CSF Aβ42, with higher tau or ptau181, or high tau/Aβ42 ratio. For example, the annual change in CDR-SB was 1.1 for the lowest two tertiles of Aβ42 values and 0.3 for the highest tertile of Aβ42 values.
In individuals with very mild DAT, lower CSF Aβ42, high tau or ptau181, or a high tau/Aβ42 ratio quantitatively predict more rapid progression of cognitive deficits and dementia. CSF biomarkers may be useful prognostically and to identify individuals who are more likely to progress for participation in therapeutic clinical trials.
amyloid beta; Aβ; tau; biomarker; dementia progression
To determine whether clinical assessment methods that grade the severity of impairments within the spectrum of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can predict clinical course, particularly among very mildly impaired individuals who do not meet formal MCI criteria as implemented in clinical trials.
From a longitudinal study of normal (Clinical Dementia Rating [CDR]=0; n=77) and mildly impaired (CDR=0.5; n=167) participants with 5 or more annual clinical assessments, baseline level of cognitive impairment in daily life was graded using CDR sum of boxes (CDR-SB) and level of cognitive performance impairment was graded using neuropsychological test scores.
Main Outcome Measures:
Five-year outcome measures included (1) probable Alzheimer disease (AD) diagnosis and (2) clinical “decline” (CDR-SB increase ≥1.0). Logistic regression models were used to assess the ability of baseline measures to predict outcomes in the full sample and separately in the subjects who did not meet formal MCI criteria as implemented in a multicenter clinical trial (n = 125; “very mild cognitive impairment” [vMCI]).
The presence of both higher CDR-SB and lower verbal memory and executive function at baseline predicted greater likelihood of probable AD and decline. Five-year rates of probable AD and decline in vMCI (20%, AD; 49%, decline) were intermediate between normal participants (0%, AD; 28%, decline) and participants with MCI (41%, AD; 62%, decline). Within vMCI, likelihood of probable AD was predicted by higher CDR-SB and lower executive function.
Even in very mildly impaired individuals who do not meet strict MCI criteria as implemented in clinical trials, the degree of cognitive impairment in daily life and performance on neuropsychological testing predict likelihood of an AD diagnosis within 5 years. The clinical determination of relative severity of impairment along the spectrum of MCI may be valuable for trials of putative disease-modifying compounds, particularly as target populations are broadened to include less impaired individuals.
Cognitive decline associated with Parkinson disease (PD) is common and highly disabling. Biomarkers that help identify patients at risk for cognitive decline would be useful additions to the clinical management of the disease.
A total of 45 patients with PD were enrolled in this prospective cohort study and had at least 1 yearly longitudinal follow-up evaluation. CSF was collected at baseline and cognition was assessed at baseline and follow-up visits using the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (DRS-2). CSF was tested for amyloid β 1-42 (Aβ1-42), p-tau181p, and total tau levels using the Luminex xMAP platform. Mixed linear models were used to test for associations between baseline CSF biomarker levels and change in cognition over time.
Lower baseline CSF Aβ1-42 was associated with more rapid cognitive decline. Subjects with CSF Aβ1-42 levels ≤192 pg/mL declined an average of 5.85 (95% confidence interval 2.11–9.58, p = 0.002) points per year more rapidly on the DRS-2 than subjects above that cutoff, after adjustment for age, disease duration, and baseline cognitive status. CSF total tau and p-tau181p levels were not significantly associated with cognitive decline.
Reduced CSF Aβ1-42 was an independent predictor of cognitive decline in patients with PD. This observation is consistent with previous research showing that Alzheimer disease pathology contributes to cognitive impairment in PD. This biomarker may provide clinically useful prognostic information, particularly if combined with other risk factors for cognitive impairment in PD.
= Alzheimer disease;
= Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative;
= confidence interval;
= dementia with Lewy bodies;
= Dementia Rating Scale (version 2);
= Hoehn & Yahr;
= Parkinson disease;
= Parkinson disease dementia.
Brain atrophy and altered CSF-levels of amyloid beta (Aβ42) and the microtubule-associated protein tau are potent biomarkers of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) related pathology. However, the relationship between CSF biomarkers and brain morphometry is poorly understood. Thus, we addressed the following questions: (1) Can CSF biomarker levels explain the morphometric differences between normal controls (NC) and patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or AD? (2) How are CSF biomarkers related to atrophy across the brain? (3) How closely are CSF biomarkers and morphometry related to clinical change (CDR sum of boxes [CDR-sb])? 370 participants (105 NC/ 175 MCI/ 90 AD) from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative were studied, of whom 309 were followed for one and 176 for two years. Analyses were performed across the entire cortical surface, as well as for 30 cortical and subcortical regions of interest (ROIs). Results showed that CSF biomarker levels could not account for group differences in brain morphometry at baseline but that CSF biomarker levels showed moderate relationships to longitudinal atrophy rates in numerous brain areas, not restricted to medial temporal structures. Baseline morphometry was at least as predictive of atrophy as were CSF biomarkers. Even MCI patients with levels of Aβ42 comparable to controls and of p-tau lower than controls showed more atrophy than the controls. Morphometry predicted change in CDR-sb better than did CSF biomarkers. These results indicate that morphometric changes in MCI and AD are not secondary to CSF biomarker changes, and that the two types of biomarkers yield complementary information.
Alzheimer's disease; Magnetoencephalography; ABeta-peptide; Phosphorylation; Hippocampus; Cerebral cortex; Entorhinal cortex; Parahippocampal cortex
Clinicopathological studies suggest that Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology begins ∼10–15 years before the resulting cognitive impairment draws medical attention. Biomarkers that can detect AD pathology in its early stages and predict dementia onset would, therefore, be invaluable for patient care and efficient clinical trial design. We utilized a targeted proteomics approach to discover novel cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers that can augment the diagnostic and prognostic accuracy of current leading CSF biomarkers (Aβ42, tau, p-tau181).
Methods and Findings
Using a multiplexed Luminex platform, 190 analytes were measured in 333 CSF samples from cognitively normal (Clinical Dementia Rating [CDR] 0), very mildly demented (CDR 0.5), and mildly demented (CDR 1) individuals. Mean levels of 37 analytes (12 after Bonferroni correction) were found to differ between CDR 0 and CDR>0 groups. Receiver-operating characteristic curve analyses revealed that small combinations of a subset of these markers (cystatin C, VEGF, TRAIL-R3, PAI-1, PP, NT-proBNP, MMP-10, MIF, GRO-α, fibrinogen, FAS, eotaxin-3) enhanced the ability of the best-performing established CSF biomarker, the tau/Aβ42 ratio, to discriminate CDR>0 from CDR 0 individuals. Multiple machine learning algorithms likewise showed that the novel biomarker panels improved the diagnostic performance of the current leading biomarkers. Importantly, most of the markers that best discriminated CDR 0 from CDR>0 individuals in the more targeted ROC analyses were also identified as top predictors in the machine learning models, reconfirming their potential as biomarkers for early-stage AD. Cox proportional hazards models demonstrated that an optimal panel of markers for predicting risk of developing cognitive impairment (CDR 0 to CDR>0 conversion) consisted of calbindin, Aβ42, and age.
Using a targeted proteomic screen, we identified novel candidate biomarkers that complement the best current CSF biomarkers for distinguishing very mildly/mildly demented from cognitively normal individuals. Additionally, we identified a novel biomarker (calbindin) with significant prognostic potential.
To determine whether preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as detected by the amyloid imaging agent Pittsburgh Compound B (PIB) in cognitively normal older adults, is associated with risk of symptomatic AD.
A longitudinal cohort study of cognitively normal older adults assessed with positron emission tomography (PET) to determine the mean cortical binding potential for PIB and followed with annual clinical and cognitive assessments for progression to very mild dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT).
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
One hundred and fifty-nine participants with mean age of 71.5 y in a longitudinal study of memory and aging had a PET PIB scan when cognitively normal with Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) of 0.
Progression from CDR 0 status to CDR 0.5 (very mild dementia).
Twenty-three participants progressed to CDR 0.5 at follow-up assessment (range: 1–5 assessments after PET PIB). Of these, 9 also were diagnosed with DAT. Higher MCBP values for PIB (hazard ratio 4.85, 95% CI, 1.22–19.01, p = .02) and age (hazard ratio 1.14, 95% CI 1.02–1.28, p = .03) predicted progression to CDR 0.5 DAT. The CDR 0.5 DAT group showed decline in three cognitive domains (episodic memory, semantic memory, and visuospatial performance) and had volume loss in the parahippocampal gyrus (includes entorhinal cortex) compared with individuals who remained CDR 0.
Preclinical AD, as detected by PET PIB, is not benign as it is associated with progression to symptomatic AD.
OBJECTIVE—The purpose of this study was to determine longitudinal predictors of cognitive decline in older individuals with diabetes who did not have dementia.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Cognitive assessments were performed in 205 subjects with diabetes (mean age 75.3 years) and repeated a median 1.6 years later. The sample was drawn from an existing cohort study, and data on diabetes, cardiovascular risk factors, and complications were collected 7.6 ± 1.1 years before and at the time of the initial cognitive assessment. Cognitive status was defined using the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale, and cognitive decline was defined by change in CDR.
RESULTS—The sample included 164 subjects with normal cognition (CDR 0) and 41 with cognitive impairment without dementia (CDR 0.5). At follow-up, 33 (16.1%) had experienced cognitive decline (4 new cases of dementia and 29 cognitive impairment without dementia). Only educational attainment predicted cognitive decline from the data collected 7.6 years before cognitive assessment. Univariate predictors of cognitive decline at the time of the first cognitive assessment included age, education, urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR), and treatment with either ACE inhibitors (ACEIs) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). With multiple logistic regression controlling for age and education, cognitive decline was predicted by natural logarithm ACR (odds ratio 1.37 [95% CI 1.05–1.78], P = 0.021), whereas treatment with either ACEIs or ARBs was protective (0.28 [0.12–0.65], P = 0.003).
CONCLUSIONS—In this sample of older patients with diabetes, microalbuminuria was a risk factor for cognitive decline, whereas drugs that inhibit the renin-angiotensin system were protective. These observations require confirmation because of their considerable potential clinical implications.
To evaluate the combination of cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of Aβ42, tau, and phosphorylated tau (ptau181) with education and normalized whole brain volume (nWBV) to predict incident cognitive impairment and test the cognitive/brain reserve hypothesis.
Longitudinal cohort study.
Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center of Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.
Convenience sample of 197 participants aged 50 years and above, with normal cognition (Clinical Dementia Rating [CDR] of 0) at baseline, followed for a mean of 3.3 years.
Main outcome measure
Time to cognitive impairment (CDR ≥ 0.5).
Three-factor interactions between the baseline biomarker values, education, and nWBV were found for Cox proportional hazards models testing tau (p=.03) and ptau (p=.008). Among those with lower tau values, nWBV (hazard ratio [HR]=.54, 95% confidence interval [CI]=.31–.91; p=.02), but not education, was related to time to cognitive impairment. For participants with higher tau values, education interacted with nWBV to predict incident impairment (p=.01). For individuals with lower ptau values, there was no effect of education or nWBV. Education interacted with nWBV to predict incident cognitive impairment among those with higher ptau values (p=.02). In models testing Aβ42, larger nWBV was associated with a slower time to cognitive impairment (HR=.84, 95%CI=.71–.99, p=.0348), but there was no effect of Aβ42 or education.
Among individuals with higher levels of CSF tau and ptau, but normal cognition at baseline, time to incident cognitive impairment is moderated by education and brain volume as predicted by the cognitive/brain reserve hypothesis.
Evidence suggests that cardiovascular medications, including statins and antihypertensive medications, may delay cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer dementia (AD). We examined the association of cardiovascular medication use and rate of functional decline in a population-based cohort of individuals with incident AD.
In the Dementia Progression Study of the Cache County Study on Memory, Health, and Aging, 216 individuals with incident AD were identified and followed longitudinally with in-home visits for a mean of 3.0 years and 2.1 follow-up visits. The Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) was completed at each follow-up. Medication use was inventoried during in-home visits. Generalized least-squares random-effects regression was performed with CDR Sum of Boxes (CDR-Sum) as the outcome and cardiovascular medication use as the major predictors.
CDR-Sum increased an average of 1.69 points annually, indicating a steady decline in functioning. After adjustment for demographic variables and the baseline presence of cardiovascular conditions, use of statins (p = 0.03) and beta-blockers (p = 0.04) was associated with a slower annual rate of increase in CDR-Sum (slower rate of functional decline) of 0.75 and 0.68 points respectively, while diuretic use was associated with a faster rate of increase in CDR-Sum (p = 0.01; 0.96 points annually). Use of calcium-channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, digoxin, or nitrates did not affect the rate of functional decline.
In this population-based study of individuals with incident AD, use of statins and beta-blockers was associated with delay of functional decline. Further studies are needed to confirm these results and to determine whether treatment with these medications may help delay AD progression.
Alzheimer disease; risk factors in epidemiology; medications; prognosis
To examine the relation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) levels in cerebral cortex with structural brain integrity and cognitive performance in older people with a Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) of 0 (cognitively normal).
The relations between mean cortical [11C] PIB binding potential values, proportional to the density of fibrillar Aβ binding sites in the brain, concurrent regional brain volumes as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging, and both concurrent and longitudinal (up to 19 years) cognitive performance in multiple domains were examined in 135 CDR 0 individuals aged 65 to 88 years.
Elevated cerebral Aβ levels, in some cases comparable to that seen in individuals with Alzheimer's disease, were observed in 29 CDR 0 individuals. Significantly smaller regional volumes in the hippocampus, temporal neocortex, anterior cingulate, and posterior cingulate were observed in these CDR 0 individuals with elevated Aβ levels. Concurrent cognitive performance was unrelated to Aβ levels but was related to regional brain volumes with the exception of caudate. Longitudinal cognitive decline was associated with elevated Aβ levels and decreased hippocampal volume. Decline was not limited to episodic memory but included working memory and visuospatial abilities as well.
[11C] PIB, an in vivo measure of cerebral amyloidosis, is associated with regionally specific brain atrophy cross-sectionally and a pattern of longitudinal cognitive decline in multiple cognitive domains that occurs prior to the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer' disease. These findings contribute to the understanding of the cognitive and structural consequences of Aβ levels in CDR 0 older adults.
Cognitive decline; cerebral Aβ; PIB; brain volumetry; preclinical Alzheimer's disease
Low levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) β‐amyloid 1–42 (Aβ42) and high total tau (T‐tau) are diagnostic for manifest Alzheimer's disease. It is not known, however, whether these biomarkers may be risk indicators for cognitive decline in otherwise healthy older people.
The longitudinal relationship between CSF markers, Aβ42 and T‐tau, measured in 1992, and change in Mini‐Mental State Examination (ΔMMSE) score between 1992 and 2002 were investigated in 55 women (aged 70–84 years, mean (SD) MMSE score = 28.3 (1.5)), who were participants in the Prospective Population Study of Women in Gothenburg, Sweden. These women did not have dementia when they experienced lumbar puncture in 1992–3.
Over the 8‐year follow‐up period, ΔMMSE (range = +3 to −21 points) was correlated with Aβ42 (Spearman's r = 0.40, p = 0.002), such that lower levels of Aβ42 were related to greater decline. This was also observed after excluding 4 women who developed dementia between 1992 and 2002 (Spearman's r = 0.34, p = 0.019). A multivariate logistic regression model predicting a decline of ⩾5 points on the MMSE (observed in six women), or a risk of developing dementia over the 8‐year follow‐up period (observed in four women), including age, education, Aβ42 and T‐tau as covariates, showed that Aβ42 was the sole predictor of significant cognitive decline or dementia (OR per 100 pg/ml Aβ42 = 2.24, 95% CI 1.19 to 4.22, p = 0.013).
Low levels of CSF Aβ42 may predict cognitive decline among older women without dementia.
Cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension (HTN) have been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer disease. The current study investigated whether individuals with HTN are more susceptible to increased cognitive decline and whether the influence of HTN on cognitive decline varied as a function of dementia severity. A total of 224 nursing home and assisted living residents, with a mean age of 84.9 (±7.6) years, were assessed longitudinally with Mini Mental State Exams (MMSE) and Clinical Dementia Ratings (CDR). Baseline dementia status was defined by the CDR score. As described in Table 2, MMSE scores in persons with HTN and questionable dementia (CDR = 0.5) declined significantly faster than nonhypertensive questionably demented persons. Hypertensive participants did not decline significantly faster than nonhypertensive participants in persons with intact cognition (CDR = 0) or frank dementia (CDR ≥ 1). These results suggest an increased risk of subsequent cognitive decline in hypertensive individuals who are especially vulnerable to developing dementia and raises the possibility that avoiding or controlling HTN might reduce the rate of cognitive decline in cognitively vulnerable individuals, potentially delaying their conversion to full-fledged dementia.
Alzheimer disease; cardiovascular risk factors; cognitive impairment; dementia; elderly people; hypertension; mild cognitive impairment
We previously established reliability and cross-sectional validity of the SIST-M (Structured Interview and Scoring Tool–Massachusetts Alzheimer's Disease Research Center), a shortened version of an instrument shown to predict progression to Alzheimer disease (AD), even among persons with very mild cognitive impairment (vMCI).
To test predictive validity of the SIST-M.
Participants were 342 community-dwelling, non-demented older adults in a longitudinal study. Baseline Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) ratings were determined by either: 1) clinician interviews or 2) a previously developed computer algorithm based on 60 questions (of a possible 131) extracted from clinician interviews. We developed age+gender+education-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models using CDR-sum-of-boxes (CDR-SB) as the predictor, where CDR-SB was determined by either clinician interview or algorithm; models were run for the full sample (n=342) and among those jointly classified as vMCI using clinician- and algorithm-based CDR ratings (n=156). We directly compared predictive accuracy using time-dependent Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves.
AD hazard ratios (HRs) were similar for clinician-based and algorithm-based CDR-SB: for a 1-point increment in CDR-SB, respective HRs (95% CI)=3.1 (2.5,3.9) and 2.8 (2.2,3.5); among those with vMCI, respective HRs (95% CI) were 2.2 (1.6,3.2) and 2.1 (1.5,3.0). Similarly high predictive accuracy was achieved: the concordance probability (weighted average of the area-under-the-ROC curves) over follow-up was 0.78 vs. 0.76 using clinician-based vs. algorithm-based CDR-SB.
CDR scores based on items from this shortened interview had high predictive ability for AD – comparable to that using a lengthy clinical interview.
Alzheimer disease; mild cognitive impairment; dementia; CDR; instrument; questionnaire; validity; prediction; psychometric
To examine the effect of specific “CSF profiles” on the rate of cognitive decline, disease progression, and risk of conversion to Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Total tau (t-tau), tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (p-tau181), and β-amyloid 1-42 peptide (Aβ42) were immunoassayed in CSF samples obtained from MCI patients enrolled in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Patients were then stratified by “CSF profiles”: (1) normal t-tau and Aβ42 levels (i.e., normal–t-tauAβ42), (2) normal t-tau but abnormal Aβ42 (i.e., abnormal–Aβ42), (3) abnormal t-tau but normal Aβ42 (i.e., abnormal–t-tau), and (4) abnormal t-tau and Aβ42 (i.e., abnormal–t-tauAβ42).
Fifty-eight sites in the US and Canada.
One hundred ninety-five MCI patients.
Main Outcome Measures
A composite cognitive measure, the CDR-Sum of Boxes, and conversion to AD.
MCI patients with a CSF profile of abnormal–Aβ42 or abnormal–t-tauAβ42 experienced a faster rate of decline on the composite cognitive measure and the CDR-Sum of Boxes compared to those with normal–t-tauAβ42. They also had a greater risk of converting to AD relative to the normal–t-tauAβ42 group. In contrast, those with a CSF profile of abnormal–t-tau did not differ from the normal–t-tauAβ42 group on any outcome. These findings were generally replicated when the sample was reclassified by patterns of p-tau181 and Aβ42 abnormalities.
β-amyloid abnormalities, but not tau alterations, are associated with cognitive deterioration, disease progression, and increased risk of conversion to AD dementia in patients with MCI. Patients with abnormal levels of Aβ42 may be prime targets for drug treatment and clinical trials in MCI.
CSF; MCI; cognitive decline; disease progression; conversion to AD
To evaluate the spatial pattern and regional rates of neocortical atrophy from normal aging to early Alzheimer disease (AD).
Longitudinal MRI data were analyzed using high-throughput image analysis procedures for 472 individuals diagnosed as normal, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or AD. Participants were divided into 4 groups based on Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes score (CDR-SB). Annual atrophy rates were derived by calculating percent cortical volume loss between baseline and 12-month scans. Repeated-measures analyses of covariance were used to evaluate group differences in atrophy rates across regions as a function of impairment. Planned comparisons were used to evaluate the change in atrophy rates across levels of disease severity.
In patients with MCI–CDR-SB 0.5–1, annual atrophy rates were greatest in medial temporal, middle and inferior lateral temporal, inferior parietal, and posterior cingulate. With increased impairment (MCI–CDR-SB 1.5–2.5), atrophy spread to parietal, frontal, and lateral occipital cortex, followed by anterior cingulate cortex. Analysis of regional trajectories revealed increasing rates of atrophy across all neocortical regions with clinical impairment. However, increases in atrophy rates were greater in early disease within medial temporal cortex, whereas increases in atrophy rates were greater at later stages in prefrontal, parietal, posterior temporal, parietal, and cingulate cortex.
Atrophy is not uniform across regions, nor does it follow a linear trajectory. Knowledge of the spatial pattern and rate of decline across the spectrum from normal aging to Alzheimer disease can provide valuable information for detecting early disease and monitoring treatment effects at different stages of disease progression.
= Alzheimer disease;
= Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative;
= analysis of covariance;
= Clinical Dementia Rating;
= Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes score;
= mild cognitive impairment;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= Principal Investigator;
= region of interest;
= total intracranial volume;
= University of California, San Diego.
The Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) and CDR-Sum-of-Boxes (CDR-SB) can be utilized to grade mild but clinically important cognitive symptoms. However, sensitive clinical interview formats are lengthy.
To develop a brief instrument for obtaining CDR scores, and to assess its reliability and cross-sectional validity.
Using legacy data from expanded interviews conducted among 347 community-dwelling, older adults in a longitudinal study, we identified 60 questions about cognitive functioning in daily life–out of a possible 131– using clinical judgment, inter-item correlations, and principal components analysis. Items were selected in one cohort (n=147), and a computer algorithm for generating CDR scores was developed in this same cohort and re-run in a replication cohort (n=200) to evaluate how well the 60 items retained information from the original 131. Then, short interviews based on the 60 items were administered to 50 consecutively-recruited elders, with no or mild cognitive symptoms, at an Alzheimer Disease Research Center. CDR scores based on short interviews were compared with those from independent long interviews.
In the replication cohort, agreement between short and long CDR interviews ranged from κ =0.65–0.79, with κ =0.76 for Memory; κ =0.77 for global CDR; ICC (intra-class correlation coefficient) for CDR-SB=0.89. In the cross-sectional validation, short interview scores were slightly lower than those from long interviews, but good agreement was observed: κ ≥ 0.70 for global CDR and Memory; ICC for CDR-SB=0.73.
The SIST-M is a brief, reliable and sensitive instrument for obtaining CDR scores in persons with symptoms along the spectrum of mild cognitive change.
Alzheimer disease; mild cognitive impairment; Clinical Dementia Rating; instrument; questionnaire; clinical interview
It is not well known whether Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers are associated with brain damage in cognitively normal elderly. The combined influence of CSF biomarkers and hypertension (HTN) on the gray matter (GM) is also not well described.
115 cognitively healthy subjects (mean age 62.6±9.5, 62% women) received clinical assessment, a high resolution MRI and a lumbar puncture. The CSF levels of total tau (t-tau), hyperphosphorylated tau (p-tau231), amyloid beta (Aβ42/Aβ40), p-tau231/Aβ42 and t-tau/Aβ42 were dichotomized as ‘high’ and ‘low’ based on accepted cut-off values. Statistical parametric mapping was used to examine MRI scans for regional GM density, studied as a function of the CSF markers, HTN and combination of both. Global and medial temporal lobe (MTL) GM was also assessed. Voxel based morphometry revealed that higher t-tau was associated with lower GM density in the precunei. Subjects with higher p-tau231 and p-tau231/Aβ42 had less GM in temporal lobes. Low Aβ42/Aβ40 was related to less GM in the thalami, caudate and midbrain. Subjects with hypertension showed more GM atrophy in the cerebellum, occipital and frontal regions. Simultaneous presence of elevated CSF AD biomarkers and HTN was associated with more GM atrophy than either marker individually, but no interaction effects were identified.
In conclusion, in normal elderly CSF tau markers were associated predominantly with lower GM estimates in structures typically affected early in the AD process. In this presymptomatic stage when no cognitive impairment is present, AD pathology and HTN have additive effects on gray matter damage.
Aging; Biomarkers; MRI; Alzheimer’s Disease; Cerebrospinal Fluid; Hypertension
The aim of the study was to assess the clinical efficacy, safety, and disease-modification effects of tramiprosate (homotaurine, ALZHEMEDTM) in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Material and methods
Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial in 67 clinical centres across North America. Patients aged ≥ 50 years, with mild-to-moderate AD (Mini-Mental State Examination score between 16 and 26) and on stable doses of cholinesterase inhibitors, alone or with memantine. Intervention: 78-week treatment with placebo, tramiprosate 100 mg or tramiprosate 150 mg BID. Measurements: Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale – cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog) and Clinical Dementia Rating – Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB) assessments were performed at baseline and every 13 weeks. Baseline and 78-week magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) hippocampus volume (HV) measurements were conducted in a subgroup of patients.
A total of 1,052 patients were enrolled and 790 (75.1%) completed the 78-week trial. Patient discontinuation and reasons for withdrawal were similar across groups. Planned analyses did not reveal statistically significant between-group differences. Lack of adequate statistical validity of the planned analysis models led to the development of revised predictive models. These adjusted models showed a trend toward a treatment effect for ADAS-cog (P = 0.098) and indicated significantly less HV loss for tramiprosate 100 mg (P = 0.035) and 150 mg (P = 0.009) compared to placebo. The incidence of adverse events was similar across treatment groups.
The primary planned analyses did not show a significant treatment effect, but were confounded by unexplained variance. Post-hoc analyses showed a significant treatment-related reduction in HV loss. However, there was only a trend towards slowing of decline on the ADAS-cog and no slowing of decline on the CDR-SB. These results must be interpreted in consideration of the limitations of clinical and disease-modification outcome measures and their relationship, the heterogeneity of the disease and the impact of confounding demographic and clinical variables.
tramiprosate; Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid; disease-modification; volumetric MRI
Little is known whether cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can predict both memory decline and associated longitudinal medial temporal lobe (MTL) gray matter (GM) reductions in cognitively healthy individuals. 57 normal elderly subjects received comprehensive evaluation at baseline and 2 years later. The baseline phosphorylated tau231 (p-tau231), total tau, the amyloid beta (Aβ) Aβ42/Aβ40, t-tau/Aβ42 and p-tau231/Aβ42 ratios were examined as predictors of memory change and reductions in the global and MTL GM, determined from T1-weighted MRI. Twenty out of 57 participants experienced reduced memory performance at follow-up. The group with decreased memory performance showed higher baseline p-tau231 (Z=−2.2, p=.03), lower Aβ42/Aβ40 (t=−2.2 , p=.04) and greater longitudinal MTL GM reductions (t= −2.70, p=.01). Higher baseline p-tau231 was also associated with the absolute decrease in memory scores (rho=−.30, p=.02) and with longitudinal MTL GM reduction (F[2, 52]=4.4, p=.04, age corrected). Our results indicate that in normal individuals, elevated p-tau231, a marker of neurofibrillary pathology is related to both a decrease in declarative memory and progressive atrophy of the MTL, suggesting its diagnostic potential in preclinical stage.
Alzheimer’s disease; aging; memory performance; prediction; biomarkers; phosphorylated tau 231; cerebrospinal fluid; medial temporal lobe
There are no empiric data to support guidelines for duration of therapy with antidementia drugs. This study examined whether persistent use of antidementia drugs slows clinical progression of Alzheimer disease (AD) assessed by repeated measures on serial tests of cognition and function.
Six hundred forty-one probable AD patients were followed prospectively at an academic center over 20 years. Cumulative drug exposure was expressed as a persistency index (PI) reflecting total years of drug use divided by total years of disease symptoms. Baseline and annual testing consisted of Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog), Baylor Profound Mental Status Examination (BPMSE), Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB), Physical Self-Maintenance Scale (PSMS), and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL). Annual change in slope of neuropsychological and functional tests as predicted by follow-up time, PI, and the interaction of these two variables was evaluated.
PI was associated with significantly slower rates of decline (with, without adjustment for covariates) on MMSE (P < 0.0001), PSMS (P < 0.05), IADL (P < 0.0001), and CDR-SB (P < 0.001). There was an insignificant trend (P = 0.053) for the PI to be associated with slower rate of decline on BPMSE. The association of PI with ADAS-Cog followed a quadratic trend (P < 0.01). Analysis including both linear and quadratic terms suggests that PI slowed ADAS-Cog decline temporarily. The magnitude of the favorable effect of a rate change in PI was: MMSE 1 point per year, PSMS 0.4 points per year, IADL 1.4 points per year, and CDR-SB 0.6 points per year. The change in mean test scores is additive over the follow-up period (3 ± 1.94 years).
Persistent drug treatment had a positive impact on AD progression assessed by multiple cognitive, functional, and global outcome measures. The magnitude of the treatment effect was clinically significant. Positive treatment effects were even found in those with advanced disease.
There is a growing need to identify cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers that can detect Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology in cognitively normal individuals since it is in this population that disease-modifying therapies may have the greatest chance of success. While AD pathology is estimated to begin ~10–15 years prior to the onset of cognitive decline, substantial neuronal loss is present by the time the earliest signs of cognitive impairment appear. Visinin-like protein −1 (VILIP-1) has demonstrated potential utility as a marker of neuronal injury. We here investigate CSF VILIP-1 and VILIP-1/amyloid-β42 (Aβ42) ratio as diagnostic and prognostic markers in early AD.
We assessed CSF levels of VILIP-1, tau, phosphorylated-tau181 (p-tau181), and Aβ42 in cognitively normal controls [CNC] (n=211), individuals with early symptomatic AD (n=98), and individuals with other dementias (n=19). Structural magnetic resonance imaging (n=192) and amyloid imaging with Pittsburgh Compound-B (n=156) were obtained in subsets of this cohort. Among the CNC cohort, 164 individuals had follow-up annual cognitive assessments for 2–3 years.
CSF VILIP-1 levels differentiated individuals with AD from CNC and individuals with other dementias. CSF VILIP-1 levels correlated with CSF tau, p-tau181, and brain volumes in AD. VILIP-1 and VILIP-1/Aβ42 predicted future cognitive impairment in CNC over the follow-up period. Importantly, CSF VILIP-1/Aβ42 predicted future cognitive impairment at least as well as tau/Aβ42 and p-tau181/Aβ42.
These findings suggest that CSF VILIP-1 and VILIP-1/Aβ42 offer diagnostic utility for early AD, and can predict future cognitive impairment in cognitively normal individuals similarly to tau and tau/Aβ42, respectively.
Visinin-like protein-1; Alzheimer’s disease; biomarkers; cerebrospinal fluid; neuronal injury
To investigate the effect of CSF abnormalities on rate of decline in everyday function in normal aging, MCI, and mild AD.
T-tau, p-tau181, and Aβ42 were immunoassayed in CSF obtained from participants in the AD Neuroimaging Initiative. Random effects regressions were used to examine the relationship between CSF abnormalities, cognitive impairment (assessed with the ADAS-Cog), and functional decline (assessed with Pfeffer’s FAQ); and to determine whether the impact of CSF abnormality on functional decline is mediated by cognitive impairment.
Fifty-eight sites in the US and Canada.
One hundred fourteen cognitively-intact adults, 195 MCI patients, and 100 mild AD patients.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE
Decline in Pfeffer’s FAQ.
All CSF analytes were associated with functional decline in MCI and all but t-tau/Aβ42 were associated with functional decline in controls. No CSF analyte was associated with functional decline in AD. Among controls, p-tau181 was the most sensitive to functional decline whereas in MCI it was Aβ42. CSF biomarkers were uniformly more sensitive to functional decline than the ADAS-Cog among controls and variably so in MCI, whereas the ADAS-Cog was unequivocally more sensitive than CSF biomarkers in AD. The impact of CSF abnormalities on functional decline in MCI was partially mediated by their impact on cognitive status. Across all diagnostic groups, persons with both tau and Aβ42 abnormalities exhibited the steepest rate of functional decline.
CSF abnormalities are associated with functional decline, and thus with future development of AD in controls and MCI patients. However, they do not predict further functional degradation in AD. Persons with comorbid tau and Aβ42 abnormalities are at greatest risk of functional loss.
CSF; FAQ; ADAS-Cog; activities of daily living; functional decline; MCI; AD
To investigate whether baseline CSF biomarkers are associated with hippocampal atrophy rate as a measure of disease progression in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD), patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and controls, controlling for baseline neuropsychological and MRI findings.
We assessed data from 31 patients with AD, 25 patients with MCI, and 19 controls (mean age 68 ± 8 years; 39 [52%] female) who visited our memory clinic and had received serial MRI scanning (scan interval 1.7 ± 0.7 years). At baseline, CSF biomarkers (amyloid β 1-42, tau, and tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 [p-tau]) were obtained, as well as neuropsychological data. Baseline MRI scans were assessed using visual rating scales for medial temporal lobe atrophy (MTA), global cortical atrophy, and white matter hyperintensities. Hippocampal atrophy rates were estimated using regional nonlinear “fluid” registration of follow-up scan to baseline scan.
Stepwise multiple linear regression, adjusted for age and sex, showed that increased CSF p-tau levels (β [standard error]: −0.79 [0.35]) at baseline was independently associated with higher subsequent hippocampal atrophy rates (p < 0.05), together with poorer memory performance (0.09 [0.04]) and more severe MTA (−0.60 [0.21]). The association of memory function with hippocampal atrophy rate was explained by the link with diagnosis, because it disappeared from the model after we additionally corrected for diagnosis.
Baseline CSF levels of tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 are independently associated with subsequent disease progression, as reflected by hippocampal atrophy rate. This effect is independent of baseline neuropsychological and MRI predictors. Our results imply that predicting disease progression can best be achieved by combining information from different modalities.
= amyloid β 1-42;
= Alzheimer disease;
= field of view;
= global cortical atrophy;
= lumbar puncture;
= mild cognitive impairment;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= medial temporal lobe atrophy;
= tau phosphorylated at threonine 181;
= echo time;
= inversion time;
= Trail Making Test;
= repetition time;
= Visual Association Test;
= white matter hyperintensities.