Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, and the pathological changes of senile plaques (SPs) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in AD brains are well described. Clinically, a diagnosis remains a postmortem one, hampering both accurate and early diagnosis as well as research into potential new treatments. Visual deficits have long been noted in AD patients, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that histopathological changes already noted in the brain also occur in an extension of the brain; the retina. Due to the optically transparent nature of the eye, it is possible to image the retina at a cellular level noninvasively and thus potentially allow an earlier diagnosis as well as a way of monitoring progression and treatment effects. Transgenic animal models expressing amyloid precursor protein (APP) presenilin (PS) and tau mutations have been used successfully to recapitulate the pathological findings of AD in the brain. This paper will cover the ocular abnormalities that have been detected in these transgenic AD animal models.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a dementing neurological disorder that results in progressive memory loss and cognitive decline thought to be associated with buildup of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. Vascular Dementia (VaD) is another common dementing disorder characterized by decreased brain perfusion. Together, AD and VaD constitute mixed dementia, an extremely common type of dementia associated with aging. Neuroimaging research suggests that brain vascular atrophy results in mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a possible precursor for AD. Additionally, literature suggests that attention to cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension could reduce or delay the incidence of mixed dementia. Furthermore, foods and beverages rich in natural antioxidant flavanoids (i.e. epicatechin and catechin) are currently being advocated as possible preventative agents for a number of pathological conditions ranging from coronary heart disease to dementia. Experimental evidence is mounting that oxidative stress is involved in the pathophysiology of AD, and numerous studies are indicating that polyphenolic antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can be useful in countering this and blocking neuronal death. More specifically, several cocoa studies suggest that daily intake of cocoa flavanols leads to cardiovascular benefits including vasodilatation via a nitric oxide mechanism and increased brain perfusion. The following text will consider an important question that thus arises regarding the potential of flavanols as effective agents for the prevention and delay of the onset of brain vascular atrophy and subsequently MCI and AD. It will also review the molecular mechanisms through which flavanols operate to accomplish their protective effects.
Brain vascular atrophy; mild cognitive impairment; Alzheimer's disease; flavanols; oxidative stress; antioxidants
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia that affects several million people worldwide. The major neuropathological hallmarks of AD are the presence of extracellular amyloid plaques that are composed of Aβ40 and Aβ42 and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), which is composed of hyperphosphorylated protein Tau. While the amyloid plaques and NFT could define the disease progression involving neuronal loss and dysfunction, significant cognitive decline occurs before their appearance. Although significant advances in neuroimaging techniques provide the structure and physiology of brain of AD cases, the biomarker studies based on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma represent the most direct and convenient means to study the disease progression. Biomarkers are useful in detecting the preclinical as well as symptomatic stages of AD. In this paper, we discuss the recent advancements of various biomarkers with particular emphasis on CSF biomarkers for monitoring the early development of AD before significant cognitive dysfunction.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, comprising 60–80% of all reported cases, and currently affects 5.2 million Americans. AD is characterized pathologically by the accumulation of senile plaques (SPs), neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), and synapse loss. The early stages of memory loss associated with AD have been studied in a condition known as amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), arguably the earliest form of AD. In spite of extensive research across a variety of disciplines the cause of AD remains elusive. Proteomics techniques have helped to advance knowledge about AD by identifying irregularities in protein expression and post-translational modifications (PTMs) in AD brain. Glycosylation is a less studied PTM with regards to AD and MCI. This PTM is important to study because glycosylation is involved in proper protein folding, protein anchoring to cell membranes, and the delivery of proteins to organelles, and these processes are impaired in AD. Concanavalin-A (Con-A) binds to N-linked glycoproteins, but hydrophobic sites on non-glycoproteins are also known to bind Con-A. To our knowledge, the present study is the first to examine Con-A-associated brain proteins in MCI and AD with focus on the hippocampus and inferior parietal lobule (IPL) brain regions. Proteins found in AD hippocampus with altered levels are glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), tropomyosin 3 (TPM3), Rab GDP-dissociation inhibitor XAP-4 (XAP4), and heat shock protein 90 (HSP90). Proteins found with altered levels in AD IPL are α-enolase, γ-enolase, and XAP-4. MCI hippocampal proteins with altered levels are dihydropyrimidase-2 (DRP2), glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP-78), protein phosphatase related protein Sds-22 (Sds22), and GFAP and the only protein found with altered levels in MCI IPL was β-synuclein. These results are discussed with reference to biochemical and pathological alterations in and progression of AD.
Peripheral biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) reflecting early neuropathological change are critical to the development of treatments for this condition. The most widely used indicator of AD pathology in life at present is neuroimaging evidence of brain atrophy. We therefore performed a proteomic analysis of plasma to derive biomarkers associated with brain atrophy in AD. Using gel based proteomics we previously identified seven plasma proteins that were significantly associated with hippocampal volume in a combined cohort of subjects with AD (N = 27) and MCI (N = 17). In the current report, we validated this finding in a large independent cohort of AD (N = 79), MCI (N = 88) and control (N = 95) subjects using alternative complementary methods—quantitative immunoassays for protein concentrations and estimation of pathology by whole brain volume. We confirmed that plasma concentrations of five proteins, together with age and sex, explained more than 35% of variance in whole brain volume in AD patients. These proteins are complement components C3 and C3a, complement factor-I, γ-fibrinogen and alpha-1-microglobulin. Our findings suggest that these plasma proteins are strong predictors of in vivo AD pathology. Moreover, these proteins are involved in complement activation and coagulation, providing further evidence for an intrinsic role of these pathways in AD pathogenesis.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW:
The intent of this article is to review trends in multi-center neuroimaging trials and their value for research and implications for clinical treatment.
The rise in availability of magnetic resonance imaging for detecting disorders in the living brain has made it an attractive technology for assessing neural structure and function in a number of prominent diseases. Geographic factors underlying diseased populations coupled with complementary neuroimaging research programs have led to an increase in multi-center neuroimaging trials and consortia. Neuroimaging has become a major focus for multi-institutional research into a) progressive changes in brain architecture, b) proxy biomarkers of treatment response, and c) the effects of disease on patterns of cognitive activation and connectivity. Notable consortia and research trial studies have focused on Alzheimer's disease, pediatric brain cancer, and fetal alcohol syndrome, in addition to multi-institutional collaborative programs for mapping the normal brain. Such large-scale efforts necessitate close coordination of image data collection protocols, ontology development, computational requirements, concerted data archiving and sharing.
Multi-center neuroimaging trials, consortia, and collaboratives enable the acquisition of large-scale, purpose-driven datasets that can then be used by the broader community to model and predict clinical outcomes as well as guide clinicians in selecting treatment options for neurological disease.
Neuroimaging; Multi-Center; Clinical Trials; Consortia; Collaboration; Data Sharing
Aggregation of amyloid beta peptide into senile plaques and hyperphosphorylated tau protein into neurofibrillary tangles in the brain are the pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Despite over a century of research into these lesions, the exact relationship between pathology and neurotoxicity has yet to be fully elucidated. In order to study the formation of plaques and tangles and their effects on the brain, we have applied multiphoton in vivo imaging of transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. This technique allows longitudinal imaging of pathological aggregation of proteins and the subsequent changes in surrounding neuropil neurodegeneration and recovery after therapeutic interventions.
Alzheimer; tau; plaque; multiphoton; in vivo imaging
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a sophisticated MRI-based neuroimaging technique that enables in vivo quantification of differences in molecular diffusion at the cellular level. Owing to the highly directional architecture of white matter (WM), DTI is providing important clues of the structure and geometric organization of this neural compartment. Since DTI can detect changes even in the case of radiologically “normal” appearing WM, researchers are using the technique for the study of WM integrity at the initial stages of the most common neurodegenerative disorders. Along with a well characterized cortical pathology (neuritic plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles), WM changes have been also demonstrated in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, these changes had been for years found nonliable in the onset and progress of AD, basically due to lack of incriminatory evidence. The use of novel tools such as DTI has enabled the anatomical distribution of WM microstructural damage in the prodromal stages of AD to be gauged and determined, granting a long-delayed protagonic role to WM in the natural history of this highly prevalent neurodegenerative condition.
diffusion; DTI; white matter; Alzheimer’s disease; aging; anisotropy
The diagnostic guidelines of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have recently been updated to include brain imaging and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, with the aim of increasing the certainty of whether a patient has an ongoing AD neuropathologic process or not. The CSF biomarkers total tau (T-tau), hyperphosphorylated tau (P-tau) and the 42 amino acid isoform of amyloid β (Aβ42) reflect the core pathologic features of AD, which are neuronal loss, intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and extracellular senile plaques. Since the pathologic processes of AD start decades before the first symptoms, these biomarkers may provide means of early disease detection. The updated guidelines identify three different stages of AD: preclinical AD, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to AD and AD with dementia. In this review, we aim to summarize the CSF biomarker data available for each of these stages. We also review results from blood biomarker studies. In summary, the core AD CSF biomarkers have high diagnostic accuracy both for AD with dementia and to predict incipient AD (MCI due to AD). Longitudinal studies on healthy elderly and recent cross-sectional studies on patients with dominantly inherited AD mutations have also found biomarker changes in cognitively normal at-risk individuals. This will be important if disease-modifying treatment becomes available, given that treatment will probably be most effective early in the disease. An important prerequisite for this is trustworthy analyses. Since measurements vary between studies and laboratories, standardization of analytical as well as pre-analytical procedures will be essential. This process is already initiated. Apart from filling diagnostic roles, biomarkers may also be utilized for prognosis, disease progression, development of new treatments, monitoring treatment effects and for increasing the knowledge about pathologic processes coupled to the disease. Hence, the search for new biomarkers continues. Several candidate biomarkers have been found in CSF, and although biomarkers in blood have been harder to find, some recent studies have presented encouraging results. But before drawing any major conclusions, these results need to be verified in independent studies.
Alzheimer’s disease; Cerebrospinal fluid; Blood; Biomarker; Amyloid β; Total tau; Phosphorylated tau; Diagnosis; Disease stages
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly. Classic symptoms of the disease include memory loss and confusion associated with the hallmark neuro-pathologic lesions of neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) and senile plaques (SP) and their sequelae, gray matter atrophy. Volumetric assessment methods measure tissue atrophy, which typically follows early biochemical changes. An alternate MRI contrast mechanism to visualize the early pathological changes is T1ρ (or “T-1-rho”), the spin lattice relaxation time constant in the rotating frame, which determines the decay of the transverse magnetization in the presence of a “spin-lock” radio-frequency field. Macromolecular changes (in plaques and tangles) that accompany early AD are expected to alter bulk water T1ρ relaxation times. In this work, we measure T1ρ MRI on patients with clinically diagnosed AD, MCI and in age-matched ognitively normal control subjects in order to compare T1ρ values with changes in brain volume in the same regions of the brain and demonstrate that T1ρ can potentially constitute an important biomarker of AD.
T1rho; spin-lock imaging; Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly, and it is characterized by progressive impairment in multiple cognitive domains of sufficient severity to interfere with individuals’ daily living activities. Historically, the diagnosis of AD has been based on the identification of a clinical syndrome, and accuracy studies of the current clinical criteria conducted in referral clinics have shown high sensitivity for AD. However, the identification of the disease is still not perfect, and there is growing evidence that the use of biomarkers will increase our ability to better indentify the underlying biology of AD, especially in its early stages. These biomarkers will improve the detection of the patients suitable for research studies and drug trials, and they will contribute to a better management of the disease in the clinical practice. In this review, we discuss the most studied biomarkers in AD: cerebrospinal fluid proteins, structural magnetic resonance imaging, functional neuroimaging techniques, and amyloid imaging.
Alzheimer’s disease; mild cognitive impairment; biomarker; cerebrospinal fluid; magnetic resonance imaging; positron emission tomography
Cognitive impairment, including dementia, is commonly seen in those afflicted with Parkinson disease (PD), particularly at advanced disease stages. Pathologically, PD with dementia (PD-D) is most often associated with the presence of cortical Lewy bodies, as is the closely related dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Both PD-D and DLB are also frequently complicated by the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques, features most often attributed to Alzheimer disease. Biomarkers are urgently needed to differentiate among these disease processes and predict dementia in PD as well as monitor responses of patients to new therapies. A few clinical assessments, along with structural and functional neuroimaging, have been utilized in the last few years with some success in this area. Additionally, a number of other strategies have been employed to identify biochemical/molecular biomarkers associated with cognitive impairment and dementia in PD, e.g., targeted analysis of candidate proteins known to be important to PD pathogenesis and progression in cerebrospinal fluid or blood. Finally, interesting results are emerging from preliminary studies with unbiased and high throughput genomic, proteomic and metabolomic techniques. The current findings and perspectives of applying these strategies and techniques are reviewed in this article, together with potential areas of advancement.
Parkinson disease; dementia; mild cognitive impairment; biomarker; cerebrospinal fluid; proteomics; genomics; and metabolomics
The introduction of biological markers in the clinical management of Alzheimer's disease (AD) will not only improve diagnosis relating to early detection of neuropathology with underlying molecular mechanisms, but also provides tools for the assessment of objective treatment benefits. In this review, we identify a number of in vivo neurochemistry and neuroimaging techniques, which can reliably assess aspects of physiology, pathology, chemistry, and neuroanatomy of AD, and hold promise as meaningful biomarkers in the early diagnostic process, as well as for the tracking of disease-modifying pharmacological effects. These neurobiological measures appear to relate closely to pathophysiological, neuropathological, and clinical data, such as hyperphosphorylation of tau, abeta metabolism, lipid peroxidation, pattern and rate of atrophy, loss of neuronal integrity, and functional and cognitive decline, as well as risk of future decline. As a perspective, the important role of biomarkers in the development of innovative drug treatments for AD and the related regulatory process is discussed.
Alzheimer's disease; Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative; biomarker; drug development; disease modification; diagnosis
A challenge in developing informative neuroimaging biomarkers for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is the need to identify biomarkers that are evident before the onset of clinical symptoms, and which have sufficient sensitivity and specificity on an individual patient basis. Recent literature suggests that spatial patterns of brain atrophy discriminate amongst Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and cognitively normal (CN) older adults with high accuracy on an individual basis, thereby offering promise that subtle brain changes can be detected during prodromal Alzheimer's disease stages. Here, we investigate whether these spatial patterns of brain atrophy can be detected in CN and MCI individuals and whether they are associated with cognitive decline. Images from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) were used to construct a pattern classifier that recognizes spatial patterns of brain atrophy which best distinguish Alzheimer's disease patients from CN on an individual person basis. This classifier was subsequently applied to longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging scans of CN and MCI participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) neuroimaging study. The degree to which Alzheimer's disease-like patterns were present in CN and MCI subjects was evaluated longitudinally in relation to cognitive performance. The oldest BLSA CN individuals showed progressively increasing Alzheimer's disease-like patterns of atrophy, and individuals with these patterns had reduced cognitive performance. MCI was associated with steeper longitudinal increases of Alzheimer's disease-like patterns of atrophy, which separated them from CN (receiver operating characteristic area under the curve equal to 0.89). Our results suggest that imaging-based spatial patterns of brain atrophy of Alzheimer's disease, evaluated with sophisticated pattern analysis and recognition methods, may be useful in discriminating among CN individuals who are likely to be stable versus those who will show cognitive decline. Future prospective studies will elucidate the temporal dynamics of spatial atrophy patterns and the emergence of clinical symptoms.
early Alzheimer's disease; mild cognitive impairment; neuroimaging; ageing; SPARE-AD
Over the past two decades, it has become increasingly apparent that Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology is characterized by activated microglia (brain resident macrophages) as well as the classic features of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The intricacy of microglial biology has also become apparent, leading to a heightened research interest in this particular cell type. Over the years a number of different microglial cell culturing techniques have been developed to study either primary mammalian microglia, or immortalized cell lines. Each microglial system has advantages and disadvantages and should be selected for its appropriateness in a particular research context. This review summarizes several of the most common microglial cell culture systems currently being employed in Alzheimer’s research including primary microglia; BV2 and N9 retroviral immortalized microglia; human immortalized microglia (HMO6); and spontaneously immortalized rodent microglial lines (EOC lines and HAPI cells). Particularities of cell culture requirements and characteristics of microglial behavior, especially in response to applied inflammogen stimuli, are compared and discussed across these cell types.
Alzheimer’s disease; Microglia; Cell culture; Nitric oxide; Cytokines
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects millions worldwide. Currently, there are no treatments that prevent or slow AD. Like other neurodegenerative diseases, AD is characterized by protein misfolding in the brain. This process and associated brain damage begins years prior to the substantial neurodegeneration that accompanies dementia. Studies utilizing new neuroimaging techniques and fluid biomarkers suggest that AD pathology can be detected pre-clinically. These advances should enable novel clinical trial design and early mechanism-based therapeutic intervention.
To determine the frequency and possible cognitive effect of histological Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in autopsied older nondemented individuals.
Senile plaques (SPs) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) were assessed quantitatively in 97 cases from 7 Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (ADCs). Neuropathological diagnoses of AD (npAD) were also made with four sets of criteria. Adjusted linear mixed models tested differences between participants with and without npAD on the quantitative neuropathology measures and psychometric test scores prior to death. Spearman rank-order correlations between AD lesions and psychometric scores at last assessment were calculated for cases with pathology in particular regions.
Washington University Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
Ninety-seven nondemented participants who were age 60 years or older at death (mean = 84 years).
About 40% of nondemented individuals met at least some level of criteria for npAD; when strict criteria were used, about 20% of cases had npAD. Substantial overlap of Braak neurofibrillary stages occurred between npAD and no-npAD cases. Although there was no measurable cognitive impairment prior to death for either the no-npAD or npAD groups, cognitive function in nondemented aging appears to be degraded by the presence of NFTs and SPs.
Neuropathological processes related to AD in persons without dementia appear to be associated with subtle cognitive dysfunction and may represent a preclinical stage of the illness. By age 80–85 years, many nondemented older adults have substantial AD pathology.
preclinical Alzheimer’s disease; nondemented aging; neuropathological Alzheimer’s disease
Because the pathologic processes that underlie Alzheimer's disease (AD) appear to start 10 to 20 years before symptoms develop, there is currently intense interest in developing techniques to accurately predict which individuals are most likely to become symptomatic. Several AD risk prediction strategies - including identification of biomarkers and neuroimaging techniques and development of risk indices that combine traditional and non-traditional risk factors - are being explored. Most AD risk prediction strategies developed to date have had moderate prognostic accuracy but are limited by two key issues. First, they do not explicitly model mortality along with AD risk and, therefore, do not differentiate individuals who are likely to develop symptomatic AD prior to death from those who are likely to die of other causes. This is critically important so that any preventive treatments can be targeted to maximize the potential benefit and minimize the potential harm. Second, AD risk prediction strategies developed to date have not explored the full range of predictive variables (biomarkers, imaging, and traditional and non-traditional risk factors) over the full preclinical period (10 to 20 years). Sophisticated modeling techniques such as hidden Markov models may enable the development of a more comprehensive AD risk prediction algorithm by combining data from multiple cohorts. As the field moves forward, it will be critically important to develop techniques that simultaneously model the risk of mortality as well as the risk of AD over the full preclinical spectrum and to consider the potential harm as well as the benefit of identifying and treating high-risk older patients.
Atypical variants of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have been pathologically defined based on the distribution of neurofibrillary tangles; hippocampal sparing (HpSp) AD shows minimal involvement of the hippocampus and limbic predominant (LP) AD shows neurofibrillary tangles restricted to the medial temporal lobe. We aimed to determine whether MRI patterns of atrophy differ across HpSp AD, LP AD and typical AD, and whether imaging could be a useful predictor of pathological subtype during life.
In this case-control study, we identified 177 patients who had been prospectively followed in the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, were demented during life, had AD pathology at autopsy (Braak stage ≥ IV, intermediate-high probability AD) and an antemortem MRI. Cases were assigned to one of three pathological subtypes (HpSp n=19, typical n=125, or LP AD n=33) based on neurofibrillary tangle counts and their ratio in association cortices to hippocampus, without reference to neuronal loss. Voxel-based morphometry and atlas-based parcellation were used to compare patterns of grey matter loss across groups, and to controls.
The severity of medial temporal and cortical grey matter atrophy differed across subtypes. The most severe medial temporal atrophy was observed in LP AD, followed by typical AD, and then HpSp AD. Conversely, the most severe cortical atrophy was observed in HpSp AD, followed by typical AD, and then LP AD. A ratio of hippocampal-to-cortical volume provided the best discrimination across all three AD subtypes. The majority of typical AD (98/125;78%) and LP AD (31/33;94%) subjects, but only 8/19 (42%) of the HpSp AD subjects, presented with a dominant amnestic syndrome.
Patterns of atrophy on MRI differ across the pathological subtypes of AD, suggesting that MR regional volumetrics reliably track the distribution of neurofibrillary tangle pathology and can predict pathological subtype during life.
US National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging)
Given the predicted increase in prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in coming decades, early detection and intervention in persons with the pre-dementia condition known as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is of paramount importance. Recent years have seen remarkable advances in the application of neuroimaging and other biomarkers to the study of MCI. The article reviews the most recent developments in the use of MRI to characterize brain changes and to prognosticate clinical outcome of MCI patients. The review begins with description of methods and findings in structural MRI research, delineating findings regarding both gross atrophy and microstructural brain changes in MCI. Second, we describe the most recent findings regarding brain function in MCI, enumerating findings from functional MRI and brain perfusion studies. Third, we will make recommendations regarding the current clinical use of MRI in identification of MCI.As a conclusion, we will look to the future of neuroimaging as a tool in early AD detection.
Alzheimer’s disease; Mild Cognitive Impairment; MRI
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are currently being considered for inclusion in revised diagnostic criteria for research and/or clinical purposes to increase the certainty of ante-mortem diagnosis. Establishing biomarker validity requires demonstration that the assays are true markers of underlying disease pathology (e.g., amyloid plaques and/or neurofibrillary tangles) in living individuals.
We compared the performances of the two most commonly used platforms, INNOTEST® ELISA and INNO-BIA AlzBio3 for measurement of CSF amyloid-beta (Aβ) and tau(s), for identifying the presence of amyloid plaques in a research cohort (n=103). Values obtained for CSF Aβ1-42, total tau and phosphorylated tau181 (p-tau181) using the two assay platforms were compared to brain amyloid load as assessed by positron emission tomography using the amyloid imaging agent, Pittsburgh Compound B (PIB).
Research volunteers who are cognitively normal or have very mild to moderate AD dementia.
The two assay platforms yielded different (~2–6-fold) absolute values for the various analytes, but relative values were highly correlated. CSF Aβ1-42 correlated inversely, and tau and p-tau181 correlated positively, with the amount of cortical PIB binding, albeit to differing degrees. Both assays yielded similar patterns of CSF biomarker correlations with amyloid load. The ratios of total tau/Aβ1-42 and p-tau181/Aβ1-42 outperformed any single analyte, including Aβ1-2, in discriminating individuals with versus without cortical amyloid.
The INNOTEST® and INNO-BIA CSF platforms performed equally well in identifying individuals with underlying amyloid plaque pathology. Differences in absolute values, however, point to the need for assay-specific diagnostic cut-point values.
Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid; biomarkers; cerebrospinal fluid; imaging (PET, MRI) in dementias; Pittsburgh Compound B
OBJECTIVES--The epsilon 4 allele of apolipoprotein E (ApoE) is a risk factor for late onset Alzheimer's disease. ApoE is present in senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and cerebrovascular amyloid, and it is implicated in synaptogenesis. The effect of ApoE polymorphism on the volumes of hippocampus, amygdala, and frontal lobe was studied. The hypothesis was that the patients with Alzheimer's disease carrying the epsilon 4 allele have more pronounced atrophy. The relation of ApoE and cerebral blood flow on cortical areas was also assessed. METHODS--Fifty eight patients with Alzheimer's disease at the early stage of the disease and 34 control subjects were studied. Patients with Alzheimer's disease were divided into subgroups according to the number of the epsilon 4 alleles. Volumes were measured by MRI and regional cerebral blood flow ratios referred to the cerebellum were examined by 99mTc-HMPAO SPECT. ApoE genotypes were determined by digestion of ApoE polymerase chain reaction products with the restriction enzyme Hha1. RESULTS--patients with Alzheimer's disease had smaller volumes of hippocampi and amygdala compared with control subjects, and the patients with Alzheimer's disease homozygous for the epsilon 4 allele had the most prominent volume loss in the medial temporal lobe structures. The frontal lobe volumes did not differ significantly. All patients with Alzheimer's disease had bilateral temporoparietal hypoperfusion and the subgroups with one or no epsilon 4 alleles also had frontal hypoperfusion compared with control subjects. The occipital perfusion ratios tended to decrease with increasing number of epsilon 4 alleles. CONCLUSIONS--Patients with Alzheimer's disease homozygous for the epsilon 4 allele seem to have severe damage in the medial temporal lobe structures early in the disease process and differ from the patients with Alzheimer's disease with one or no epsilon 4 alleles.
A major focus of research on aging and dementia pertains to the prediction of a future cognitive decline. Toward this end, several longitudinal studies are currently underway designed to explore early predictors of cognitive impairment. Neuroimaging measures and biomarkers have been shown to be promising in this capacity. Ultimately, it is likely that a combination of neuroimaging and chemical biomarkers will be involved in predicting future dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease; neuroimaging; biomarkers; mild cognitive impairment
Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the most frequent form of dementia and represents one of the main causes of disability among older subjects. Up to now, the diagnosis of AD has been made according to clinical criteria. However, the use of such criteria does not allow an early diagnosis, as pathological alterations may be apparent many years before the clear-cut clinical picture. An early diagnosis is even more valuable to develop new treatments, potentially interfering with the pathogenetic process. During the last decade, several neuroimaging and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) parameters have been introduced to allow an early and accurate detection of AD patients, and, recently, they have been included among research criteria for AD diagnosis. However, their use in clinical practice suffers from limitations both in accuracy and availability. The increasing amount of knowledge about peripheral biomarkers will possibly allow the future identification of reliable and easily available diagnostic tests.
Rapid developments in medical neuroimaging have made it possible to reconstruct the trajectory of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as it spreads through the living brain. The current review focuses on the progressive signature of brain changes throughout the different stages of AD. We integrate recent findings on changes in cortical gray matter volume, white matter fiber tracts, neuropathological alterations, and brain metabolism assessed with molecular positron emission tomography (PET). Neurofibrillary tangles accumulate first in transentorhinal and cholinergic brain areas, and 4-D maps of cortical volume changes show early progressive temporo-parietal cortical thinning. Findings from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) for assessment fiber tract integrity show cortical disconnection in corresponding brain networks. Importantly, the developmental trajectory of brain changes is not uniform and may be modulated by several factors such as onset of disease mechanisms, risk-associated and protective genes, converging comorbidity, and individual brain reserve. There is a general agreement between in vivo brain maps of cortical atrophy and amyloid pathology assessed through PET, reminiscent of post mortem histopathology studies that paved the way in the staging of AD. The association between in vivo and post mortem findings will clarify the temporal dynamics of pathophysiological alterations in the development of preclinical AD. This will be important in designing effective treatments that target specific underlying disease AD mechanisms.
Alzheimer’s disease; AD; mild cognitive impairment; MCI; pre-dementia; pre-clinical; pre-symptomatic; biological markers; neuroimaging; multimodal; neuropathology; neuroanatomy; computational; MRI; fMRI; DTI; VBM; DBM; tractography; drug development; clinical trials; CSF; staging; progression; diagnosis; classification; early detection; prediction; biological activity; ADNI; EADNI; regulatory authorities; FDA; EMEA