Population studies strive to determine the prevalence of Alzheimer dementia but prevalence estimates vary widely. The challenges faced by several noted population studies for Alzheimer dementia in operationalizing current clinical diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are reviewed. Differences in case ascertainment, methodological biases, cultural and educational influences on test performance, inclusion of special populations such as underrepresented minorities and the oldest old, and detection of the earliest symptomatic stages of underlying AD are considered. Classification of Alzheimer dementia may be improved by the incorporation of biomarkers for AD if the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of the biomarkers are established and if they are appropriate for epidemiological studies as may occur should a plasma biomarker be developed. Biomarkers for AD also could facilitate studies of the interactions of various forms of neurodegenerative disorders with cerebrovascular disease, resulting in “mixed dementia”.
APOE ε4 status has been associated with greater cortical amyloid deposition whereas exercise has been associated with less in cognitively normal adults. The primary objective here was to examine whether physical exercise moderates the association between APOE genotype and amyloid deposition in cognitively normal adults.
APOE genotyping and a questionnaire on physical exercise engagement over the last decade were obtained in conjunction with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples and amyloid imaging with PET-PIB. Participants were classified as either low or high exercisers based on exercise guidelines of the American Heart Association.
201 cognitively normal adults (135 females) aged 45–88 were recruited from the Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center at Washington University. CSF samples were collected from 165 participants. Amyloid imaging was performed on 163 participants.
APOE ε4 carriers evidenced higher PIB binding (p<.001) and lower CSF Aβ42 levels (p<.001) than non-carriers. Our previous findings of higher PIB binding (p=.005) and lower CSF Aβ42 levels (p=.009) in more sedentary individuals were replicated. Most importantly, we observed a novel interaction between APOE status and exercise engagement for PIB binding (p=.008) such that a more sedentary lifestyle was significantly associated with higher PIB binding for ε4 carriers (p=.013) but not for ε4 non-carriers (p=.208). All findings remained significant after controlling for age, gender, education, hypertension, body mass index, diabetes, heart problems, history of depression and interval between assessments.
Collectively, these results suggest that cognitively normal sedentary APOE ε4+ individuals may be at augmented risk for cerebral amyloid deposition.
The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) is an ongoing, longitudinal, multicenter study designed to develop clinical, imaging, genetic and biochemical biomarkers for the early detection and tracking of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study aimed to enroll 400 subjects with early mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 200 subjects with early AD and 200 normal controls and $67 million funding was provided by both the public and private sectors including the National Institutes on Aging, thirteen pharmaceutical companies and two Foundations that provided support through the Foundation for NIH (FNIH). This article reviews all papers published since the inception of the initiative and summarizes the results as of February, 2011. The major accomplishments of ADNI have been 1) the development of standardized methods for clinical, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers in a multi-center setting; 2) elucidation of the patterns and rates of change of imaging and CSF biomarker measurements in control, MCI and AD patients. CSF biomarkers are consistent with disease trajectories predicted by β amyloid (Aβ) cascade  and tau mediated neurodegeneration hypotheses for AD while brain atrophy and hypometabolism levels show predicted patterns but exhibit differing rates of change depending on region and disease severity; 3) the assessment of alternative methods of diagnostic categorization. Currently, the best classifiers combine optimum features from multiple modalities including MRI, FDG-PET, CSF biomarkers and clinical tests; 4) the development of methods for the early detection of AD. CSF biomarkers, Aβ42 and tau as well as amyloid PET may reflect the earliest steps in AD pathology in mildly or even non-symptomatic subjects and are leading candidates for the detection of AD in its preclinical stages; 5) the improvement of clinical trial efficiency through the identification of subjects most likely to undergo imminent future clinical decline and the use of more sensitive outcome measures to reduce sample sizes. Baseline cognitive and/or MRI measures generally predicted future decline better than other modalities whereas MRI measures of change were shown to be the most efficient outcome measures; 6) the confirmation of the AD risk loci CLU, CR1 and PICALM and the identification of novel candidate risk loci; 7) worldwide impact through the establishment of ADNI-like programs in Europe, Asia and Australia; 8) understanding the biology and pathobiology of normal aging, MCI and AD through integration of ADNI biomarker data with clinical data from ADNI to stimulate research that will resolve controversies about competing hypotheses on the etiopathogenesis of AD thereby advancing efforts to find disease modifying drugs for AD; and 9) the establishment of infrastructure to allow sharing of all raw and processed data without embargo to interested scientific investigators throughout the world. The ADNI study was extended by a two year Grand Opportunities grant in 2009 and a renewal of ADNI (ADNI2) in October, 2010 through to 2016, with enrollment of an additional 550 participants.
The amyloid hypothesis predicts that increased production or decreased clearance of amyloid beta (Aβ) leads to amyloidosis, ultimately culminating in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Dynamic changes in human CNS Aβ levels may be altered by aging or AD pathology and contribute to the risk of AD.
In this study, hourly cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Aβ concentrations were compared with age, PIB PET amyloid status and electroencephalography (EEG) and video recording data.
Linear increases of CSF Aβ concentrations over time were observed in younger control participants and older Amyloid- participants, but not in older Amyloid+ participants. Significant CSF Aβ circadian patterns were observed in younger control participants; however circadian amplitudes were decreased in both Amyloid- and Amyloid+ older participants. Aβ diurnal concentrations were correlated to the amount of sleep, but not various awake activities.
Decreased linear rise of CSF Aβ levels associated with amyloid deposition, and decreased CSF Aβ diurnal pattern associated with increasing age disrupt the normal physiology of Aβ dynamics, and may contribute to AD.
Primary care providers routinely evaluate older adults and are thus in a position to first detect symptoms and signs of Alzheimer’s disease. In urban areas, diagnostic or management difficulties may be referred to specialists; however, in rural areas, specialists may not be available. The Clinician Partners Program (CPP) was initiated to enhance rural health providers’ ability in dementia diagnosis and care, and to increase research recruitment into dementia research studies of participants from rural communities.
The CPP is a 3-day “mini-residency” of didactic, observational and skill-based teaching techniques. Participants completed pre- and post-tests evaluating dementia knowledge, confidence in providing care, and practice behaviors.
Between 2000–2009, 146 healthcare professionals with a mean age of 45.7±10.8y attended the CPP; 79.2% were Caucasian, 58.2% were female, and 58% of participants had been in practice for more than 10y. Post-tests showed improvements in knowledge and confidence to diagnose and treat and increased use of dementia screening tools. Rural research participation in an urban Alzheimer Disease Research Center increased 52% over the pre-CPP period.
Primary goals were accomplished: increased knowledge and confidence, changed practice habits, and enhanced research recruitment. Educational programs such as the CPP may be beneficial for increasing access to accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatment of Alzheimer’s disease while also enhancing research participation.
Alzheimer’s disease; physician education; research recruitment; dementia
Cancer immunotherapy is designed to stimulate the immune system to reject and destroy tumors. Recently, interleukin-15 (IL-15), a member of the 4-alpha-helix bundle family of cytokines, has emerged as a candidate immunomodulator for the treatment of cancer. IL-15 acts through its specific receptor, IL-15Rα, which is expressed on antigen-presenting dendritic cells, monocytes and macrophages. IL-15 exhibits broad activity and induces the differentiation and proliferation of T, B and natural killer (NK) cells. It also enhances cytolytic activity of CD8+ T cells and induces long-lasting antigen-experienced CD8+CD44hi memory T cells. IL-15 stimulates differentiation and immunoglobulin synthesis by B cells and induces maturation of dendritic cells. It does not stimulate immunosuppressive T regulatory cells (Tregs). Thus, boosting IL-15 activity could enhance innate and specific immunity and fight tumors. Here we review aspects of IL-15 biology that make it a promising agent for anticancer therapy. We also discuss preclinical models in which IL-15 has demonstrated antitumor activity and highlight ongoing clinical trials of IL-15 in patients with cancer and HIV infection.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. Much is known concerning AD pathophysiology but our understanding of the disease at the systems level remains incomplete. Previous AD research has used resting state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fcMRI) to assess the integrity of functional networks within the brain. Most studies have focused on the default-mode network (DMN), a primary locus of AD pathology. However, other brain regions are inevitably affected with disease progression. We studied rs-fcMRI in five functionally defined brain networks within a large cohort of human participants of either gender (n=510) that ranged in AD severity from unaffected (clinical dementia rating, CDR 0) to very mild (CDR 0.5) to mild AD (CDR 1). We observed loss of correlations within not only the DMN but other networks at CDR 0.5. Within the salience network (SAL), increases were seen between CDR 0 and CDR 0.5. However, at CDR 1, all networks, including SAL, exhibited reduced correlations. Specific networks were preferentially affected at certain CDR stages. In addition, cross-network relations were consistently lost with increasing AD severity. Our results demonstrate that AD is associated with widespread loss of both intra- and inter-network correlations. These results provide insight into AD pathophysiology and reinforce an integrative view of the brain’s functional organization.
Alzheimer’s disease; fMRI; resting state functional connectivity; BOLD; default mode network; salience network
Cancer initiating cells (CICs) represent a unique cell population essential for the maintenance and growth of tumors. Most in vivo studies of CICs utilize human tumor xenografts in immunodeficient mice. These models provide limited information on the interaction of CICs with the host immune system and are of limited value in assessing therapies targeting CICs, especially immune-based therapies. To assess this, a syngeneic cancer model is needed. We examined the sphere-forming capacity of thirteen murine lung cancer cell lines and identified TC-1 and a metastatic subclone of Lewis lung carcinoma (HM-LLC) as cell lines that readily formed and maintained spheres over multiple passages. TC-1 tumorspheres were not enriched for expression of CD133 or CD44, putative CIC markers, nor did they demonstrate Hoechst 33342 side population staining or Aldefluor activity compared to adherent TC-1 cells. However, in tumorsphere culture, these cells exhibited self-renewal and long-term symmetric division capacity and expressed more Oct-4 compared to adherent cells. HM-LLC sphere-derived cells exhibited increased Oct-4, CD133, and CD44 expression, demonstrated a Hoechst 33342 side population and Aldefluor activity compared to adherent cells or a low metastatic subclone of LLC (LM-LLC). In syngeneic mice, HM-LLC sphere-derived cells required fewer cells to initiate tumorigenesis compared to adherent or LM-LLC cells. Similarly TC-1 sphere-derived cells were more tumorigenic than adherent cells in syngeneic mice. In contrast, in immunocompromised mice, less than 500 sphere or adherent TC-1 cells and less than 1,000 sphere or adherent LLC cells were required to initiate a tumor. We suggest that no single phenotypic marker can identify CICs in murine lung cancer cell lines. Tumorsphere culture may provide an alternative approach to identify and enrich for murine lung CICs. Furthermore, we propose that assessing tumorigenicity of murine lung CICs in syngeneic mice better models the interaction of CICs with the host immune system.
The anti-CD52 antibody alemtuzumab has been explored as a novel targeted therapy in T-cell malignancies. To assess the suitability of alemtuzumab therapy we carried out a comprehensive study of CD52 expression using flow cytometry (FC) in 78 untreated patients diagnosed with mature T/NK cell neoplasms, including 34 adult T-cell leukemia /lymphomas (ATLL), two anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCL), three angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphomas (AITL), 16 cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL), four extra-nodal T/NK cell lymphomas (ENT/NKCL), four hepatosplenic T-cell lymphomas (HSTCL), 13 peripheral T-cell lymphomas, unspecified (PTCL-NOS), and two T-prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL). The level of CD52 expression was quantitated using QuantiBRITE standard beads. The level of CD52 expression varied widely within each diagnostic category. All AITL, HSTCL, and T-PLL cases were CD52 positive and the frequency of CD52 expression was high in PTCL-NOS (92.3%), ATLL (94.1%) and CTCL (87.5%), implying a rational role for alemtuzumab in the treatment of these diseases; however, CD52 expression was low in ALCL (50%) and ENT/NKCL (25%). FC testing for cell surface expression of CD52 is indicated in patients with T/NK cell malignancies being considered for alemtuzumab therapy. Further studies are necessary to determine if the level of CD52 expression correlates with response to therapy.
Alemtuzumab; CD52; flow cytometry; NK cell lymphoma; T cell lymphoma
Fine needle aspiration (FNA), although very reliable for cytologically benign and malignant thyroid nodules, has much lower predictive value in the case of suspicious or indeterminate nodules. We aimed to identify clinical predictors of malignancy in the subset of patients with suspicious FNA cytology.
We reviewed the electronic medical records of 462 patients who had FNA of thyroid nodules at our institution with a suspicious cytological diagnosis, and underwent surgery at Mayo Clinic between January 2004 and September 2008. Demographic data including age, gender, history of exposure to radiation and use of thyroid hormone was collected. The presence of single versus multiple nodules by ultrasonography, nodule size, and serum thyroid-stimulating harmone (TSH) level before thyroid surgery were recorded. Analysis of the latter was limited to patients not taking thyroid hormone or antithyroid drugs at the time of FNA.
Of the 462 patients, 327 had lesions suspicious for follicular neoplasm (S-FN) or Hürthle cell neoplasm (S-HCN), 125 had cytology suspicious for papillary carcinoma (S-PC) and 10 had a variety of other suspicious lesions (medullary cancer, lymphoma and atypical). Malignancy rate for suspicious neoplastic lesions (FN+HCN) was ∼15%, whereas malignancy rate for lesions S-PC was 77%. Neither age, serum TSH level, or history of radiation exposure were associated with increased malignancy risk. The presence of multiple nodules (41.1% vs. 26.4%, p=0.0014) or smaller nodule size (2.6±1.8 cm vs. 2.9±1.6 cm, p=0.008) was associated with higher malignancy risk. In patients with cytology suspicious for neoplasm (FN, HCN) malignancy risk was higher in those receiving thyroid hormone therapy than in nonthyroid hormone users (37.7% vs. 16.5%, p=0.0004; odds ratio: 3.1), although serum TSH values did not differ significantly between thyroid hormone users and nonusers.
In patients with cytologically suspicious thyroid nodules, the presence of multiple nodules or smaller nodule size was associated with increased risk of malignancy. In addition, our study demonstrates for the first time, an increased risk of malignancy in patients with nodules suspicious for neoplasm who are taking thyroid hormone therapy. The reason for this association is unknown.
Amyloid-beta (Aβ) accumulation was evaluated with two PIB PET scans about 2.5 years apart in 146 cognitively normal adults. Seventeen of 21 participants with initially elevated Aβ deposition demonstrated subsequent Aβ plaque growth (approximately 8.0% per year) and none reverted to a state of no Aβ deposits. Ten individuals converted from negative to positive PIB status, based on a threshold of the mean cortical binding potential, representing a conversion rate of 3.1% per year. Individuals with an ε4 allele of apolipoprotein E demonstrated increased incidence of conversion (7.0% per year). Our findings suggest that the major growth in Aβ burden occurs during a preclinical stage of AD, prior to the onset of AD-related symptoms.
preclinical Alzheimer disease; amyloid-beta accumulation; apolipoprotein E; positron emission tomography; [11C]PIB
Despite numerous studies on the role of medial temporal lobe structures in Alzheimer's disease (AD), the magnitude and clinical significance of amygdala atrophy has been relatively sparsely investigated. In this study we compared the level of amygdala atrophy to that of the hippocampus in very mild and mild AD subjects in two large samples (Sample 1 n=90; Sample 2 n=174). Using a series of linear regression analyses, we investigated whether amygdala atrophy is related to global cognitive functioning (Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes: CDR-SB; Mini Mental State Examination: MMSE) and neuropsychiatric status. Results indicated that amygdala atrophy was comparable to hippocampal atrophy in both samples. MMSE and CDR-SB were strongly related to amygdala atrophy, with amygdala atrophy predicting MMSE scores as well as hippocampal atrophy, but predicting CDR-SB scores less robustly. Amygdala atrophy was related to aberrant motor behavior, with potential relationships to anxiety and irritability. These results suggest that the magnitude of amygdala atrophy is comparable to that of the hippocampus in the earliest clinical stages of AD, and is related to global illness severity. There also appear to be specific relationships between the level of amygdala atrophy and neuropsychiatric symptoms that deserve further investigation.
Hippocampus; Magnetic resonance imaging; Neuropsychiatric symptoms
Relationships between late-life hypertension and AD remain less clear. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal methods were used to examine whether systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), pulse pressure (PP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), and self-reported hypertension (S-HTN) in late life were associated with having and developing AD. In the cross-sectional examination were 1,768 individuals with AD and 818 nondemented individual, and AD was not significantly associated with S-HTN or any of blood pressure measures (S-HTN: p=0.236; SBP: p=0.095; DBP: p=0.429; PP: p=0.145; MAP: p=0.162). In the longitudinal examination, 594 nondemented individuals, 171 with and 423 without self-reported hypertension at entry, were included. DBP was significantly related to the development of AD (p=0.030), but not S-HTN (p=0.251), SBP (p=0.294) PP (p=0.919), and MAP (p=0.060). The association underscores the necessity of further investigation to outline the detailed mechanisms and biological relevance, if any, of late-life DBP to later AD.
hypertension; systolic blood pressure; diastolic blood pressure; pulse pressure; mean arterial pressure; Alzheimer's disease
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.
The development of subspecialty tumor groups for uncommon malignancies represents an effective approach to building experience, increasing patient volumes and referrals, and fostering development of increased therapeutic options and clinical trials for patients afflicted with otherwise historically neglected cancers.
Relative to more abundant neoplasms, endocrine cancers have been historically neglected, yet their incidence is increasing. We therefore sought to build interest in endocrine cancers, improve physician experience, and develop innovative approaches to treating patients with these neoplasms.
Between 2005 and 2010, we developed a multidisciplinary Endocrine Malignancies Disease Oriented Group involving all three Mayo Clinic campuses (Rochester, MN; Jacksonville, FL; and Scottsdale, AZ). In response to higher demand at the Rochester campus, we sought to develop a Subspecialty Tumor Group and an Endocrine Malignancies Tumor Clinic within the Division of Medical Oncology.
The intended groups were successfully formed. We experienced difficulty in integration of the Mayo Scottsdale campus resulting from local uncertainty as to whether patient volumes would be sufficient to sustain the effort at that campus and difficulty in developing enthusiasm among clinicians otherwise engaged in a busy clinical practice. But these obstacles were ultimately overcome. In addition, with respect to the newly formed medical oncology subspecialty endocrine malignancies group, appointment volumes quadrupled within the first year and increased seven times within two years. The number of active therapeutic endocrine malignancies clinical trials also increased from one in 2005 to five in 2009, with all three Mayo campuses participating.
The development of subspecialty tumor groups for uncommon malignancies represents an effective approach to building experience, increasing patient volumes and referrals, and fostering development of increased therapeutic options and clinical trials for patients afflicted with otherwise historically neglected cancers.
The clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is often based, at least in part, on poor cognitive test performance compared with normative values. The presence and extent of an ascertainment bias (omission of affected individuals) produced by such criteria when applied as early as possible in the course of the disease was examined.
Longitudinal study from 1979 to 2008.
Washington University in St. Louis Alzheimer Disease Research Center.
Of 78 individuals aged 65 to 101 years enrolled as healthy controls 55 later developed autopsy-confirmed AD; 23 remained cognitively healthy and did not have neuropathologic AD.
Main Outcome Measures:
Criteria for diagnosis of Alzheimer disease based on various cut-points (1.5, 1.0, and 0.5 standard deviations below the mean for robust test norms) for two standard psychometric measures from each of three cognitive domains (episodic memory, visusospatial ability, working memory) were applied to data from the first assessment associated with an independent clinical diagnosis of cognitive impairment for those who developed symptomatic AD and the last assessment for those who did not.
Areas under the curve from ROC analyses ranged from .71 to .49; sensitivities and specificities were unsatisfactory even after adjusting for age and education, using combinations of tests, or examining longitudinal decline prior to clinical diagnosis.
Reliance on divergence from group normative values to determine initial cognitive decline caused by Alzheimer disease results in failure to include people in the initial symptomatic stage of the illness.
A 55-year-old woman with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1)-associated adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and a history of previously treated Strongyloides stercoralis infection received anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody therapy with alemtuzumab on a clinical trial. After an initial response, she developed ocular involvement by ATL. Alemtuzumab was stopped and high-dose corticosteroid therapy was started to palliate her ocular symptoms. Ten days later, the patient developed diarrhea, vomiting, fever, cough, skin rash, and a deteriorating mental status. She was diagnosed with disseminated S. stercoralis. Corticosteroids were discontinued and the patient received anthelmintic therapy with ivermectin and albendazole with complete clinical recovery.
Adult T-cell leukemia; Alemtuzumab; Corticosteroid; Disseminated Strongyloides; HTLV-1; Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type-1
Hodgkin-like cells (HLC) have been described in a variety of non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL). There have been rare reports in the Japanese population of human T-cell lymphotrophic virus-1 (HTLV-1)-associated adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) harboring HLC; however, no similar cases have been described in western patients. We report a 53-year-old African-American man that presented with progressive weakness and lethargy, and was found to have generalized lymphadenopathy and hypercalcemia. A lymph node biopsy showed involvement by ATLL with scattered Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive cells, some of which resembled Hodgkin cells that had a B-cell phenotype, consistent with an Epstein-Barr virus-lymphoproliferative disorder (LPD). The patient had stage 4 disease with bone marrow involvement. In light of the associated B-cell lymphoproliferative process, the patient was treated with six cycles of intensive chemotherapy that targeted both the ATLL and the EBV-LPD that resulted in a complete response. An awareness of the association of EBV-LPD with Hodgkin-like cells in the context of ATLL is necessary to avoid potential misdiagnosis and to aid in therapeutic decisions.
Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma; Epstein-Barr virus; flow cytometry; Hodgkin-like; human T-cell lymphotrophic virus-1; immunohistochemistry
The apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele is the strongest genetic risk factor for late-onset, sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The APOE ε4 allele dramatically increases AD risk and decreases age of onset, likely through its strong effect on the accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide. In contrast, the APOE ε2 allele appears to decrease AD risk. Most rare, early-onset forms of familial AD are caused by autosomal dominant mutations that often lead to overproduction of Aβ42 peptide. However, the mechanism by which APOE alleles differentially modulate Aβ accumulation in sporadic, late-onset AD is less clear. In a cohort of cognitively normal individuals, we report that reliable molecular and neuroimaging biomarkers of cerebral Aβ deposition vary in an apoE isoform-dependent manner. We hypothesized that human apoE isoforms differentially affect Aβ clearance or synthesis in vivo, resulting in an apoE isoform-dependent pattern of Aβ accumulation later in life. Performing in vivo microdialysis in a mouse model of β-amyloidosis expressing human apoE isoforms (PDAPP/TRE), we find that the concentration and clearance of soluble Aβ in the brain interstitial fluid depends on the isoform of apoE expressed. This pattern parallels the extent of Aβ deposition observed in aged PDAPP/TRE mice. Importantly, apoE isoform-dependent differences in soluble Aβ metabolism are observed not only in aged PDAPP/TRE mice but also in young PDAPP/TRE mice, well before the onset of Aβ deposition in amyloid plaques. Additionally, amyloidogenic processing of amyloid precursor protein and Aβ synthesis, as assessed by in vivo stable isotopic labeling kinetics, do not vary according to apoE isoform in young PDAPP/TRE mice. Our results suggest that APOE alleles contribute to AD risk by differentially regulating clearance of Aβ from the brain, suggesting that Aβ clearance pathways may be useful therapeutic targets for AD prevention.
Children of persons with Alzheimer disease (AD), as a group, face an increased risk of developing AD. Many of them, throughout their adult lives, seek input on how to reduce their chances of one day suffering their parent’s fate. We examine the state of knowledge with respect to risk and protective factors for AD and recommend a research agenda with special emphasis on AD offspring.
Alzheimer disease offspring; risk factors
The metric distance obtained from the Large Deformation Diffeomorphic Metric Mapping (LDDMM) algorithm is used to quantize changes in morphometry of brain structures due to neuropsychiatric diseases. For illustrative purposes we consider changes in hippocampal morphometry (shape and size) due to very mild dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT). LDDMM, which was previously used to calculate dense one-to-one correspondence vector fields between hippocampal shapes, measures the morphometric differences with respect to a template hippocampus by assigning metric distances on the space of anatomical images thereby allowing for direct comparison of morphometric differences. We characterize what information the metric distances provide in terms of size and shape given the hippocampal, brain and intracranial volumes. We demonstrate that metric distance is a measure of morphometry (i.e., shape and size) but mostly a measure of shape, while volume is mostly a measure of size. Moreover, we show how metric distances can be used in cross-sectional, longitudinal analysis, as well as left-right asymmetry comparisons, and provide how the metric distances can serve as a discriminative tool using logistic regression. Thus, we show that metric distances with respect to a template computed via LDDMM can be a powerful tool in detecting differences in shape.
computational anatomy; hippocampus; left-right asymmetry; logistic discrimination; morphometry; repeated-measures ANOVA
Purpose: The African American Outreach Satellite (Satellite) provides educational outreach to facilitate African American recruitment for longitudinal studies at the Washington University Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC). This descriptive article characterizes the Satellite’s recruitment methods, plan for community engagement, results of recruitment efforts, and potential for replication. Design and Methods: The Satellite developed a comprehensive outreach and recruitment plan that identifies and addresses barriers to research participation. The Satellite conducts community outreach and recruitment programs and training for health care providers. Results: Enrollment of cognitively healthy and mildly demented African Americans for participation in all ADRC studies increased following implementation of the recruitment plan. Current African American participation rates for ADRC studies include 39% for lumbar puncture, 43% for positron emission tomography with Pittsburgh Compound-B, 52% for magnetic resonance imaging, 95% for apolipoprotein E genotype testing, and 100% for clinical and cognitive assessment. Implications: The Satellite reduces barriers to research participation, encourages retention through sustained interactions with participants and their families, and develops lasting partnerships with community organizations and health professionals who care for African American elders.
Dementia; Teams/interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary; Black; Education and training
The pathophysiologic process of Alzheimer's disease (AD) begins years before the diagnosis of clinical dementia. This concept of preclinical AD has arisen from the observation of AD pathologic findings such as senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brains of people who at the time of death had normal cognitive function. Recent advances in biomarker studies now provide the ability to detect the pathologic changes of AD, which are antecedent to symptoms of the illness, in cognitively normal individuals. Functional and structural brain alterations that begin with amyloid-β accumulation already show the patterns of abnormality seen in individuals with dementia due to AD. The presence of preclinical AD provides a critical opportunity for potential interventions with disease-modifying therapy. This review focuses on the studies of antecedent biomarkers for preclinical AD.
Alzheimer's disease; preclinical; biomarker