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      Amyloid imaging in cognitively normal individuals, at-risk populations and preclinical Alzheimer's disease

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          Abstract

          Recent developments of PET amyloid ligands have made it possible to visualize the presence of Aβ deposition in the brain of living participants and to assess the consequences especially in individuals with no objective sign of cognitive deficits. The present review will focus on amyloid imaging in cognitively normal elderly, asymptomatic at-risk populations, and individuals with subjective cognitive decline. It will cover the prevalence of amyloid-positive cases amongst cognitively normal elderly, the influence of risk factors for AD, the relationships to cognition, atrophy and prognosis, longitudinal amyloid imaging and ethical aspects related to amyloid imaging in cognitively normal individuals. Almost ten years of research have led to a few consensual and relatively consistent findings: some cognitively normal elderly have Aβ deposition in their brain, the prevalence of amyloid-positive cases increases in at-risk populations, the prognosis for these individuals is worse than for those with no Aβ deposition, and significant increase in Aβ deposition over time is detectable in cognitively normal elderly. More inconsistent findings are still under debate; these include the relationship between Aβ deposition and cognition and brain volume, the sequence and cause-to-effect relations between the different AD biomarkers, and the individual outcome associated with an amyloid positive versus negative scan. Preclinical amyloid imaging also raises important ethical issues. While amyloid imaging is definitely useful to understand the role of Aβ in early stages, to define at-risk populations for research or for clinical trial, and to assess the effects of anti-amyloid treatments, we are not ready yet to translate research results into clinical practice and policy. More researches are needed to determine which information to disclose from an individual amyloid imaging scan, the way of disclosing such information and the impact on individuals and on society.

          Highlights

          • Ten to thirty percent of cognitively normal elderly have Aβ deposition in their brain

          • The prognosis for these individuals is worse than for those with no Aβ deposition

          • Significant increase in Aβ deposition over time is detectable in normal elderly

          • Aβ deposition is poorly related to cognitive performance and brain volume

          • The individual outcome associated with an amyloid positive scan is unclear

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          Most cited references85

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          Frequent amyloid deposition without significant cognitive impairment among the elderly.

          To characterize the prevalence of amyloid deposition in a clinically unimpaired elderly population, as assessed by Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB) positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, and its relationship to cognitive function, measured with a battery of neuropsychological tests. Subjects underwent cognitive testing and PiB PET imaging (15 mCi for 90 minutes with an ECAT HR+ scanner). Logan graphical analysis was applied to estimate regional PiB retention distribution volume, normalized to a cerebellar reference region volume, to yield distribution volume ratios (DVRs). University medical center. From a community-based sample of volunteers, 43 participants aged 65 to 88 years who did not meet diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer disease or mild cognitive impairment were included. Regional PiB retention and cognitive test performance. Of 43 clinically unimpaired elderly persons imaged, 9 (21%) showed evidence of early amyloid deposition in at least 1 brain area using an objectively determined DVR cutoff. Demographic characteristics did not differ significantly between amyloid-positive and amyloid-negative participants, and neurocognitive performance was not significantly worse among amyloid-positive compared with amyloid-negative participants. Amyloid deposition can be identified among cognitively normal elderly persons during life, and the prevalence of asymptomatic amyloid deposition may be similar to that of symptomatic amyloid deposition. In this group of participants without clinically significant impairment, amyloid deposition was not associated with worse cognitive function, suggesting that an elderly person with a significant amyloid burden can remain cognitively normal. However, this finding is based on relatively small numbers and needs to be replicated in larger cohorts. Longitudinal follow-up of these subjects will be required to support the potential of PiB imaging to identify preclinical Alzheimer disease, or, alternatively, to show that amyloid deposition is not sufficient to cause Alzheimer disease within some specified period.
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            Imaging beta-amyloid burden in aging and dementia.

            To compare brain beta-amyloid (Abeta) burden measured with [(11)C]Pittsburgh Compound B (PIB) PET in normal aging, Alzheimer disease (AD), and other dementias. Thirty-three subjects with dementia (17 AD, 10 dementia with Lewy bodies [DLB], 6 frontotemporal dementia [FTD]), 9 subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 27 age-matched healthy control subjects (HCs) were studied. Abeta burden was quantified using PIB distribution volume ratio. Cortical PIB binding was markedly elevated in every AD subject regardless of disease severity, generally lower and more variable in DLB, and absent in FTD, whereas subjects with MCI presented either an "AD-like" (60%) or normal pattern. Binding was greatest in the precuneus/posterior cingulate, frontal cortex, and caudate nuclei, followed by lateral temporal and parietal cortex. Six HCs (22%) showed cortical uptake despite normal neuropsychological scores. PIB binding did not correlate with dementia severity in AD or DLB but was higher in subjects with an APOE-epsilon4 allele. In DLB, binding correlated inversely with the interval from onset of cognitive impairment to diagnosis. Pittsburgh Compound B PET findings match histopathologic reports of beta-amyloid (Abeta) distribution in aging and dementia. Noninvasive longitudinal studies to better understand the role of amyloid deposition in the course of neurodegeneration and to determine if Abeta deposition in nondemented subjects is preclinical AD are now feasible. Our findings also suggest that Abeta may influence the development of dementia with Lewy bodies, and therefore strategies to reduce Abeta may benefit this condition.
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              Brain imaging and fluid biomarker analysis in young adults at genetic risk for autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease in the presenilin 1 E280A kindred: a case-control study.

              We have previously characterised functional brain abnormalities in young adults at genetic risk for late-onset Alzheimer's disease. To gain further knowledge on the preclinical phase of Alzheimer's disease, we sought to characterise structural and functional MRI, CSF, and plasma biomarkers in a cohort of young adults carrying a high-penetrance autosomal dominant mutation that causes early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Between January and August, 2010, 18-26-year-old presenilin 1 (PSEN1) E280A mutation carriers and non-carriers from the Colombian Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative Registry in Medellín Antioquia, Colombia, had structural MRI, functional MRI during associative memory encoding and novel viewing and control tasks, and cognitive assessments. Consenting participants also had lumbar punctures and venepunctures. Outcome measures were task-dependent hippocampal or parahippocampal activations and precuneus or posterior cingulate deactivations, regional grey matter reductions, CSF Aβ(1-42), total tau and phospho-tau(181) concentrations, and plasma Aβ(1-42) concentrations and Aβ(1-42):Aβ(1-40) ratios. Structural and functional MRI data were compared using automated brain mapping algorithms and search regions related to Alzheimer's disease. Cognitive and fluid biomarkers were compared using Mann-Whitney tests. 44 participants were included: 20 PSEN1 E280A mutation carriers and 24 non-carriers. The carrier and non-carrier groups did not differ significantly in their dementia ratings, neuropsychological test scores, or proportion of apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4 carriers. Compared with non-carriers, carriers had greater right hippocampal and parahippocampal activation (p=0·001 and p<0·014, respectively, after correction for multiple comparisons), less precuneus and posterior cingulate deactivation (all p<0·010 after correction), and less grey matter in several parietal regions (all p<0·002 uncorrected and corrected p=0·009 in the right parietal search region). In the 20 participants (ten PSEN1 E280A mutation carriers and ten non-carriers) who had lumbar punctures and venepunctures, mutation carriers had higher CSF Aβ(1-42) concentrations (p=0·008) and plasma Aβ(1-42) concentrations (p=0·01) than non-carriers. Young adults at genetic risk for autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease have functional and structural MRI findings and CSF and plasma biomarker findings consistent with Aβ(1-42) overproduction. Although the extent to which the underlying brain changes are either neurodegenerative or developmental remain to be determined, this study shows the earliest known biomarker changes in cognitively normal people at genetic risk for autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease. Banner Alzheimer's Foundation, Nomis Foundation, Anonymous Foundation, Forget Me Not Initiative, Boston University Department of Psychology, Colciencias, National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the State of Arizona. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Neuroimage (Amst)
                Neuroimage (Amst)
                NeuroImage : Clinical
                Elsevier
                2213-1582
                5 March 2013
                5 March 2013
                2013
                : 2
                : 356-365
                Affiliations
                [a ]INSERM, U1077 Caen, France
                [b ]Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, UMR-S1077, Caen, France
                [c ]Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, UMR-S1077, Caen, France
                [d ]CHU de Caen, U1077 Caen, France
                [e ]CHU de Caen, Service de Neurologie, Caen, France
                [f ]Laboratory for Cognitive Neurology, Department of Neurosciences, University of Leuven, Belgium
                [g ]Neurology Department, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium
                [h ]Alzheimer Research Centre KU Leuven, Leuven Institute of Neuroscience and Disease, University of Leuven, Belgium
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author at: Unité de Recherche U1077, Centre Cyceron, Bd H. Becquerel, BP 5229, 14074 Caen Cedex, France. Tel.: + 33 2 31 47 01 73; fax: + 33 2 31 47 02 75. chetelat@ 123456cyceron.fr
                Article
                S2213-1582(13)00021-1
                10.1016/j.nicl.2013.02.006
                3777672
                24179789
                da372fcf-c501-4fa6-8a51-0556ea00aba5
                © 2013 The Authors

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                History
                : 13 December 2012
                : 10 February 2013
                : 23 February 2013
                Categories
                Review Article

                amyloid pet imaging,cognitively normal elderly,preclinical alzheimer's disease,subjective cognitive decline,apoe4,longitudinal studies

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