PET Tau and Amyloid-β Burden in Mild Alzheimer's Disease: Divergent Relationship with Age, Cognition, and Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers.
Koychev I., Gunn RN., Firouzian A., Lawson J., Zamboni G., Ridha B., Sahakian BJ., Rowe JB., Thomas A., Rochester L., Ffytche D., Howard R., Zetterberg H., MacKay C., Lovestone S., Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study team ( None.
BACKGROUND: Combining PET amyloid-β (Aβ) and tau imaging may be critical for tracking disease progression in Alzheimer's disease (AD). OBJECTIVE: We sought to characterize the relationship between Aβ and tau ligands as well as with other measures of pathology. METHODS: We conducted a multi-center observational study in early AD (MMSE >20) participants aged 50 to 85 y. The schedule included cognitive assessments (ADAS-Cog) and CSF measurement of Aβ and tau at baseline and 6 months; PET-CT imaging with Aβ ([18F]AV45) and tau ([18F]AV1451) ligands at baseline. RESULTS: 22 participants took part in the study with 20 completing its 6-month duration and 12 having both tau and amyloid PET. The PET biomarker analysis revealed a strong negative correlation between age and tau in multiple regions. Entorhinal cortex tau and age interacted significantly in terms of cognitive change over 6 months which may have been to older participants deteriorating faster despite lower levels of cortical tau. Cortical Aβ associated with entorhinal cortex tau while CSF tau/Aβ ratio correlated strongly with cortical tau but not Aβ. CONCLUSION: The negative relationship between age and cortical tau whereby younger patients with mild AD had relatively greater tau burden is potentially important. It suggests that younger-age onset AD may be primarily driven by tau pathology while AD developing later may depend on a multitude of pathological mechanisms. These data also suggest that PET-tau performs better than PET-amyloid in predicting the best validated AD diagnostic marker- the CSF total tau/Aβ ratio.