Publications by authors named "Jeffrey L Gunter"

128 Publications

Relationships between β-amyloid and tau in an elderly population: An accelerated failure time modelww.

Neuroimage 2021 Nov 29;242:118440. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic 200 1st St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905.

Using positron emission tomography (PET)-derived amyloid and tau measurements from 1,495 participants, we explore the evolution of these values over time via an accelerated failure time (AFT) model. The AFT model assumes a shared pattern of progression, but one which is shifted earlier or later in time for each individual; an individual's time shift for amyloid and for tau are assumed to be linked. The resulting pattern for each outcome consists of an earlier indolent phase followed by sharp progression of the accumulation rate. APOE ε4 shifts the amyloid curve leftward (earlier) by 6.1 years, and the tau curve leftward by 2.6 years. Female sex shifts the amyloid curve leftward by 2.4 years and the tau curve leftward by 2.6 years. Per-person shifts (i.e., the individual's deviation from the population mean) for the onset of amyloid accumulation ranged from 13 years earlier to 13 years later (10th to 90th percentile) than average and 11 years earlier to 14 years later for tau, with an estimated correlation of 0.49. The average delay between amyloid increase and tau increase was 13.3 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118440DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8499700PMC
November 2021

Selecting software pipelines for change in flortaucipir SUVR: Balancing repeatability and group separation.

Neuroimage 2021 09 9;238:118259. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, 200 First Street SW, Rochester 55905, MN, USA.

Since tau PET tracers were introduced, investigators have quantified them using a wide variety of automated methods. As longitudinal cohort studies acquire second and third time points of serial within-person tau PET data, determining the best pipeline to measure change has become crucial. We compared a total of 415 different quantification methods (each a combination of multiple options) according to their effects on a) differences in annual SUVR change between clinical groups, and b) longitudinal measurement repeatability as measured by the error term from a linear mixed-effects model. Our comparisons used MRI and Flortaucipir scans of 97 Mayo Clinic study participants who clinically either: a) were cognitively unimpaired, or b) had cognitive impairments that were consistent with Alzheimer's disease pathology. Tested methods included cross-sectional and longitudinal variants of two overarching pipelines (FreeSurfer 6.0, and an in-house pipeline based on SPM12), three choices of target region (entorhinal, inferior temporal, and a temporal lobe meta-ROI), five types of partial volume correction (PVC) (none, two-compartment, three-compartment, geometric transfer matrix (GTM), and a tau-specific GTM variant), seven choices of reference region (cerebellar crus, cerebellar gray matter, whole cerebellum, pons, supratentorial white matter, eroded supratentorial WM, and a composite of eroded supratentorial WM, pons, and whole cerebellum), two choices of region masking (GM or GM and WM), and two choices of statistic (voxel-wise mean vs. median). Our strongest findings were: 1) larger temporal-lobe target regions greatly outperformed entorhinal cortex (median sample size estimates based on a hypothetical clinical trial were 520-526 vs. 1740); 2) longitudinal processing pipelines outperformed cross-sectional pipelines (median sample size estimates were 483 vs. 572); and 3) reference regions including supratentorial WM outperformed traditional cerebellar and pontine options (median sample size estimates were 370 vs. 559). Altogether, our results favored longitudinally SUVR methods and a temporal-lobe meta-ROI that includes adjacent (juxtacortical) WM, a composite reference region (eroded supratentorial WM + pons + whole cerebellum), 2-class voxel-based PVC, and median statistics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118259DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8407434PMC
September 2021

Dementia with Lewy bodies: association of Alzheimer pathology with functional connectivity networks.

Brain 2021 Jun 11. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is neuropathologically defined by the presence of α-synuclein aggregates, but many DLB cases show concurrent Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology in the form of β-amyloid plaques and tau neurofibrillary tangles. The first objective of this study was to investigate the effect of AD co-pathology on functional network changes within the default mode network (DMN) in DLB. Secondly, we studied how the distribution of tau pathology measured with PET relates to functional connectivity in DLB. Twenty-seven DLB, 26 AD, and 99 cognitively unimpaired (CU) participants (balanced on age and sex to the DLB group) underwent tau-PET with AV-1451 (flortaucipir), β-amyloid-PET with Pittsburgh compound-B (PiB), and resting state (rs)-fMRI scans. The rs-fMRI data were used to assess functional connectivity within the posterior DMN. This was then correlated with overall cortical flortaucipir-PET and PiB-PET standardized uptake value ratio (SUVr). The strength of inter-regional functional connectivity was assessed using the Schaefer atlas. Tau-PET covariance was measured as the correlation in flortaucipir SUVr between any two regions across participants. The association between region-to-region functional connectivity and tau-PET covariance was assessed using linear regression. Additionally, we identified the region with highest and the region with lowest tau SUVrs (tau hot- and coldspot) and tested whether tau SUVr in all other brain regions was associated with the strength of functional connectivity to these tau hot- and coldspots. A reduction in posterior DMN connectivity correlated with overall higher cortical tau- (r=-0.39, p = 0.04) and amyloid-PET uptake (r=-0.41, p = 0.03) in the DLB group, i.e. DLB patients with more concurrent AD pathology showed a more severe loss of DMN connectivity. Higher functional connectivity between regions was associated with higher tau covariance in CU, AD, and DLB. Furthermore, higher functional connectivity of a target region to the tau hotspot (i.e. inferior/medial temporal cortex) was related to higher flortaucipir SUVRs in the target region whereas higher functional connectivity to the tau coldspot (i.e. sensory-motor cortex) was related to lower flortaucipir SUVr in the target region. Our findings suggest that a higher burden of AD co-pathology in DLB patients is associated with more AD-like changes in functional connectivity. Furthermore, we found an association between the brain's functional network architecture and the distribution of tau pathology which has recently been described in AD. We show that this relationship also exists in DLB patients, indicating that similar mechanisms of connectivity-dependent occurrence of tau pathology might be at work in both diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab218DOI Listing
June 2021

MRI quantitative susceptibility mapping of the substantia nigra as an early biomarker for Lewy body disease.

J Neuroimaging 2021 Sep 25;31(5):1020-1027. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Background And Purpose: Neurodegeneration of the substantia nigra in Lewy body disease is associated with iron deposition, which increases the magnetic susceptibility of the substantia nigra on MRI. Our objective was to measure iron deposition in the substantia nigra in patients with probable dementia with Lewy bodies (pDLB) and patients who are at risk for pDLB by quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM).

Methods: Participants included pDLB (n = 36), mild cognitive impairment with at least one core feature of DLB (MCI-LB; n = 15), idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (iRBD; n = 11), and an age-and gender-matched clinically unimpaired control group (n = 102). QSM was derived from multi-echo 3D gradient recalled echo MRI at 3T, and groups were compared on mean susceptibility values of the substantia nigra and its relation to parkinsonism severity.

Results: Patients with pDLB had higher susceptibility in the substantia nigra compared to controls (p< 0.001) and MCI-LB (p = 0.043). The susceptibility of substantia nigra showed an increasing trend from controls to iRBD and MCI-LB, and to pDLB (p< 0.001). Parkinsonism severity was not associated with the mean susceptibility in the substantia nigra in the patient groups.

Conclusions: Our data suggested that QSM is sensitive to the increased magnetic susceptibility due to higher iron content in the substantia nigra in pDLB. The trend of increasing susceptibility from controls to iRBD and MCI-LB, and to pDLB suggests that iron deposition in the substantia nigra starts to increase as early as the prodromal stage in DLB and continues to increase as the disease progresses, independent of parkinsonism severity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jon.12878DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8440493PMC
September 2021

A standard system phantom for magnetic resonance imaging.

Magn Reson Med 2021 09 13;86(3):1194-1211. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Physical Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Purpose: A standard MRI system phantom has been designed and fabricated to assess scanner performance, stability, comparability and assess the accuracy of quantitative relaxation time imaging. The phantom is unique in having traceability to the International System of Units, a high level of precision, and monitoring by a national metrology institute. Here, we describe the phantom design, construction, imaging protocols, and measurement of geometric distortion, resolution, slice profile, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), proton-spin relaxation times, image uniformity and proton density.

Methods: The system phantom, designed by the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine ad hoc committee on Standards for Quantitative MR, is a 200 mm spherical structure that contains a 57-element fiducial array; two relaxation time arrays; a proton density/SNR array; resolution and slice-profile insets. Standard imaging protocols are presented, which provide rapid assessment of geometric distortion, image uniformity, T and T mapping, image resolution, slice profile, and SNR.

Results: Fiducial array analysis gives assessment of intrinsic geometric distortions, which can vary considerably between scanners and correction techniques. This analysis also measures scanner/coil image uniformity, spatial calibration accuracy, and local volume distortion. An advanced resolution analysis gives both scanner and protocol contributions. SNR analysis gives both temporal and spatial contributions.

Conclusions: A standard system phantom is useful for characterization of scanner performance, monitoring a scanner over time, and to compare different scanners. This type of calibration structure is useful for quality assurance, benchmarking quantitative MRI protocols, and to transition MRI from a qualitative imaging technique to a precise metrology with documented accuracy and uncertainty.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mrm.28779DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8252537PMC
September 2021

Study of Symptomatic vs. Silent Brain Infarctions on MRI in Elderly Subjects.

Front Neurol 2021 17;12:615024. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Departments of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States.

Brain infarctions are closely associated with future risk of stroke and dementia. Our goal was to report (i) frequency and characteristics that differentiate symptomatic vs. silent brain infarctions (SBI) on MRI and (ii) frequency and location by vascular distribution (location of stroke by major vascular territories) in a population based sample. From Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, 347 participants (≥50 years) with infarcts detected on their first MRI were included. Infarct information was identified visually on a FLAIR MRI image and a vascular territory atlas was registered to the FLAIR image data in order to identify the arterial territory of infarction. We identified the subset with a clinical history of stroke based on medical chart review and used a logistic regression to evaluate the risk factors associated with greater probability of a symptomatic stroke vs. SBI. We found that 14% of all individuals with infarctions had a history of symptomatic stroke (Silent: = 300, symptomatic: = 47). Factors associated with a symptomatic vs. SBI were size which had an odds ratio of 3.07 ( < 0.001), greater frequency of hypertension (odds ratio of 4.12, = 0.025) and alcohol history (odds ratio of 4.58, = 0.012). The frequency of infarcts was greater in right hemisphere compared to the left for SBI. This was primarily driven by middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarcts (right = 60%, left = 40%, = 0.005). While left hemisphere strokes are more common for symptomatic carotid disease and in clinical trials, right hemispheric infarcts may be more frequent in the SBI group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.615024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7925615PMC
February 2021

CSF dynamics as a predictor of cognitive progression.

Neuroimage 2021 05 23;232:117899. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Disproportionately enlarged subarachnoid-space hydrocephalus (DESH), characterized by tight high convexity CSF spaces, ventriculomegaly, and enlarged Sylvian fissures, is thought to be an indirect marker of a CSF dynamics disorder. The clinical significance of DESH with regard to cognitive decline in a community setting is not yet well defined. The goal of this work is to determine if DESH is associated with cognitive decline. Participants in the population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Aging (MCSA) who met the following criteria were included: age ≥ 65 years, 3T MRI, and diagnosis of cognitively unimpaired or mild cognitive impairment at enrollment as well as at least one follow-up visit with cognitive testing. A support vector machine based method to detect the DESH imaging features on T1-weighted MRI was used to calculate a "DESH score", with positive scores indicating a more DESH-like imaging pattern. For the participants who were cognitively unimpaired at enrollment, a Cox proportional hazards model was fit with time defined as years from enrollment to first diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or dementia, or as years to last known cognitively unimpaired diagnosis for those who did not progress. Linear mixed effects models were fit among all participants to estimate annual change in cognitive z scores for each domain (memory, attention, language, and visuospatial) and a global z score. For all models, covariates included age, sex, education, APOE genotype, cortical thickness, white matter hyperintensity volume, and total intracranial volume. The hazard of progression to cognitive impairment was an estimated 12% greater for a DESH score of +1 versus -1 (HR 1.12, 95% CI 0.97-1.31, p = 0.11). Global and attention cognition declined 0.015 (95% CI 0.005-0.025) and 0.016 (95% CI 0.005-0.028) z/year more, respectively, for a DESH score of +1 vs -1 (p = 0.01 and p = 0.02), with similar, though not statistically significant DESH effects in the other cognitive domains. Imaging features of disordered CSF dynamics are an independent predictor of subsequent cognitive decline in the MCSA, among other well-known factors including age, cortical thickness, and APOE status. Therefore, since DESH contributes to cognitive decline and is present in the general population, identifying individuals with DESH features may be important clinically as well as for selection in clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.117899DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8237937PMC
May 2021

Changing the face of neuroimaging research: Comparing a new MRI de-facing technique with popular alternatives.

Neuroimage 2021 05 11;231:117845. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States.

Recent advances in automated face recognition algorithms have increased the risk that de-identified research MRI scans may be re-identifiable by matching them to identified photographs using face recognition. A variety of software exist to de-face (remove faces from) MRI, but their ability to prevent face recognition has never been measured and their image modifications can alter automated brain measurements. In this study, we compared three popular de-facing techniques and introduce our mri_reface technique designed to minimize effects on brain measurements by replacing the face with a population average, rather than removing it. For each technique, we measured 1) how well it prevented automated face recognition (i.e. effects on exceptionally-motivated individuals) and 2) how it altered brain measurements from SPM12, FreeSurfer, and FSL (i.e. effects on the average user of de-identified data). Before de-facing, 97% of scans from a sample of 157 volunteers were correctly matched to photographs using automated face recognition. After de-facing with popular software, 28-38% of scans still retained enough data for successful automated face matching. Our proposed mri_reface had similar performance with the best existing method (fsl_deface) at preventing face recognition (28-30%) and it had the smallest effects on brain measurements in more pipelines than any other, but these differences were modest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.117845DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8154695PMC
May 2021

β-Amyloid PET and I-FP-CIT SPECT in Mild Cognitive Impairment at Risk for Lewy Body Dementia.

Neurology 2021 Jan 6. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Objective: To determine the clinical phenotypes associated with the amyloid-β PET and dopamine transporter imaging (I-FP-CIT SPECT) findings in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) with the core clinical features of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB; MCI-LB).

Methods: Patients with MCI who had at least one core clinical feature of DLB (n=34) were grouped into β-amyloid A+ or A- and I-FP-CIT SPECT D+ or D- groups based on previously established abnormality cut points for A+ with Pittsburgh compound-B PET standardized uptake value ratio (PiB SUVR) ≥1.48 and D+ with putamen z-score with DATQUANT < -0.82 on I-FP-CIT SPECT. Individual MCI-LB patients fell into one of four groups: A+D+, A+D-, A-D+, or A-D-. Log transformed PiB SUVR and putamen z-score were tested for associations with patient characteristics.

Results: The A-D+ biomarker profile was most common (38.2%) followed by A+D+ (26.5%) and A-D- (26.5%). Least common was A+D- biomarker profile (8.8 %). The A+ group was older, had a higher frequency of ε4 carriers, and a lower MMSE score than the A- group. The D+ group was more likely to have probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. Lower putamen DATQUANT z-scores and lower PiB SUVRs were independently associated with higher Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS)-III scores.

Conclusions: A majority of MCI-LB patients are characterized by low amyloid-β deposition and reduced dopaminergic activity. Amyloid-β PET and I-FP-CIT SPECT are complementary in characterizing clinical phenotypes of patients with MCI-LB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011454DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8055344PMC
January 2021

CSF dynamics disorders: Association of brain MRI and nuclear medicine cisternogram findings.

Neuroimage Clin 2020 28;28:102481. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55902, USA.

Disproportionately enlarged subarachnoid space hydrocephalus (DESH), characterized by ventriculomegaly, high convexity/midline tight sulci, and enlarged sylvian fissures on brain MRI has been increasingly recognized as a distinct diagnostic imaging entity that falls within the larger category of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. Normal pressure hydrocephalus has been previously characterized as a CSF dynamics disorder based on abnormalities on nuclear medicine cisternography: radiotracer in the lateral ventricles and absent or delayed ascent of radiotracer over the cerebral convexity. The purpose of this work was to evaluate for differences in nuclear medicine cisternography between patients with vs without DESH and thereby provide support for the concept that DESH is a structural imaging marker of a CSF dynamics disorder. The study included 102 patients (mean age 71 years, range 46-86, 38 females), 58 patients with cisternogram performed to evaluate suspected normal pressure hydrocephalus (mean age 73 years, range 46-86 years, 24 female) and 44 patients evaluated for headache (mean age 68 years, range 60-82 years, 14 female). All patients had an MRI of the brain performed within 13 months of the cisternogram. Cisternogram imaging, typically acquired at 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 24 h post injection, was evaluated for the time at which radiotracer reached the basal cisterns, presence of persistent radiotracer in the lateral ventricles, time radiotracer first entered the lateral ventricles, presence of radiotracer over the cerebral convexity, and time at which radiotracer was first visualized over the cerebral convexity. MRI features of ventriculomegaly (defined as Evans' index ≥ 0.3) and high convexity tight sulci (HCTS) were recorded. Based on the MRI features, patients were grouped according to presence or absence of DESH (ventriculomegaly and HCTS). Those without DESH were separated into groups of ventriculomegaly alone, HCTS alone, and neither ventriculomegaly nor HCTS. Cisternogram metrics were compared between MR-defined groups. Patients with DESH showed a higher frequency of radiotracer in the lateral ventricles and delayed or absent ascent over the cerebral convexity compared to those without DESH, higher frequency of ventricular radioactivity vs those with HCTS alone, and shorter time to ventricular radioactivity compared to those with ventriculomegaly alone. Patients with ventriculomegaly or HCTS alone had a higher frequency of radiotracer in the lateral ventricles and delayed ascent of radiotracer over the cerebral convexity compared to those with neither ventriculomegaly nor HCTS. These findings support DESH and the individual components of ventriculomegaly and HCTS as markers of disordered CSF dynamics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2020.102481DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7658703PMC
June 2021

Tau and Amyloid Relationships with Resting-state Functional Connectivity in Atypical Alzheimer's Disease.

Cereb Cortex 2021 02;31(3):1693-1706

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

The mechanisms through which tau and amyloid-beta (Aβ) accumulate in the brain of Alzheimer's disease patients may differ but both are related to neuronal networks. We examined such mechanisms on neuroimaging in 58 participants with atypical Alzheimer's disease (posterior cortical atrophy or logopenic progressive aphasia). Participants underwent Aβ-PET, longitudinal tau-PET, structural MRI and resting-state functional MRI, which was analyzed with graph theory. Regions with high levels of Aβ were more likely to be functional hubs, with a high number of functional connections important for resilience to cascading network failures. Regions with high levels of tau were more likely to have low clustering coefficients and degrees, suggesting a lack of trophic support or vulnerability to local network failures. Regions strongly functionally connected to the disease epicenters were more likely to have higher levels of tau and, less strongly, of Aβ. The regional rate of tau accumulation was associated with tau levels in functionally connected regions, in support of tau accumulation in a functional network. This study elucidates the relations of tau and Aβ to functional connectivity metrics in atypical Alzheimer's disease, strengthening the hypothesis that the spread of the 2 proteins is driven by different biological mechanisms related to functional networks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhaa319DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7869088PMC
February 2021

Predicting future rates of tau accumulation on PET.

Brain 2020 10;143(10):3136-3150

Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Clinical trials with anti-tau drugs will need to target individuals at risk of accumulating tau. Our objective was to identify variables available in a research setting that predict future rates of tau PET accumulation separately among individuals who were either cognitively unimpaired or cognitively impaired. All 337 participants had: a baseline study visit with MRI, amyloid PET, and tau PET exams, at least one follow-up tau PET exam; and met clinical criteria for membership in one of two clinical diagnostic groups: cognitively unimpaired (n = 203); or cognitively impaired (n = 134, a combined group of participants with either mild cognitive impairment or dementia with Alzheimer's clinical syndrome). Our primary analyses were in these two clinical groups; however, we also evaluated subgroups dividing the unimpaired group by normal/abnormal amyloid PET and the impaired group by clinical phenotype (mild cognitive impairment, amnestic dementia, and non-amnestic dementia). Linear mixed effects models were used to estimate associations between age, sex, education, APOE genotype, amyloid and tau PET standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR), cognitive performance, cortical thickness, and white matter hyperintensity volume at baseline, and the rate of subsequent tau PET accumulation. Log-transformed tau PET SUVR was used as the response and rates were summarized as annual per cent change. A temporal lobe tau PET meta-region of interest was used. In the cognitively unimpaired group, only higher baseline amyloid PET was a significant independent predictor of higher tau accumulation rates (P < 0.001). Higher rates of tau accumulation were associated with faster rates of cognitive decline in the cognitively unimpaired subgroup with abnormal amyloid PET (P = 0.03), but among the subgroup with normal amyloid PET. In the cognitively impaired group, younger age (P = 0.02), higher baseline amyloid PET (P = 0.05), APOE ε4 (P = 0.05), and better cognitive performance (P = 0.05) were significant independent predictors of higher tau accumulation rates. Among impaired individuals, faster cognitive decline was associated with faster rates of tau accumulation (P = 0.01). While we examined many possible predictor variables, our results indicate that screening of unimpaired individuals for potential inclusion in anti-tau trials may be straightforward because the only independent predictor of high tau rates was amyloidosis. In cognitively impaired individuals, imaging and clinical variables consistent with early onset Alzheimer's disease phenotype were associated with higher rates of tau PET accumulation suggesting this may be a highly advantageous group in which to conduct proof-of-concept clinical trials that target tau-related mechanisms. The nature of the dementia phenotype (amnestic versus non-amnestic) did not affect this conclusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa248DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7586089PMC
October 2020

Association of Initial β-Amyloid Levels With Subsequent Flortaucipir Positron Emission Tomography Changes in Persons Without Cognitive Impairment.

JAMA Neurol 2021 Feb;78(2):217-228

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Importance: Tau accumulation in Alzheimer disease (AD) is closely associated with cognitive impairment. Quantitating tau accumulation by positron emission tomography (PET) will be a useful outcome measure for future clinical trials in the AD spectrum.

Objective: To investigate the association of β-amyloid (Aβ) on PET with subsequent tau accumulation on PET in persons who were cognitively unimpaired (CU) to gain insight into temporal associations between Aβ and tau accumulation and inform clinical trial design.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cohort study included individuals aged 65 to 85 years who were CU and had participated in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, with serial cognitive assessments, serial magnetic resonance imaging, 11C-Pittsburgh compound B (Aβ) PET scans, and 18F-flortaucipir PET scans, collected from May 2015 to March 2020. Persons were excluded if they lacked follow-up PET scans. A similarly evaluated CU group from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) were also studied. These data were collected from September 2015 to March 2020.

Exposures: Participants were stratified by index Aβ levels on PET into low Aβ (≤8 centiloid [CL]), subthreshold Aβ (9-21 CL), suprathreshold Aβ (22-67 CL), and high Aβ (≥68 CL).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Changes over a mean of 2.7 (range, 1.1-4.1) years in flortaucipir PET in entorhinal, inferior temporal, and lateral parietal regions of interest and an AD meta-region of interest (ROI).

Results: A total of 167 people were included (mean age, 74 [range, 65-85] years; 75 women [44.9%]); 101 individuals were excluded lacking follow-up, and 114 individuals from the ADNI were also studied (mean [SD] age, 74.14 [5.29] years; 64 women [56.1%]). In the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, longitudinal flortaucipir accumulation rates in the high Aβ group were greater than the suprathreshold, subthreshold, and low Aβ groups in the entorhinal ROI (suprathreshold, 0.025 [95% CI, 0.013-0.037] standardized uptake value ratio [SUVR] units; subthreshold, 0.026 [95% CI, 0.014-0.037] SUVR units; low Aβ, 0.034 [95% CI, 0.02-0.049] SUVR units), inferior temporal ROI (suprathreshold, 0.025 [95% CI, 0.014-0.035] SUVR units; subthreshold, 0.027 [95% CI, 0.017-0.037] SUVR units; low Aβ, 0.035 [95% CI, 0.022-0.047] SUVR units), and the AD meta-ROI (suprathreshold, 0.023 [95% CI, 0.013-0.032] SUVR units; subthreshold, 0.025 [95% CI, 0.016-0.034] SUVR units; low Aβ, 0.032 [95% CI, 0.021-0.043] SUVR units) (all P < .001). Flortaucipir accumulation rates in the subthreshold and suprathreshold Aβ groups in temporal regions were nonsignificantly elevated compared with the low Aβ group. In the ADNI cohort, the variance was larger than in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging but point estimates for annualized flortaucipir accumulation in the inferior temporal ROI were very similar. An estimated 216 participants who were CU per group with PET Aβ of 68 CL or more would be needed to detect a 25% annualized reduction in flortaucipir accumulation rate in the AD meta-ROI with 80% power.

Conclusions And Relevance: Substantial flortaucipir accumulation in temporal regions is greatest in persons aged 65 to 85 years who were CU and had high initial Aβ PET levels, compared with those with lower Aβ levels. Recruiting persons who were CU and exhibiting Aβ of 68 CL or more on an index Aβ PET is a feasible strategy to recruit for clinical trials in which a change in tau PET signal is an outcome measure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.3921DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7573795PMC
February 2021

Associations of quantitative susceptibility mapping with Alzheimer's disease clinical and imaging markers.

Neuroimage 2021 01 6;224:117433. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Altered iron metabolism has been hypothesized to be associated with Alzheimer's disease pathology, and prior work has shown associations between iron load and beta amyloid plaques. Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) is a recently popularized MR technique to infer local tissue susceptibility secondary to the presence of iron as well as other minerals. Greater QSM values imply greater iron concentration in tissue. QSM has been used to study relationships between cerebral iron load and established markers of Alzheimer's disease, however relationships remain unclear. In this work we study QSM signal characteristics and associations between susceptibility measured on QSM and established clinical and imaging markers of Alzheimer's disease. The study included 421 participants (234 male, median age 70 years, range 34-97 years) from the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Research Center; 296 (70%) had a diagnosis of cognitively unimpaired, 69 (16%) mild cognitive impairment, and 56 (13%) amnestic dementia. All participants had multi-echo gradient recalled echo imaging, PiB amyloid PET, and Tauvid tau PET. Variance components analysis showed that variation in cortical susceptibility across participants was low. Linear regression models were fit to assess associations with regional susceptibility. Expected increases in susceptibility were found with older age and cognitive impairment in the deep and inferior gray nuclei (pallidum, putamen, substantia nigra, subthalamic nucleus) (betas: 0.0017 to 0.0053 ppm for a 10 year increase in age, p = 0.03 to <0.001; betas: 0.0021 to 0.0058 ppm for a 5 point decrease in Short Test of Mental Status, p = 0.003 to p<0.001). Effect sizes in cortical regions were smaller, and the age associations were generally negative. Higher susceptibility was significantly associated with higher amyloid PET SUVR in the pallidum and putamen (betas: 0.0029 and 0.0012 ppm for a 20% increase in amyloid PET, p = 0.05 and 0.02, respectively), higher tau PET in the basal ganglia with the largest effect size in the pallidum (0.0082 ppm for a 20% increase in tau PET, p<0.001), and with lower cortical gray matter volume in the medial temporal lobe (0.0006 ppm for a 20% decrease in volume, p = 0.03). Overall, these findings suggest that susceptibility in the deep and inferior gray nuclei, particularly the pallidum and putamen, may be a marker of cognitive decline, amyloid deposition, and off-target binding of the tau ligand. Although iron has been demonstrated in amyloid plaques and in association with neurodegeneration, it is of insufficient quantity to be reliably detected in the cortex using this implementation of QSM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117433DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7860631PMC
January 2021

F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in dementia with Lewy bodies.

Brain Commun 2020 8;2(1):fcaa040. Epub 2020 Apr 8.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Among individuals with dementia with Lewy bodies, pathologic correlates of clinical course include the presence and extent of coexisting Alzheimer's pathology and the presence of transitional or diffuse Lewy body disease. The objectives of this study are to determine (i) whether F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET signature patterns of dementia with Lewy bodies are associated with the extent of coexisting Alzheimer's pathology and the presence of transitional or diffuse Lewy body disease and (ii) whether these F-fluorodeoxyglucose pattern(s) are associated with clinical course in dementia with Lewy bodies. Two groups of participants were included: a pathology-confirmed subset with Lewy body disease ( = 34) and a clinically diagnosed group of dementia with Lewy bodies ( = 87). A subset of the clinically diagnosed group was followed longitudinally ( = 51). We evaluated whether F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET features of dementia with Lewy bodies (higher cingulate island sign ratio and greater occipital hypometabolism) varied by Lewy body disease subtype (transitional versus diffuse) and Braak neurofibrillary tangle stage. We investigated whether the PET features were associated with the clinical trajectories by performing regression models predicting Clinical Dementia Rating Scale Sum of Boxes. Among autopsied participants, there was no difference in cingulate island sign or occipital hypometabolism by Lewy body disease type, but those with a lower Braak tangle stage had a higher cingulate island sign ratio compared to those with a higher Braak tangle stage. Among the clinically diagnosed dementia with Lewy bodies participants, a higher cingulate island ratio was associated with better cognitive scores at baseline and longitudinally. A higher F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET cingulate island sign ratio was associated with lower Braak tangle stage at autopsy, predicted a better clinical trajectory in dementia with Lewy body patients and may allow for improved prognostication of the clinical course in this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcaa040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7293797PMC
April 2020

Prevalence and Heterogeneity of Cerebrovascular Disease Imaging Lesions.

Mayo Clin Proc 2020 06;95(6):1195-1205

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Objective: To report population age-specific prevalence of core cerebrovascular disease lesions (infarctions, cerebral microbleeds, and white-matter hyperintensities detected with magnetic resonance imaging); estimate cut points for white-matter hyperintensity positivity; investigate sex differences in prevalence; and estimate prevalence of any core cerebrovascular disease features.

Patients And Methods: Participants in the population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Aging aged 50 to 89 years underwent fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and T2* gradient-recalled echo magnetic resonance imaging to assess cerebrovascular disease between October 10, 2011, and September 29, 2017. We characterized each participant as having infarct, normal versus abnormal white-matter hyperintensity, cerebral microbleed, or a combination of lesions. Prevalence of cerebrovascular disease biomarkers was derived through adjustment for nonparticipation and standardization to the population of Olmsted County, Minnesota.

Results: Among 1462 participants without dementia (median [range] age, 68 [50 to 89] y; men, 52.7%), core cerebrovascular disease features increased with age. Prevalence (95% CI) of cerebral microbleeds was 13.6% (11.6%-15.6%); infarcts, 11.7% (9.7%-13.8%); and abnormal white-matter hyperintensity, 10.7% (8.7%-12.6%). Infarcts and cerebral microbleeds were more common among men. In contrast, abnormal white-matter hyperintensity was more common among women ages 60 to 79 y and men, ages 80 y and older. Prevalence of any core cerebrovascular disease feature determined by presence of at least one cerebrovascular disease feature increased from 9.5% (ages 50 to 59 y) to 73.8% (ages 80 to 89 y).

Conclusion: Whereas this study focused on participants without dementia, the high prevalence of cerebrovascular disease imaging lesions in elderly persons makes assignment of clinical relevance to cognition and other downstream manifestations more probabilistic than deterministic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.01.028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7316133PMC
June 2020

Imaging Biomarkers of Alzheimer Disease in Multiple Sclerosis.

Ann Neurol 2020 04 8;87(4):556-567. Epub 2020 Feb 8.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Objective: To investigate β-amyloid and tau depositions using Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) positron emission tomography (PET) and AV1451 tau PET imaging in aging multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

Methods: Patients with MS (n = 16) and controls (n = 80) matched for age, sex, and APOE ε4 status from the population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Aging who underwent PiB PET imaging were studied. Of these individuals, 12 patients with MS and 60 matching controls also underwent AV1451 tau PET. Cortical PiB and AV1451 standard uptake value ratios (SUVrs) from the entire cortex and previously determined Alzheimer disease (AD) signature regions in the same population were calculated for group comparisons and testing for associations with age.

Results: AD signature PiB SUVr (odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval (CI)] = 0.52 [0.27-0.98], p = 0.044), total cortical PiB SUVr (OR [95% CI] = 0.52 [0.28-0.99], p = 0.048), and the frequency of abnormal PiB SUVrs (OR [95% CI] = 0.10 [0.01-0.90], p = 0.040) were lower in MS than controls. Although AD-signature and total cortical AV1451 SUVrs were not different between the groups, the frequency of abnormal AV1451 SUVrs was higher (OR [95% CI] = 10.65 [1.10-103.35], p = 0.041) in MS than controls. The association of AD signature PiB SUVr with age was steeper in the controls compared to patients with MS (estimate [95% CI] = -0.14 [-0.023 to -0.006], p = 0.002). Similarly, the association of total cortical PiB SUVr with age was steeper in the controls compared to patients with MS (estimate [95% CI] = -0.13 [-0.021 to -0.005], p = 0.002). There was no difference in the association of AV1451 SUVr findings with age between the MS patients and controls.

Interpretation: Although both β-amyloid and tau are biomarkers of cognitive aging and AD, cortical β-amyloid deposition was lower in MS than age-matched controls, suggesting that some aspect of MS pathobiology retards the accumulation of β-amyloid but not the accumulation of tau. ANN NEUROL 2020;87:556-567.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.25684DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7078013PMC
April 2020

β-Amyloid PET and neuropathology in dementia with Lewy bodies.

Neurology 2020 01 20;94(3):e282-e291. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

From the Departments of Radiology (K.K., V.J.L., Q.C., C.G.S., C.R.J.), Health Sciences Research (S.A.P., T.G.L.), Information Technology (M.L.S., J.L.G.), Neurology (J.G.-R., D.T.J., D.S.K., R.C.P., B.F.B.), and Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (J.E.P.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; Department of Neurology (Q.C.), West China Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan; and Departments of Neurology (N.G.-R.), Psychiatry and Psychology (T.J.F.), and Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (D.W.D., M.E.M.), Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL.

Objective: β-Amyloid (Aβ) pathology is common in patients with probable dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). However, the pathologic basis and the differential diagnostic performance of Aβ PET are not established in DLB. Our objective was to investigate the pathologic correlates of C-Pittsburgh compound B(PiB) uptake on PET in cases with antemortem diagnosis of probable DLB or Lewy body disease (LBD) at autopsy.

Methods: Autopsied cases who underwent antemortem PiB-PET and were assigned a clinical diagnosis of probable DLB or LBD at autopsy were included (n = 39). The primary endpoint was pathologic diagnosis of LBD, Alzheimer disease (AD), or mixed (LBD and AD) pathology; the secondary endpoints included Thal Aβ phase and diffuse and neuritic Aβ plaques.

Results: Lower global cortical PiB standardized uptake value ratio (SUVr) distinguished cases with LBD from cases with AD or mixed pathology with an accuracy of 93%. Greater global cortical PiB SUVr correlated with higher Thal Aβ phase ( = 0.75, ≤ 0.001). Voxel-based analysis demonstrated that Aβ pathology relatively spared the occipital lobes in cases with mixed pathology and LBD compared to cases with AD without LBD, in whom the entire cerebral cortex was involved. Global cortical PiB SUVr was associated primarily with the abundance of diffuse Aβ plaques in cases with LBD in a multivariable regression model.

Conclusion: Lower PiB uptake accurately distinguishes cases with LBD from cases with AD or mixed pathology, correlating with the Thal Aβ phase. The severity of diffuse Aβ pathology is the primary contributor to elevated PiB uptake in LBD.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class III evidence that lower PiB uptake accurately distinguishes patients with LBD from those with AD or mixed pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000008818DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7108811PMC
January 2020

Association of Longitudinal β-Amyloid Accumulation Determined by Positron Emission Tomography With Clinical and Cognitive Decline in Adults With Probable Lewy Body Dementia.

JAMA Netw Open 2019 12 2;2(12):e1916439. Epub 2019 Dec 2.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Importance: In patients with probable dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), overlapping Alzheimer disease pathology is frequent and is associated with faster decline and shorter survival. More than half of patients with DLB have elevated β-amyloid levels on carbon-11 labeled Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) positron emission tomography, but the trajectory of longitudinal β-amyloid accumulation and its associations with clinical and cognitive decline in DLB are not known.

Objectives: To determine the trajectory of β-amyloid accumulation in patients with probable DLB and to investigate the associations of β-amyloid accumulation with measures of clinical and cognitive decline over time in DLB.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cohort study included 35 consecutive patients with probable DLB from the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer Disease Research Center and matched them by age, sex, and apolipoprotein e4 status with 140 cognitively unimpaired participants from the population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. Participants were observed from April 2010 to September 2017. Data analysis was conducted from January 2018 to January 2019.

Exposure: Baseline and follow-up PiB positron emission tomography and comprehensive clinical evaluations.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Rate of change in PiB standardized uptake value ratios (SUVRs) by PiB SUVR and time in years; the associations between baseline PiB SUVR, change in PiB SUVR, and change in several measures of clinical and cognitive decline.

Results: A total of 175 participants were evaluated (35 [20.0%] with probable DLB; mean [SD] age, 69.6 [7.3] years; 16 [45.7%] apolipoprotein e4 carriers; 31 [88.6%] men; and 140 [80.0%] cognitively unimpaired adults; mean [SD] age, 69.7 [7.2] years; 64 [45.7%] apolipoprotein e4 carriers; 124 [88.6%] men). In both groups, the rates of change in PiB SUVR showed an initial acceleration at lower baseline PiB SUVR followed by a deceleration at higher baseline PiB SUVR, thus forming an inverted-U shape. The trajectories of the rates of change in PiB SUVR did not differ between participants with probable DLB and cognitively unimpaired participants in terms of shape (P = .59) or vertical shift (coefficient [SE] 0.007 [0.006]; P = .22). The integral association of cumulative PiB SUVR with time in years showed a sigmoid-shaped functional form in both groups. In participants with probable DLB, higher baseline PiB SUVR and change in PiB SUVR were associated with more rapid clinical decline, as measured by the Clinical Dementia Rating, sum of boxes (baseline PiB SUVR: regression coefficient [SE], 1.90 [0.63]; P = .005; R2 = 0.215; change in PiB SUVR, regression coefficient [SE], 16.17 [7.47]; P = .04; R2 = 0.124) and the Auditory Verbal Learning Test, delayed recall (baseline PiB SUVR, regression coefficient [SE], -2.09 [0.95]; P = .04; R2 = 0.182; change in PiB SUVR, regression coefficient [SE], -25.05 [10.04]; P = .02; R2 = 0.221).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this study, the rate of change in PiB SUVR among participants with probable DLB increased, peaked, and then decreased, which was similar to the trajectory in cognitively unimpaired participants and the Alzheimer disease dementia continuum. Higher baseline PiB SUVR and change in PiB SUVR were associated with more rapid clinical and cognitive decline over time. Measuring the change in PiB SUVR has implications for designing anti-β-amyloid randomized clinical trials for individuals with probable DLB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.16439DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6902746PMC
December 2019

Linear vs volume measures of ventricle size: Relation to present and future gait and cognition.

Neurology 2020 02 20;94(5):e549-e556. Epub 2019 Nov 20.

From the Departments of Health Sciences Research (J.E.C., C.T.B.) and Neurology (N.R.G.-R.), Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL; and Departments of Radiology (J.L.G., C.R.J.) and Neurology (D.T.J., J.G.-R., D.S.K., B.F.B., R.C.P.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Objective: To compare the clinical utility of volume-based ratios with the standard linear ratio of Evans index (EI) by examining their associations with gait, cognition, and other patient and imaging variables.

Methods: From MRI scans of 1,774 participants in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, we calculated 3 ventricle size measures: Evan index (frontal horn width divided by widest width of skull inner table), total ventricular volume, and frontal horn volume as ratios of total intracranial volume. Gait was measured by a timed 25-foot walk and cognition by a composite of psychometric tests. We also evaluated variables associated with the measures of ventricular size. Further, we evaluated gait and cognition associations with MRI of extraventricular findings seen in normal-pressure hydrocephalus: disproportionate enlargement of subarachnoid space (DESH) and focal sulcal dilations (FSD).

Results: Ventricular volume measures had stronger association with gait and cognition measures than EI. In decreasing order of strength of association with ventricle size were DESH, FSD, white matter hyperintensity volume ratio, age, male sex, cortical thickness, and education. Modest evidence was observed that FSD was associated with future decline in gait and cognition.

Conclusion: Ventricular volume measures are clinically more useful than EI in indicating current and future gait and cognition. Multiple factors are associated with ventricle volume size, including FSD and DESH, suggesting that changes in CSF dynamics may go beyond simple ventriculomegaly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000008673DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7080290PMC
February 2020

Cerebrospinal fluid dynamics disorders: Relationship to Alzheimer biomarkers and cognition.

Neurology 2019 12 12;93(24):e2237-e2246. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

From the Departments of Neurology (J.G.-R., D.T.J., R.C.P., D.S.K.), Radiology (J.L.G., C.G.S., J.H., V.L., N.B.G., K.K., P.V., C.R.J.), Health Sciences Research (S.A.P., M.M. Mielke), Neurologic Surgery (B.D.E.), and Psychiatry and Psychology (M.M. Machulda), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; and Department of Neurology (N.R.G.-R.), Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL.

Objective: To determine the frequency of high-convexity tight sulci (HCTS) in a population-based sample and whether the presence of HCTS and related features influenced participants' cognitive status and classification within the new Alzheimer-biomarker framework.

Methods: We analyzed 684 participants ≥50 years of age who were enrolled in the prospective population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Aging and underwent structural MRI, amyloid PET imaging, and tau PET imaging. A fully automated machine-learning algorithm that had been developed previously in house was used to detect neuroimaging features of HCTS. On the basis of PET and MRI measures, participants were classified as having normal (A) or abnormal (A) amyloid, normal (T) or abnormal (T) tau, and normal (N) or abnormal (N) neurodegeneration. The neuropsychological battery assessed domain-specific and global cognitive scores. Gait speed also was assessed. Analyses were adjusted for age and sex.

Results: Of 684 participants, 45 (6.6%) were classified with HCTS according to the automated algorithm. Patients with HCTS were older than patients without HCTS (mean [SD] 78.0 [8.3] vs 71.9 [10.8] years; < 0.001). More were cognitively impaired after age and sex adjustment (27% vs 9%; = 0.005). Amyloid PET status was similar with and without HCTS, but tau PET standard uptake value ratio (SUVR) was lower for those with HCTS after age and sex adjustment ( < 0.001). Despite a lower tau SUVR, patients with HCTS had lower Alzheimer disease (AD) signature cortical thickness. With the amyloid-tau-neurodegeneration framework, HCTS was overrepresented in the T(N) group, regardless of amyloid status.

Conclusion: The HCTS pattern represents a definable subgroup of non-AD pathophysiology (i.e., T[N]) that is associated with cognitive impairment. HCTS may confound clinical and biomarker interpretation in AD clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000008616DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6937493PMC
December 2019

Cardiometabolic Health and Longitudinal Progression of White Matter Hyperintensity: The Mayo Clinic Study of Aging.

Stroke 2019 11 12;50(11):3037-3044. Epub 2019 Sep 12.

Department of Radiology (G.M.P., C.G.S., M.L.S., J.L.G., K.K., C.R.J., P.V.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Background and Purpose- White matter hyperintensity (WMH) burden is associated with stroke and cognitive decline. Risk factors associated with the longitudinal progression of WMH in the general population have not been systematically investigated. To investigate the primary midlife and current cardiometabolic risk factors associated with changes in WMH over time in a population cohort. Methods- This cohort study included participants enrolled in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, a longitudinal population-based study in Olmsted County, Minnesota with at least 2 consecutive WMH assessments on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery-magnetic resonance images (n=554, ≥60 years with midlife assessments) with relevant baseline laboratory measures of interest. Linear mixed model regression was used to determine the important components of cardiometabolic risk profile at baseline that were associated with future progression of WMH. These analyses were controlled for age and sex. Sensitivity analyses were conducted using stratification by sex. The main outcome measure was percent change in WMH normalized to total intracranial volume. Three sets of models were constructed to evaluate individual (1) midlife risk factors, (2) current risk factors including the presence of metabolic syndrome and its constituents, and (3) baseline measurements of continuous laboratory measures of cardiometabolic risk. Results- Age was the strongest predictor of progression in WMH (<0.001). Baseline hypertension (<0.001), midlife hypertension (=0.003), and baseline fasting glucose in males (=0.01) were predictive of WMH change. The presence of metabolic syndrome was not associated with progressive WMH. In sensitivity analyses, associations between hypertension and WMH progression were stronger in females. Baseline serum glucose was associated with increase in WMH but was not significant in females in the stratified analysis. Other continuous laboratory measures of vascular risk were not associated with progressive WMH. Conclusions- Midlife and current hypertension in all participants and fasting glucose in males were associated with quantitative changes in white matter. Prospective clinical studies should determine optimal blood pressure to reduce stroke and cognitive impairment during aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.025822DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6817406PMC
November 2019

The bivariate distribution of amyloid-β and tau: relationship with established neurocognitive clinical syndromes.

Brain 2019 10;142(10):3230-3242

Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Large phenotypically diverse research cohorts with both amyloid and tau PET have only recently come into existence. Our objective was to determine relationships between the bivariate distribution of amyloid-β and tau on PET and established clinical syndromes that are relevant to cognitive ageing and dementia. All individuals in this study were enrolled in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, a longitudinal population-based study of cognitive ageing, or the Mayo Alzheimer Disease Research Center, a longitudinal study of individuals recruited from clinical practice. We studied 1343 participants who had amyloid PET and tau PET from 2 April 2015 to 3 May 2019, and met criteria for membership in one of five clinical diagnostic groups: cognitively unimpaired, mild cognitive impairment, frontotemporal dementia, probable dementia with Lewy bodies, and Alzheimer clinical syndrome. We examined these clinical groups in relation to the bivariate distribution of amyloid and tau PET values. Individuals were grouped into amyloid (A)/tau (T) quadrants based on previously established abnormality cut points of standardized uptake value ratio 1.48 (A) and 1.33 (T). Individual participants largely fell into one of three amyloid/tau quadrants: low amyloid and low tau (A-T-), high amyloid and low tau (A+T-), or high amyloid and high tau (A+T+). Seventy per cent of cognitively unimpaired and 74% of FTD participants fell into the A-T- quadrant. Participants with mild cognitive impairment spanned the A-T- (42%), A+T- (28%), and A+T+ (27%) quadrants. Probable dementia with Lewy body participants spanned the A-T- (38%) and A+T- (44%) quadrants. Most (89%) participants with Alzheimer clinical syndrome fell into the A+T+ quadrant. These data support several conclusions. First, among 1343 participants, abnormal tau PET rarely occurred in the absence of abnormal amyloid PET, but the reverse was common. Thus, with rare exceptions, amyloidosis appears to be required for high levels of 3R/4R tau deposition. Second, abnormal amyloid PET is compatible with normal cognition but highly abnormal tau PET is not. These two conclusions support a dynamic biomarker model in which Alzheimer's disease is characterized first by the appearance of amyloidosis and later by tauopathy, with tauopathy being the proteinopathy associated with clinical symptoms. Third, bivariate amyloid and tau PET relationships differed across clinical groups and thus have a role for clarifying the aetiologies underlying neurocognitive clinical syndromes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awz268DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6763736PMC
October 2019

Frontal lobe H MR spectroscopy in asymptomatic and symptomatic mutation carriers.

Neurology 2019 08 17;93(8):e758-e765. Epub 2019 Jul 17.

From the Department of Radiology (Q.C., J.L.G., K.K.), Department of Neurology (B.F.B., C.D., L.F., D.G., J.G.-R., D.J., D.K., R.K.), Department of Health Sciences Research (N.T., T.L., D.B., J.S.), Department of Psychology and Psychiatry (J.F., M.L.), Department of Clinical Genomic and Neurology (R.G.), Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (B.F.B., D.B., C.D., L.F., D.G., J.G.-R., D.J., D.K., R.K., R.R., K.K.), and Research Services (D.H.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; Department of Neurology (Q.C.), West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan; Departments of Neurology (N.G.-R., Z.K.W.) and Neuroscience (R.R.), Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL; and Memory and Aging Center (H.R., A.L.B.), University of California San Francisco.

Objective: To determine the frontal lobe proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H MRS) abnormalities in asymptomatic and symptomatic carriers of microtubule-associated protein tau () mutations.

Methods: We recruited patients with mutations from 5 individual families, who underwent single voxel H MRS from the medial frontal lobe at 3T (n = 19) from the Longitudinal Evaluation of Familial Frontotemporal Dementia Subjects (LEFFTDS) Study at the Mayo Clinic site. Asymptomatic mutation carriers (n = 9) had Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (FTLD-CDR SOB) score of zero, and symptomatic mutation carriers (n = 10) had a median FTLD-CDR SOB score of 5. Noncarriers from healthy first-degree relatives of the patients were recruited as controls (n = 25). The demographic aspects and H MRS metabolite ratios were compared by use of the Fisher exact test for sex and linear mixed models to account for within-family correlations. We used Tukey contrasts for pair-wise comparisons.

Results: Asymptomatic mutation carriers had lower neuronal marker N-acetylaspartate (NAA)/creatine (Cr) ( = 0.001) and lower NAA/myo-inositol (mI) ( = 0.026) than noncarriers after adjustment for age. Symptomatic mutation carriers had lower NAA/Cr ( = 0.01) and NAA/mI ( = 0.01) and higher mI/Cr ( = 0.02) compared to noncarriers after adjustment for age. Furthermore, NAA/Cr ( = 0.006) and NAA/mI ( < 0.001) ratios decreased, accompanied by an increase in mI/Cr ratio ( = 0.001), as the ages of carriers approached and passed the age at symptom onset.

Conclusion: Frontal lobe neurochemical alterations measured with H MRS precede the symptom onset in mutation carriers. Frontal lobe H MRS is a potential biomarker for early neurodegenerative processes in mutation carriers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000007961DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6711662PMC
August 2019

Prevalence of Biologically vs Clinically Defined Alzheimer Spectrum Entities Using the National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association Research Framework.

JAMA Neurol 2019 Jul 15. Epub 2019 Jul 15.

Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Importance: A National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association (NIA-AA) workgroup recently published a research framework in which Alzheimer disease is defined by neuropathologic or biomarker evidence of β-amyloid plaques and tau tangles and not by clinical symptoms.

Objectives: To estimate the sex- and age-specific prevalence of 3 imaging biomarker-based definitions of the Alzheimer disease spectrum from the NIA-AA research framework and to compare these entities with clinically defined diagnostic entities commonly linked with Alzheimer disease.

Design, Setting, And Participants: The Mayo Clinic Study of Aging (MCSA) is a population-based cohort study of cognitive aging in Olmsted County, Minnesota. The MCSA in-person participants (n = 4660) and passively ascertained (ie, through the medical record rather than in-person) individuals with dementia (n = 553) aged 60 to 89 years were included. Subsets underwent amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) (n = 1524) or both amyloid and tau PET (n = 576). Therefore, this study included 3 nested cohorts examined between November 29, 2004, and June 5, 2018. Data were analyzed between February 19, 2018, and March 26, 2019.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The sex- and age-specific prevalence of the following 3 biologically defined diagnostic entities was estimated: Alzheimer continuum (abnormal amyloid regardless of tau status), Alzheimer pathologic change (abnormal amyloid but normal tau), and Alzheimer disease (abnormal amyloid and tau). These were compared with the prevalence of 3 clinically defined diagnostic groups (mild cognitive impairment or dementia, dementia, and clinically defined probable Alzheimer disease).

Results: The median (interquartile range) age was 77 (72-83) years in the clinical cohort (n = 5213 participants), 77 (70-83) years in the amyloid PET cohort (n = 1524 participants), and 77 (69-83) years in the tau PET cohort (n = 576 participants). There were roughly equal numbers of women and men. The prevalence of all diagnostic entities (biological and clinical) increased rapidly with age, with the exception of Alzheimer pathologic change. The prevalence of biological Alzheimer disease was greater than clinically defined probable Alzheimer disease for women and men. Among women, these values were 10% (95% CI, 6%-14%) vs 1% (95% CI, 1%-1%) at age 70 years and 33% (95% CI, 25%-41%) vs 10% (95% CI, 9%-12%) at age 85 years (P < .001). Among men, these values were 9% (95% CI, 5%-12%) vs 1% (95% CI, 0%-1%) at age 70 years and 31% (95% CI, 24%-38%) vs 9% (95% CI, 8%-11%) at age 85 years (P < .001). The only notable difference by sex was a greater prevalence of the mild cognitive impairment or dementia clinical category among men than women.

Conclusions And Relevance: Results of this study suggest that biologically defined Alzheimer disease is more prevalent than clinically defined probable Alzheimer disease at any age and is 3 times more prevalent at age 85 years among both women and men. This difference is mostly driven by asymptomatic individuals with biological Alzheimer disease. These findings illustrate the magnitude of the consequences on public health that potentially exist by intervening with disease-specific treatments to prevent symptom onset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.1971DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6632154PMC
July 2019

Associations of Amyloid, Tau, and Neurodegeneration Biomarker Profiles With Rates of Memory Decline Among Individuals Without Dementia.

JAMA 2019 06;321(23):2316-2325

Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Importance: A National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer's Association workgroup proposed a research framework for Alzheimer disease in which biomarker classification of research participants is labeled AT(N) for amyloid, tau, and neurodegeneration biomarkers.

Objective: To determine the associations between AT(N) biomarker profiles and memory decline in a population-based cohort of individuals without dementia age 60 years or older, and to determine whether biomarkers provide incremental prognostic value beyond more readily available clinical and genetic information.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Population-based cohort study of cognitive aging in Olmsted County, Minnesota, that included 480 nondemented Mayo Clinic Study of Aging participants who had a clinical evaluation and amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) (A), tau PET (T), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) cortical thickness (N) measures between April 16, 2015, and November 1, 2017, and at least 1 clinical evaluation follow-up by November 12, 2018.

Exposures: Age, sex, education, cardiovascular and metabolic conditions score, APOE genotype, and AT(N) biomarker profiles. Each of A, T, or (N) can be abnormal (+) or normal (-), resulting in 8 AT(N) profiles.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Primary outcome was a composite memory score measured longitudinally at 15-month intervals. Analyses measured the associations between predictor variables and the memory score, and whether AT(N) biomarker profiles significantly improved prediction of memory z score rates of change beyond a model with clinical and genetic variables only.

Results: Participants were followed up for a median of 4.8 years (interquartile range [IQR], 3.8-5.1) and 44% were women (211/480). Median (IQR) ages ranged from 67 years (65-73) in the A-T-(N)- group to 83 years (76-87) in the A+T+(N)+ group. Of the participants, 92% (441/480) were cognitively unimpaired but the A+T+(N)+ group had the largest proportion of mild cognitive impairment (30%). AT(N) biomarkers improved the prediction of memory performance over a clinical model from an R2 of 0.26 to 0.31 (P < .001). Memory declined fastest in the A+T+(N)+, A+T+(N)-, and A+T-(N)+ groups compared with the other 5 AT(N) groups (P = .002). Estimated rates of decline in the 3 fastest declining groups were -0.13 (95% CI, -0.17 to -0.09), -0.10 (95% CI, -0.16 to -0.05), and -0.10 (95% CI, -0.13 to -0.06) z score units per year, respectively, for an 85-year-old APOE ε4 noncarrier.

Conclusions And Relevance: Among older persons without baseline dementia followed for a median of 4.8 years, a prediction model that included amyloid PET, tau PET, and MRI cortical thickness resulted in a small but statistically significant improvement in predicting memory decline over a model with more readily available clinical and genetic variables. The clinical importance of this difference is uncertain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2019.7437DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6582267PMC
June 2019

White matter hyperintensities: relationship to amyloid and tau burden.

Brain 2019 08;142(8):2483-2491

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Although white matter hyperintensities have traditionally been viewed as a marker of vascular disease, recent pathology studies have found an association between white matter hyperintensities and Alzheimer's disease pathologies. The objectives of this study were to investigate the topographic patterns of white matter hyperintensities associated with Alzheimer's disease biomarkers measured using PET. From the population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, 434 participants without dementia (55% male) with FLAIR and gradient recall echo MRI, tau-PET (AV-1451) and amyloid-PET scans were identified. A subset had cerebral microbleeds detected on T2* gradient recall echo scans. White matter hyperintensities were semi-automatically segmented using FLAIR MRI in participant space and normalized to a custom template. We used statistical parametric mapping 12-based, voxel-wise, multiple-regression analyses to detect white matter hyperintense regions associated with Alzheimer's biomarkers (global amyloid from amyloid-PET and meta-regions of interest tau uptake from tau-PET) after adjusting for age, sex and hypertension. For amyloid associations, we additionally adjusted for tau and vice versa. Topographic patterns of amyloid-associated white matter hyperintensities included periventricular white matter hyperintensities (frontal and parietal lobes). White matter hyperintense volumes in the detected topographic pattern correlated strongly with lobar cerebral microbleeds (P < 0.001, age and sex adjusted Cohen's d = 0.703). In contrast, there were no white matter hyperintense regions significantly associated with increased tau burden using voxel-based analysis or region-specific analysis. Among non-demented elderly, amyloid load correlated with a topographic pattern of white matter hyperintensities. Further, the amyloid-associated, white matter hyperintense regions strongly correlated with lobar cerebral microbleeds suggesting that cerebral amyloid angiopathy contributes to the relationship between amyloid and white matter hyperintensities. The study did not support an association between increased tau burden and white matter hyperintense burden.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awz162DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6658846PMC
August 2019

Progressive agrammatic aphasia without apraxia of speech as a distinct syndrome.

Brain 2019 08;142(8):2466-2482

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Agrammatic aphasia affects grammatical language production and can result from a neurodegenerative disease. Although it typically presents with concomitant apraxia of speech, this is not always the case. Little is known about the clinical course and imaging features of patients that present with agrammatism in the absence of apraxia of speech, which we will refer to as progressive agrammatic aphasia. We aimed to make a detailed description of the longitudinal clinical, linguistic, and neuroimaging features of a cohort of 11 patients with progressive agrammatic aphasia to provide a complete picture of this syndrome. All patients underwent detailed speech and language, neurological and neuropsychological assessments, 3 T structural and diffusion tensor imaging MRI, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose and Pittsburgh compound B PET. The 11 patients were matched by age and gender to 22 patients who had mixed apraxia of speech and agrammatism. The progressive agrammatic aphasia patients performed abnormally on tests of language, general cognition, executive function, and functional ability at baseline and declined in these measures over time. Only two patients eventually developed apraxia of speech, while parkinsonism was absent-to-mild throughout all visits for all patients. When compared to the patients with mixed apraxia of speech and agrammatism, the patients with progressive agrammatic aphasia performed better on tests of motor speech and parkinsonism but more poorly, and declined faster over time, on tests of general aphasia severity, agrammatism, and naming. The patients with progressive agrammatic aphasia also showed different neuroimaging abnormalities, with greater atrophy, hypometabolism and white matter tract degeneration in the prefrontal and anterior temporal lobes compared to patients with mixed apraxia of speech and agrammatism. These differences were more pronounced as the disease progressed. These results demonstrate that progressive agrammatic aphasia has a different clinical disease course and different underlying neuroanatomical abnormalities than patients with the more common syndrome of mixed agrammatism and apraxia of speech. This supports the distinction of progressive agrammatic aphasia and has implications for the classification of patients with agrammatic aphasia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awz157DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6658844PMC
August 2019
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