Publications by authors named "José Luis Molinuevo"

228 Publications

Cognitively unimpaired individuals with a low burden of Aβ pathology have a distinct CSF biomarker profile.

Alzheimers Res Ther 2021 Jul 27;13(1):134. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), Pasqual Maragall Foundation, Wellington 30, 08005, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Understanding the changes that occur in the transitional stage between absent and overt amyloid-β (Aβ) pathology within the Alzheimer's continuum is crucial to develop therapeutic and preventive strategies. The objective of this study is to test whether cognitively unimpaired individuals with a low burden of Aβ pathology have a distinct CSF, structural, and functional neuroimaging biomarker profile.

Methods: Cross-sectional study of 318 middle-aged, cognitively unimpaired individuals from the ALFA+ cohort. We measured CSF Aβ42/40, phosphorylated tau (p-tau), total tau (t-tau), neurofilament light (NfL), neurogranin, sTREM2, YKL40, GFAP, IL6, S100B, and α-synuclein. Participants also underwent cognitive assessments, APOE genotyping, structural MRI, [F]-FDG, and [F]-flutemetamol PET. To ensure the robustness of our results, we used three definitions of low burden of Aβ pathology: (1) positive CSF Aβ42/40 and < 30 Centiloids in Aβ PET, (2) positive CSF Aβ42/40 and negative Aβ PET visual read, and (3) 20-40 Centiloid range in Aβ PET. We tested CSF and neuroimaging biomarker differences between the low burden group and the corresponding Aβ-negative group, adjusted by age and sex.

Results: The prevalence and demographic characteristics of the low burden group differed between the three definitions. CSF p-tau and t-tau were increased in the low burden group compared to the Aβ-negative in all definitions. CSF neurogranin was increased in the low burden group definitions 1 and 3, while CSF NfL was only increased in the low burden group definition 1. None of the defined low burden groups showed signs of atrophy or glucose hypometabolism. Instead, we found slight increases in cortical thickness and metabolism in definition 2.

Conclusions: There are biologically meaningful Aβ-downstream effects in individuals with a low burden of Aβ pathology, while structural and functional changes are still subtle or absent. These findings support considering individuals with a low burden of Aβ pathology for clinical trials.

Trial Registration: NCT02485730.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13195-021-00863-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8314554PMC
July 2021

Brain correlates of urban environmental exposures in cognitively unimpaired individuals at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease: A study on Barcelona's population.

Alzheimers Dement (Amst) 2021 5;13(1):e12205. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC) Pasqual Maragall Foundation Barcelona Spain.

Introduction: Urban environmental exposures might contribute to the incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our aim was to identify structural brain imaging correlates of urban environmental exposures in cognitively unimpaired individuals at increased risk of AD.

Methods: Two hundred twelve participants with brain scans and residing in Barcelona, Spain, were included. Land use regression models were used to estimate residential exposure to air pollutants. The daily average noise level was obtained from noise maps. Residential green exposure indicators were also generated. A cerebral 3D-T1 was acquired to obtain information on brain morphology. Voxel-based morphometry statistical analyses were conducted to determine the areas of the brain in which regional gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volumes were associated with environmental exposures.

Results: Exposure to nitrogen dioxide was associated with lower GM volume in the precuneus and greater WM volume in the splenium of the corpus callosum and inferior longitudinal fasciculus. In contrast, exposure to fine particulate matter was associated with greater GM in cerebellum and WM in the splenium of corpus callosum, the superior longitudinal fasciculus, and cingulum cingulate gyrus. Noise was positively associated with WM volume in the body of the corpus callosum. Exposure to greenness was associated with greater GM volume in the middle frontal, precentral, and the temporal pole.

Discussion: In cognitively unimpaired adults with increased risk of AD, exposure to air pollution, noise, and green areas are associated with GM and WM volumes of specific brain areas known to be affected in AD, thus potentially conferring a higher vulnerability to the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12205DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8256622PMC
July 2021

Genetic Influences on Hippocampal Subfields: An Emerging Area of Neuroscience Research.

Neurol Genet 2021 Jun 21;7(3):e591. Epub 2021 May 21.

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC) (N.V.-T., J.M.G.-d-E., J.L.M., J.D.G., G.O.), Pasqual Maragall Foundation; Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) (N.V.-T., R.G.), the Barcelona Institute for Science and Technology, Spain; Department of Clinical Genetics (N.V.-T., T.E.E., H.H.A.), Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Universitat Pompeu Fabra (N.V.-T., J.M.G.--E., J.L.M., R.G., J.D.G.), Barcelona, Spain; Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine (H.H.A.), Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) (J.L.M., J.D.G., G.O.), Barcelona, Spain; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fragilidad y Envejecimiento Saludable (CIBERFES) (J.L.M., G.O.); and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Bioingeniería (J.D.G.), Biomateriales y Nanomedicina, Madrid, Spain.

There is clear evidence that hippocampal subfield volumes have partly distinct genetic determinants associated with specific biological processes. The identification of genetic correlates of hippocampal subfield volumes may help to elucidate the mechanisms of neurologic diseases, as well as aging and neurodegenerative processes. However, despite the emerging interest in this area of research, the current knowledge of the genetic architecture of hippocampal subfields has not yet been consolidated. We aimed to provide a review of the current evidence from genetic studies of hippocampal subfields, highlighting current priorities and upcoming challenges. The limited number of studies investigating the influential genetic effects on hippocampal subfields, a lack of replicated results and longitudinal designs, and modest sample sizes combined with insufficient standardization of protocols are identified as the most pressing challenges in this emerging area of research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXG.0000000000000591DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8192059PMC
June 2021

Genetic Predisposition to Alzheimer's Disease Is Associated with Enlargement of Perivascular Spaces in Centrum Semiovale Region.

Genes (Basel) 2021 May 27;12(6). Epub 2021 May 27.

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), Pasqual Maragall Foundation, 08005 Barcelona, Spain.

This study investigated whether genetic factors involved in Alzheimer's disease (AD) are associated with enlargement of Perivascular Spaces (ePVS) in the brain. A total of 680 participants with T2-weighted MRI scans and genetic information were acquired from the ALFA study. ePVS in the basal ganglia (BG) and the centrum semiovale (CS) were assessed based on a validated visual rating scale. We used univariate and multivariate logistic regression models to investigate associations between ePVS in BG and CS with -rs744373, as well as genotypes. We found a significant association of the -rs744373 polymorphism in the CS subscale ( value = 0.019; OR = 2.564), suggesting that G allele carriers have an increased risk of ePVS in comparison with A allele carriers. In stratified analysis by - status (carriers vs. non-carriers), these results remained significant only for ε4 carriers ( value = 0.011; OR = 1.429). To our knowledge, the present study is the first suggesting that genetic predisposition for AD is associated with ePVS in CS. These findings provide evidence that underlying biological processes affecting AD may influence CS-ePVS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/genes12060825DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8226614PMC
May 2021

Amyloid-β positive individuals with subjective cognitive decline present increased CSF neurofilament light levels that relate to lower hippocampal volume.

Neurobiol Aging 2021 Aug 6;104:24-31. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), Pasqual Maragall Foundation, Barcelona, Spain; Present address: H. Lundbeck A/S, Denmark. Electronic address:

Neurofilament light chain (NfL) is an axonal protein that when measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) serves as a biomarker of neurodegeneration. We aimed at investigating the association among CSF NfL, presence of Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) and hippocampal volume, and how CSF amyloid-β (Aβ) modifies these associations. We included 278 cognitively unimpaired participants from the Alfa+ cohort (78 SCD and 200 Controls). Linear models accounting for covariates (age, gender, and mood) were used to test the association between CSF NfL and SCD status, and between CSF NfL and bilateral hippocampal volumes. Interactions with Aβ were also explored. Individuals with SCD had higher CSF NfL and lower CSF Aβ42/40 than Controls. There was a significant interaction between SCD and CSF-Aβ42/40 levels. Stratified analyses showed a significant association between SCD and NfL only in Aβ+ individuals. Higher CSF NfL was significantly associated with lower hippocampal volume specifically in Aβ+ individuals with SCD. The presence of SCD in Aβ+ individuals may represent an early symptom in the Alzheimer's continuum related to incipient neurodegeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2021.02.026DOI Listing
August 2021

Management and Quality Control of Large Neuroimaging Datasets: Developments From the Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center.

Front Neurosci 2021 15;15:633438. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Barcelonabeta Brain Research Center, Barcelona, Spain.

Recent decades have witnessed an increasing number of large to very large imaging studies, prominently in the field of neurodegenerative diseases. The datasets collected during these studies form essential resources for the research aiming at new biomarkers. Collecting, hosting, managing, processing, or reviewing those datasets is typically achieved through a local neuroinformatics infrastructure. In particular for organizations with their own imaging equipment, setting up such a system is still a hard task, and relying on cloud-based solutions, albeit promising, is not always possible. This paper proposes a practical model guided by core principles including user involvement, lightweight footprint, modularity, reusability, and facilitated data sharing. This model is based on the experience from an 8-year-old research center managing cohort research programs on Alzheimer's disease. Such a model gave rise to an ecosystem of tools aiming at improved quality control through seamless automatic processes combined with a variety of code libraries, command line tools, graphical user interfaces, and instant messaging applets. The present ecosystem was shaped around XNAT and is composed of independently reusable modules that are freely available on GitLab/GitHub. This paradigm is scalable to the general community of researchers working with large neuroimaging datasets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.633438DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8081968PMC
April 2021

Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention versus Health Self-Management on Subclinical Anxiety in Older Adults with Subjective Cognitive Decline: The SCD-Well Randomized Superiority Trial.

Psychother Psychosom 2021 Apr 19:1-10. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, Department of Medicine and Department of Psychology, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Introduction: Older adults experiencing subjective cognitive decline (SCD) have a heightened risk of developing dementia and frequently experience subclinical anxiety, which is itself associated with dementia risk.

Objective: To understand whether subclinical anxiety symptoms in SCD can be reduced through behavioral interventions.

Methods: SCD-Well is a randomized controlled trial designed to determine whether an 8-week mindfulness-based intervention (caring mindfulness-based approach for seniors; CMBAS) is superior to a structurally matched health self-management program (HSMP) in reducing subclinical anxiety. Participants were recruited from memory clinics at 4 European sites. The primary outcome was change in anxiety symptoms (trait subscale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory; trait-STAI) from pre- to postintervention. Secondary outcomes included a change in state anxiety and depression symptoms postintervention and 6 months postrandomization (follow-up).

Results: One hundred forty-seven participants (mean [SD] age: 72.7 [6.9] years; 64.6% women; CMBAS, n = 73; HSMP, n = 74) were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. There was no difference in trait-STAI between groups postintervention (adjusted change difference: -1.25 points; 95% CI -4.76 to 2.25) or at follow-up (adjusted change difference: -0.43 points; 95% CI -2.92 to 2.07). Trait-STAI decreased postintervention in both groups (CMBAS: -3.43 points; 95% CI -5.27 to -1.59; HSMP: -2.29 points; 95% CI -4.14 to -0.44) and reductions were maintained at follow-up. No between-group differences were observed for change in state anxiety or depression symptoms.

Conclusions: A time-limited mindfulness intervention is not superior to health self-management in reducing subclinical anxiety symptoms in SCD. The sustained reduction observed across both groups suggests that subclinical anxiety symptoms in SCD are modifiable. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03005652.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000515669DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8089400PMC
April 2021

A multisite analysis of the concordance between visual image interpretation and quantitative analysis of [F]flutemetamol amyloid PET images.

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2021 07 12;48(7):2183-2199. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Center for Alzheimer Research, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: [F]flutemetamol PET scanning provides information on brain amyloid load and has been approved for routine clinical use based upon visual interpretation as either negative (equating to none or sparse amyloid plaques) or amyloid positive (equating to moderate or frequent plaques). Quantitation is however fundamental to the practice of nuclear medicine and hence can be used to supplement amyloid reading methodology especially in unclear cases.

Methods: A total of 2770 [F]flutemetamol images were collected from 3 clinical studies and 6 research cohorts with available visual reading of [F]flutemetamol and quantitative analysis of images. These were assessed further to examine both the discordance and concordance between visual and quantitative imaging primarily using thresholds robustly established using pathology as the standard of truth. Scans covered a wide range of cases (i.e. from cognitively unimpaired subjects to patients attending the memory clinics). Methods of quantifying amyloid ranged from using CE/510K cleared marked software (e.g. CortexID, Brass), to other research-based methods (e.g. PMOD, CapAIBL). Additionally, the clinical follow-up of two types of discordance between visual and quantitation (V+Q- and V-Q+) was examined with competing risk regression analysis to assess possible differences in prediction for progression to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other diagnoses (OD).

Results: Weighted mean concordance between visual and quantitation using the autopsy-derived threshold was 94% using pons as the reference region. Concordance from a sensitivity analysis which assessed the maximum agreement for each cohort using a range of cut-off values was also estimated at approximately 96% (weighted mean). Agreement was generally higher in clinical cases compared to research cases. V-Q+ discordant cases were 11% more likely to progress to AD than V+Q- for the SUVr with pons as reference region.

Conclusions: Quantitation of amyloid PET shows a high agreement vs binary visual reading and also allows for a continuous measure that, in conjunction with possible discordant analysis, could be used in the future to identify possible earlier pathological deposition as well as monitor disease progression and treatment effectiveness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00259-021-05311-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8175298PMC
July 2021

Prevention of cognitive decline in subjective cognitive decline APOE ε4 carriers after EGCG and a multimodal intervention (PENSA): Study design.

Alzheimers Dement (N Y) 2021 31;7(1):e12155. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Integrative Pharmacology and Systems Neurosciences Research Group, Neurosciences Research Program Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) Barcelona Spain.

Introduction: Subjects exhibiting subjective cognitive decline (SCD) are at an increased risk for mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Given the delay between risk exposure and disease onset, SCD individuals are increasingly considered a good target population for cost-effective lifestyle-based Alzheimer's disease prevention trials.

Methods: The PENSA study is a randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial that aims to evaluate the efficacy of a personalized multimodal intervention in lifestyle (diet counseling, physical activity, cognitive training, and social engagement) combined with the use of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) over 12 months, in slowing down cognitive decline and improving brain connectivity. The study population includes 200 individuals meeting SCD criteria and carrying the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele, who will be randomized into four treatment arms (multimodal intervention + EGCG/placebo, or lifestyle recommendations + EGCG/placebo). The primary efficacy outcome is change in the composite score for cognitive performance measured with the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study Preclinical Alzheimer Cognitive Composite (ADCS-PACC-like) adding to the original version the Interference score from the Stroop Color and Word Test and the Five Digit Test. Secondary efficacy outcomes are (1) change in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and structural neuronal connectivity (structural MRI) and (2) the safety assessment of the EGCG compound. This study is framed within the WW-FINGERS consortium.

Discussion: The use of new technologies (i.e., mobile ecological momentary assessments [EMAs], activity tracker) in the PENSA study allows the collection of continuous data on lifestyle behaviors (diet and physical activity) and mood, enabling a personalized design as well as an intensive follow-up of participants. These data will be used to give feedback to participants about their own performance along the intervention, promoting their involvement and adherence. The results of the study may aid researchers on the design of future clinical trials involving preventive lifestyle multicomponent interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/trc2.12155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8012239PMC
March 2021

Application of the ATN classification scheme in a population without dementia: Findings from the EPAD cohort.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 Jul 3;17(7):1189-1204. Epub 2021 Apr 3.

Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Amsterdam UMC Location VUmc, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam Neuroscience, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Background: We classified non-demented European Prevention of Alzheimer's Dementia (EPAD) participants through the amyloid/tau/neurodegeneration (ATN) scheme and assessed their neuropsychological and imaging profiles.

Materials And Methods: From 1500 EPAD participants, 312 were excluded. Cerebrospinal fluid cut-offs of 1000 pg/mL for amyloid beta (Aß)1-42 and 27 pg/mL for p-tau181 were validated using Gaussian mixture models. Given strong correlation of p-tau and t-tau (R  = 0.98, P < 0.001), neurodegeneration was defined by age-adjusted hippocampal volume. Multinomial regressions were used to test whether neuropsychological tests and regional brain volumes could distinguish ATN stages.

Results: Age was 65 ± 7 years, with 58% females and 38% apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 carriers; 57.1% were A-T-N-, 32.5% were in the Alzheimer's disease (AD) continuum, and 10.4% suspected non-Alzheimer's pathology. Age and cerebrovascular burden progressed with biomarker positivity (P < 0.001). Cognitive dysfunction appeared with T+. Paradoxically higher regional gray matter volumes were observed in A+T-N- compared to A-T-N- (P < 0.001).

Discussion: In non-demented individuals along the AD continuum, p-tau drives cognitive dysfunction. Memory and language domains are affected in the earliest stages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12292DOI Listing
July 2021

Accelerated long-term forgetting in individuals with subjective cognitive decline and amyloid-β positivity.

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2021 07 15;36(7):1037-1049. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Alzheimer's Disease and Other Cognitive Disorders Unit, Neurology Service, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain.

Objectives: We studied a sample of cognitively unimpaired individuals, with and without subjective cognitive decline (SCD), in order to investigate accelerated long-term forgetting (ALF) and to explore the relationships between objective and subjective cognitive performance and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers.

Methods: Fifty-two individuals were included and SCD was quantified through the Subjective Cognitive Decline Questionnaire (SCD-Q), using its validated cutoff to classify participants as Low SCD-Q (n = 21) or High SCD-Q (n = 31). These groups were further subdivided according to the presence or absence of abnormal levels of CSF Aβ . Objective cognitive performance was assessed with the Ancient Farming Equipment Test (AFE-T), a new highly-demanding test that calls for acquisition and retention of novel object/name pairs and allows measuring ALF over a 6-month period.

Results: The High SCD-Q group showed a significantly higher free forgetting rate at 3 months compared to the Low SCD-Q (F [1,44] = 4.72; p < 0.05). When stratifying by amyloid status, High SCD-Q/Aβ+ showed a significantly lower performance than High SCD-Q/Aβ-on the final free and cued learning scores (F [1,27] = 6.44, p < 0.05 and F [1,27] = 7.51, p < 0.05, respectively), the 1-week free and cued recall (F [1,24] = 4.49; p < 0.05 and F [1,24] = 7.10; p < 0.01, respectively), the 1-week cued forgetting rate (F [1,24] = 5.13; p < 0.05), and the 3-month cued recall (F [1,24] = 4.27; p < 0.05). Linear regression analyses showed that higher SCD-Q scores were associated with higher forgetting rates on the AFE-T (β = -0.212; p < 0.05).

Conclusions: It is possible to detect ALF in individuals with high SCD ratings, appearing especially in those with abnormal CSF Aβ levels. Both in research and the clinical field, there is an increasing need of using more demanding cognitive measures, such as the AFE-T, for identifying and tracking the earliest cognitive changes in these populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gps.5539DOI Listing
July 2021

The Alzheimer's Association international guidelines for handling of cerebrospinal fluid for routine clinical measurements of amyloid β and tau.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 Mar 31. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience & Physiology, the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden.

The core cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers amyloid beta (Aβ42 and Aβ40), total tau, and phosphorylated tau, have been extensively clinically validated, with very high diagnostic performance for AD, including the early phases of the disease. However, between-center differences in pre-analytical procedures may contribute to variability in measurements across laboratories. To resolve this issue, a workgroup was led by the Alzheimer's Association with experts from both academia and industry. The aim of the group was to develop a simplified and standardized pre-analytical protocol for CSF collection and handling before analysis for routine clinical use, and ultimately to ensure high diagnostic performance and minimize patient misclassification rates. Widespread application of the protocol would help minimize variability in measurements, which would facilitate the implementation of unified cut-off levels across laboratories, and foster the use of CSF biomarkers in AD diagnostics for the benefit of the patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12316DOI Listing
March 2021

Cerebral amyloid-β load is associated with neurodegeneration and gliosis: Mediation by p-tau and interactions with risk factors early in the Alzheimer's continuum.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 05 4;17(5):788-800. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), Pasqual Maragall Foundation, Barcelona, Spain.

Introduction: The association between cerebral amyloid-β accumulation and downstream CSF biomarkers is not fully understood, particularly in asymptomatic stages.

Methods: In 318 cognitively unimpaired participants, we assessed the association between amyloid-β PET (Centiloid), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of several pathophysiological pathways. Interactions by Alzheimer's disease risk factors (age, sex and APOE-ε4), and the mediation effect of tau and neurodegeneration were also investigated.

Results: Centiloids were positively associated with CSF biomarkers of tau pathology (p-tau), neurodegeneration (t-tau, NfL), synaptic dysfunction (neurogranin) and neuroinflammation (YKL-40, GFAP, sTREM2), presenting interactions with age (p-tau, t-tau, neurogranin) and sex (sTREM2, NfL). Most of these associations were mediated by p-tau, except for NfL. The interaction between sex and amyloid-β on sTREM2 and NfL was also tau-independent.

Discussion: Early amyloid-β accumulation has a tau-independent effect on neurodegeneration and a tau-dependent effect on neuroinflammation. Besides, sex has a modifier effect on these associations independent of tau.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12245DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8252618PMC
May 2021

Visual assessment of [F]flutemetamol PET images can detect early amyloid pathology and grade its extent.

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2021 07 22;48(7):2169-2182. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), Pasqual Maragall Foundation, Barcelona, Spain.

Purpose: To investigate the sensitivity of visual read (VR) to detect early amyloid pathology and the overall utility of regional VR.

Methods: [F]Flutemetamol PET images of 497 subjects (ALFA+ N = 352; ADC N = 145) were included. Scans were visually assessed according to product guidelines, recording the number of positive regions (0-5) and a final negative/positive classification. Scans were quantified using the standard and regional Centiloid (CL) method. The agreement between VR-based classification and published CL-based cut-offs for early (CL = 12) and established (CL = 30) pathology was determined. An optimal CL cut-off maximizing Youden's index was derived. Global and regional CL quantification was compared to VR. Finally, 28 post-mortem cases from the [F]flutemetamol phase III trial were included to assess the percentage agreement between VR and neuropathological classification of neuritic plaque density.

Results: VR showed excellent agreement against CL = 12 (κ = .89, 95.2%) and CL = 30 (κ = .88, 95.4%) cut-offs. ROC analysis resulted in an optimal CL = 17 cut-off against VR (sensitivity = 97.9%, specificity = 97.8%). Each additional positive VR region corresponded to a clear increase in global CL. Regional VR was also associated with regional CL quantification. Compared to mCERAD-based classification (i.e., any region mCERAD > 1.5), VR was in agreement in 89.3% of cases, with 13 true negatives, 12 true positives, and 3 false positives (FP). Regional sparse-to-moderate neuritic and substantial diffuse Aβ plaque was observed in all FP cases. Regional VR was also associated with regional plaque density.

Conclusion: VR is an appropriate method for assessing early amyloid pathology and that grading the extent of visual amyloid positivity could present clinical value.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00259-020-05174-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8175297PMC
July 2021

Subclinical Atherosclerosis and Brain Metabolism in Middle-Aged Individuals: The PESA Study.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2021 Feb;77(7):888-898

Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC), Madrid, Spain; Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Atherosclerosis has been linked to cognitive decline in late life; however, the impact of cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) and subclinical atherosclerosis on brain metabolism at earlier stages remains unexplored.

Objectives: This study sought to determine the association between brain metabolism, subclinical atherosclerosis, and CVRFs in middle-aged asymptomatic individuals.

Methods: This study included 547 asymptomatic middle-aged participants (50 ± 4 years, 82% men) from the PESA (Progression of Early Subclinical Atherosclerosis) study with evidence of subclinical atherosclerosis. Participants underwent F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography. Global brain FDG uptake and voxel-wise analyses were used to evaluate the associations of cerebral metabolism with CVRFs and atherosclerotic plaque burden in carotids and femorals assessed by 3-dimensional vascular ultrasound.

Results: Global FDG uptake showed an inverse correlation with 30-year Framingham Risk Score (FRS) (β = -0.15, p < 0.001). This association was mainly driven by the presence of hypertension (d = 0.36, p < 0.001). Carotid plaque burden was inversely associated with global brain FDG uptake (β = -0.16, p < 0.001), even after adjusting for 30-year FRS. Voxel-wise approaches revealed that the brain areas most strongly affected by hypometabolism in association with 30-year FRS, hypertension, and carotid plaque burden were parietotemporal regions (angular, supramarginal, and inferior/middle temporal gyri) and the cingulate gyrus.

Conclusions: In asymptomatic middle-aged individuals, cardiovascular risk is associated with brain hypometabolism, with hypertension being the modifiable CVRF showing the strongest association. Subclinical carotid plaque burden is also linked to reduced brain metabolism independently of CVRFs. Cerebral areas showing hypometabolism include those known to be affected in dementia. These data reinforce the need to control CVRFs early in life in order to potentially reduce the brain's midlife vulnerability to future cognitive dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2020.12.027DOI Listing
February 2021

Association of weight change with cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers and amyloid positron emission tomography in preclinical Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimers Res Ther 2021 02 17;13(1):46. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), Pasqual Maragall Foundation, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Recognizing clinical manifestations heralding the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related cognitive impairment could improve the identification of individuals at higher risk of AD who may benefit from potential prevention strategies targeting preclinical population. We aim to characterize the association of body weight change with cognitive changes and AD biomarkers in cognitively unimpaired middle-aged adults.

Methods: This prospective cohort study included data from cognitively unimpaired adults from the ALFA study (n = 2743), a research platform focused on preclinical AD. Cognitive and anthropometric data were collected at baseline between April 2013 and November 2014. Between October 2016 and February 2020, 450 participants were visited in the context of the nested ALFA+ study and underwent cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) extraction and acquisition of positron emission tomography images with [F]flutemetamol (FTM-PET). From these, 408 (90.1%) were included in the present study. We used data from two visits (average interval 4.1 years) to compute rates of change in weight and cognitive performance. We tested associations between these variables and between weight change and categorical and continuous measures of CSF and neuroimaging AD biomarkers obtained at follow-up. We classified participants with CSF data according to the AT (amyloid, tau) system and assessed between-group differences in weight change.

Results: Weight loss predicted a higher likelihood of positive FTM-PET visual read (OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.00-1.61, p = 0.049), abnormal CSF p-tau levels (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.19-1.89, p = 0.001), and an A+T+ profile (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.25-2.20, p = 0.001) and was greater among participants with an A+T+ profile (p < 0.01) at follow-up. Weight change was positively associated with CSF Aβ42/40 ratio (β = 0.099, p = 0.032) and negatively associated with CSF p-tau (β = - 0.141, p = 0.005), t-tau (β = - 0.147 p = 0.004) and neurogranin levels (β = - 0.158, p = 0.002). In stratified analyses, weight loss was significantly associated with higher t-tau, p-tau, neurofilament light, and neurogranin, as well as faster cognitive decline in A+ participants only.

Conclusions: Weight loss predicts AD CSF and PET biomarker results and may occur downstream to amyloid-β accumulation in preclinical AD, paralleling cognitive decline. Accordingly, it should be considered as an indicator of increased risk of AD-related cognitive impairment.

Trial Registration: NCT01835717 , NCT02485730 , NCT02685969 .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13195-021-00781-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7890889PMC
February 2021

Microglial Hyperreactivity Evolved to Immunosuppression in the Hippocampus of a Mouse Model of Accelerated Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Traits.

Front Aging Neurosci 2020 28;12:622360. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques de Barcelona (IIBB), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Barcelona, Spain.

Neuroinflammation is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). We sought to study the glial derangement in AD using diverse experimental models and human brain tissue. Besides classical pro-inflammatory cytokines, we analyzed chitinase 3 like 1 (CHI3L1 or YKL40) and triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) that are increasingly being associated with astrogliosis and microgliosis in AD, respectively. The SAMP8 mouse model of accelerated aging and AD traits showed elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines and activated microglia phenotype. Furthermore, 6-month-old SAMP8 showed an exacerbated inflammatory response to peripheral lipopolysaccharide in the hippocampus and null responsiveness at the advanced age (for this strain) of 12 months. Gene expression of was increased in the hippocampus of transgenic 5XFAD mice and in the cingulate cortex of autosomal dominant AD patients, and to a lesser extent in aged SAMP8 mice and sporadic early-onset AD patients. However, gene expression of was increased in mice but not in human AD brain samples. The results support the relevance of microglia activation in the pathways leading to neurodegeneration and suggest diverse neuroinflammatory responses according to the AD process. Therefore, the SAMP8 mouse model with marked alterations in the dynamics of microglia activation and senescence may provide a complementary approach to transgenic mouse models for the study of the neuroinflammatory mechanisms underlying AD risk and progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2020.622360DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875867PMC
January 2021

Pathophysiological subtypes of Alzheimer's disease based on cerebrospinal fluid proteomics.

Brain 2020 12;143(12):3776-3792

Alzheimer Center Amsterdam, Department of Neurology, Amsterdam Neuroscience, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC - Location VUmc, The Netherlands.

Alzheimer's disease is biologically heterogeneous, and detailed understanding of the processes involved in patients is critical for development of treatments. CSF contains hundreds of proteins, with concentrations reflecting ongoing (patho)physiological processes. This provides the opportunity to study many biological processes at the same time in patients. We studied whether Alzheimer's disease biological subtypes can be detected in CSF proteomics using the dual clustering technique non-negative matrix factorization. In two independent cohorts (EMIF-AD MBD and ADNI) we found that 705 (77% of 911 tested) proteins differed between Alzheimer's disease (defined as having abnormal amyloid, n = 425) and controls (defined as having normal CSF amyloid and tau and normal cognition, n = 127). Using these proteins for data-driven clustering, we identified three robust pathophysiological Alzheimer's disease subtypes within each cohort showing (i) hyperplasticity and increased BACE1 levels; (ii) innate immune activation; and (iii) blood-brain barrier dysfunction with low BACE1 levels. In both cohorts, the majority of individuals were labelled as having subtype 1 (80, 36% in EMIF-AD MBD; 117, 59% in ADNI), 71 (32%) in EMIF-AD MBD and 41 (21%) in ADNI were labelled as subtype 2, and 72 (32%) in EMIF-AD MBD and 39 (20%) individuals in ADNI were labelled as subtype 3. Genetic analyses showed that all subtypes had an excess of genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease (all P > 0.01). Additional pathological comparisons that were available for a subset in ADNI suggested that subtypes showed similar severity of Alzheimer's disease pathology, and did not differ in the frequencies of co-pathologies, providing further support that found subtypes truly reflect Alzheimer's disease heterogeneity. Compared to controls, all non-demented Alzheimer's disease individuals had increased risk of showing clinical progression (all P < 0.01). Compared to subtype 1, subtype 2 showed faster clinical progression after correcting for age, sex, level of education and tau levels (hazard ratio = 2.5; 95% confidence interval = 1.2, 5.1; P = 0.01), and subtype 3 at trend level (hazard ratio = 2.1; 95% confidence interval = 1.0, 4.4; P = 0.06). Together, these results demonstrate the value of CSF proteomics in studying the biological heterogeneity in Alzheimer's disease patients, and suggest that subtypes may require tailored therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa325DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7805814PMC
December 2020

Effects of COVID-19 Home Confinement on Mental Health in Individuals with Increased Risk of Alzheimer's Disease.

J Alzheimers Dis 2021 ;79(3):1015-1021

Integrative Pharmacology and Systems Neurosciences Research Group, Neurosciences Research Program, Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), Barcelona, Spain.

We explored the impact of the Spanish COVID-19 strict home confinement on mental health and cognition in non-infected subjects (N = 16, 60-80 years) diagnosed with subjective cognitive decline and APOEɛ3/ɛ4 carriers. Mental health was monitored for 2 months on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and compared to pre-confinement values. Emotional distress, anxiety, and depression scores increased to pathological threshold values during and after confinement. Those with lower mood during confinement experienced a decline in their mood after confinement. Cognition did not change. These preliminary results suggest that mental health consequences of corona measures in preclinical stages of Alzheimer's disease should be further evaluated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-201408DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7990405PMC
February 2021

Genome-wide association study of Alzheimer's disease CSF biomarkers in the EMIF-AD Multimodal Biomarker Discovery dataset.

Transl Psychiatry 2020 11 22;10(1):403. Epub 2020 Nov 22.

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder and the most common form of dementia in the elderly. Susceptibility to AD is considerably determined by genetic factors which hitherto were primarily identified using case-control designs. Elucidating the genetic architecture of additional AD-related phenotypic traits, ideally those linked to the underlying disease process, holds great promise in gaining deeper insights into the genetic basis of AD and in developing better clinical prediction models. To this end, we generated genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping data in 931 participants of the European Medical Information Framework Alzheimer's Disease Multimodal Biomarker Discovery (EMIF-AD MBD) sample to search for novel genetic determinants of AD biomarker variability. Specifically, we performed genome-wide association study (GWAS) analyses on 16 traits, including 14 measures derived from quantifications of five separate amyloid-beta (Aβ) and tau-protein species in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In addition to confirming the well-established effects of apolipoprotein E (APOE) on diagnostic outcome and phenotypes related to Aβ42, we detected novel potential signals in the zinc finger homeobox 3 (ZFHX3) for CSF-Aβ38 and CSF-Aβ40 levels, and confirmed the previously described sex-specific association between SNPs in geminin coiled-coil domain containing (GMNC) and CSF-tau. Utilizing the results from independent case-control AD GWAS to construct polygenic risk scores (PRS) revealed that AD risk variants only explain a small fraction of CSF biomarker variability. In conclusion, our study represents a detailed first account of GWAS analyses on CSF-Aβ and -tau-related traits in the EMIF-AD MBD dataset. In subsequent work, we will utilize the genomics data generated here in GWAS of other AD-relevant clinical outcomes ascertained in this unique dataset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-01074-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680793PMC
November 2020

Quantitative informant- and self-reports of subjective cognitive decline predict amyloid beta PET outcomes in cognitively unimpaired individuals independently of age and .

Alzheimers Dement (Amst) 2020 11;12(1):e12127. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC) Pasqual Maragall Foundation Barcelona Spain.

Introduction: Amyloid beta (Aβ) pathology is an Alzheimer's disease early hallmark. Here we assess the value of longitudinal self- and informant reports of cognitive decline to predict Aβ positron emission tomography (PET) outcome in cognitively unimpaired middle-aged individuals.

Methods: A total of 261 participants from the ALFA+ study underwent [F]flutemetamol PET and Subjective Cognitive Decline Questionnaire (SCD-Q) concurrently, and 3 years before scan. We used logistic regressions to evaluate the ability of SCD-Q scores (self and informant) to predict Aβ PET visual read, and repeated analysis of variance to assess whether changes in SCD-Q scores relate to Aβ status.

Results: Self-perception of decline in memory (odds ratio [OR] = 1.2), and informant perception of executive decline (OR = 1.6), increased the probability of a positive scan. Informant reports 3 years before scanning predicted Aβ PET outcome. Longitudinal increase of self-reported executive decline was predictive of Aβ in women ( = .003).

Discussion: Subjective reports of cognitive decline are useful to predict Aβ and may improve recruitment strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12127DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7656171PMC
November 2020

Cerebrospinal fluid total tau levels indicate aberrant neuronal plasticity in Alzheimer's disease.

medRxiv 2020 Nov 3. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterised by abnormal amyloid beta and tau processing. Previous studies reported that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) total tau (t-tau) levels vary between patients. Here we show that CSF t-tau variability is associated with distinct impairments in neuronal plasticity mediated by gene repression factors SUZ12 and REST. AD individuals with abnormal t-tau levels have increased CSF concentrations of plasticity proteins regulated by SUZ12 and REST. AD individuals with normal t-tau, on the contrary, have decreased concentrations of these plasticity proteins and increased concentrations in proteins associated with blood-brain and blood CSF-barrier dysfunction. Genomic analyses suggested that t-tau levels in part depend on genes involved in gene expression. The distinct plasticity abnormalities in AD as signaled by t-tau urge the need for personalised treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.10.29.20211920DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7654872PMC
November 2020

Novel tau biomarkers phosphorylated at T181, T217 or T231 rise in the initial stages of the preclinical Alzheimer's continuum when only subtle changes in Aβ pathology are detected.

EMBO Mol Med 2020 12 10;12(12):e12921. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), Pasqual Maragall Foundation, Barcelona, Spain.

In Alzheimer's disease (AD), tau phosphorylation in the brain and its subsequent release into cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood is a dynamic process that changes during disease evolution. The main aim of our study was to characterize the pattern of changes in phosphorylated tau (p-tau) in the preclinical stage of the Alzheimer's continuum. We measured three novel CSF p-tau biomarkers, phosphorylated at threonine-181 and threonine-217 with an N-terminal partner antibody and at threonine-231 with a mid-region partner antibody. These were compared with an automated mid-region p-tau181 assay (Elecsys) as the gold standard p-tau measure. We demonstrate that these novel p-tau biomarkers increase more prominently in preclinical Alzheimer, when only subtle changes of amyloid-β (Aβ) pathology are detected, and can accurately differentiate Aβ-positive from Aβ-negative cognitively unimpaired individuals. Moreover, we show that the novel plasma N-terminal p-tau181 biomarker is mildly but significantly increased in the preclinical stage. Our results support the idea that early changes in neuronal tau metabolism in preclinical Alzheimer, likely in response to Aβ exposure, can be detected with these novel p-tau assays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/emmm.202012921DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7721364PMC
December 2020

FLAME: A computerized neuropsychological composite for trials in early dementia.

Alzheimers Dement (Amst) 2020 14;12(1):e12098. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

St Lukes Campus The University of Exeter Medical School Exeter UK.

Introduction: Sensitive neuropsychological tests are needed to improve power for clinical trials in early Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Methods: To develop a neuropsychological composite (FLAME - Factors of Longitudinal Attention, Memory and Executive Function), we assessed, 10,714 participants over the age of 50 from PROTECT with validated computerized assessments for 2 years. A factorial analysis was completed to identify the key cognitive factors in all participants, and further analyses examined sensitivity to change in people with stage 2/3 early Alzheimer's disease (AD) according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) framework.

Results: The FLAME composite score (speed of attention, accuracy of attention, memory, and executive function) distinguished between normal cognition and stage 2/3 early AD at baseline, and was sensitive to cognitive and global/functional decline over 2 years, with the potential to improve power for clinical trials.

Discussion: FLAME is sensitive to change, providing a straightforward approach to reduce sample size for RCTs in early AD.

Conclusion: FLAME is a useful computerized neuropsychology composite with utility for clinical trials focusing on cognition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12098DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7560493PMC
October 2020

Nonlinear interaction between APOE ε4 allele load and age in the hippocampal surface of cognitively intact individuals.

Hum Brain Mapp 2021 01 5;42(1):47-64. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

BCN MedTech, Departament de Tecnologies de la Informació i les Comunicacions, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain.

The ε4 allele of the gene Apolipoprotein E is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease. APOE ε4 has been associated with changes in brain structure in cognitively impaired and unimpaired subjects, including atrophy of the hippocampus, which is one of the brain structures that is early affected by AD. In this work we analyzed the impact of APOE ε4 gene dose and its association with age, on hippocampal shape assessed with multivariate surface analysis, in a ε4-enriched cohort of n = 479 cognitively healthy individuals. Furthermore, we sought to replicate our findings on an independent dataset of n = 969 individuals covering the entire AD spectrum. We segmented the hippocampus of the subjects with a multi-atlas-based approach, obtaining high-dimensional meshes that can be analyzed in a multivariate way. We analyzed the effects of different factors including APOE, sex, and age (in both cohorts) as well as clinical diagnosis on the local 3D hippocampal surface changes. We found specific regions on the hippocampal surface where the effect is modulated by significant APOE ε4 linear and quadratic interactions with age. We compared between APOE and diagnosis effects from both cohorts, finding similarities between APOE ε4 and AD effects on specific regions, and suggesting that age may modulate the effect of APOE ε4 and AD in a similar way.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25202DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7721244PMC
January 2021

Drug repositioning and repurposing for Alzheimer disease.

Nat Rev Neurol 2020 Dec 16;16(12):661-673. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences and Morpho-functional Imaging, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.

Drug repositioning and repurposing can enhance traditional drug development efforts and could accelerate the identification of new treatments for individuals with Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia and mild cognitive impairment. Transcriptional profiling offers a new and highly efficient approach to the identification of novel candidates for repositioning and repurposing. In the future, novel AD transcriptional signatures from cells isolated at early stages of disease, or from human neurons or microglia that carry mutations that increase the risk of AD, might be used as probes to identify additional candidate drugs. Phase II trials assessing repurposed agents must consider the best target population for a specific candidate therapy as well as the mechanism of action of the treatment. In this Review, we highlight promising compounds to prioritize for clinical trials in individuals with AD, and discuss the value of Delphi consensus methodology and evidence-based reviews to inform this prioritization process. We also describe emerging work, focusing on the potential value of transcript signatures as a cost-effective approach to the identification of novel candidates for repositioning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41582-020-0397-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8291993PMC
December 2020

Projection to Latent Spaces Disentangles Pathological Effects on Brain Morphology in the Asymptomatic Phase of Alzheimer's Disease.

Front Neurol 2020 28;11:648. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

Image and Video Processing Unit, Department of Signal Theory and Communications, UPCBarcelona Tech, Barcelona, Spain.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) continuum is defined as a cascade of several neuropathological processes that can be measured using biomarkers, such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of Aβ, -tau, and -tau. In parallel, brain anatomy can be characterized through imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this work we relate both sets of measurements and seek associations between biomarkers and the brain structure that can be indicative of AD progression. The goal is to uncover underlying multivariate effects of AD pathology on regional brain morphological information. For this purpose, we used the projection to latent structures (PLS) method. Using PLS, we found a low dimensional latent space that best describes the covariance between both sets of measurements on the same subjects. Possible confounder effects (age and sex) on brain morphology are included in the model and regressed out using an orthogonal PLS model. We looked for statistically significant correlations between brain morphology and CSF biomarkers that explain part of the volumetric variance at each region-of-interest (ROI). Furthermore, we used a clustering technique to discover a small set of CSF-related patterns describing the AD continuum. We applied this technique to the study of subjects in the whole AD continuum, from the pre-clinical asymptomatic stages all the way through to the symptomatic groups. Subsequent analyses involved splitting the course of the disease into diagnostic categories: cognitively unimpaired subjects (CU), mild cognitively impaired subjects (MCI), and subjects with dementia (AD-dementia), where all symptoms were due to AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.00648DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7399334PMC
July 2020

Precision prevention of Alzheimer's and other dementias: Anticipating future needs in the control of risk factors and implementation of disease-modifying therapies.

Alzheimers Dement 2020 10 20;16(10):1457-1468. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Empirical evidence suggests that a fair proportion of dementia cases are preventable, that some preventive actions can be taken immediately, and others may soon be implemented. Primary prevention may target cognitively normal persons with modifiable risk factors through lifestyle and multiple domain interventions (including general cardiovascular health). While the effect on individuals may be modest, it might have a large societal impact by decreasing overall dementia incidence by up to 35%. Secondary prevention will target cognitively normal persons at high risk of dementia due to Alzheimer's disease pathology with future anti-amyloid, anti-tau, or other drugs. This approach is likely to have major benefits to both individuals and society. Memory clinics will need structural and functional changes to adapt to novel technologies and increased patients' demands, and brand-new services may need to be developed with specific skills on risk profiling, risk communication, and personalized risk reduction plans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12132DOI Listing
October 2020

Effect of BDNF Val66Met on hippocampal subfields volumes and compensatory interaction with APOE-ε4 in middle-age cognitively unimpaired individuals from the ALFA study.

Brain Struct Funct 2020 Nov 17;225(8):2331-2345. Epub 2020 Aug 17.

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), Pasqual Maragall Foundation, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Current evidence supports the involvement of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism, and the ε4 allele of APOE gene in hippocampal-dependent functions. Previous studies on the association of Val66Met with whole hippocampal volume included patients of a variety of disorders. However, it remains to be elucidated whether there is an impact of BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on the volumes of the hippocampal subfield volumes (HSv) in cognitively unimpaired (CU) individuals, and the interactive effect with the APOE-ε4 status.

Methods: BDNF Val66Met and APOE genotypes were determined in a sample of 430 CU late/middle-aged participants from the ALFA study (ALzheimer and FAmilies). Participants underwent a brain 3D-T1-weighted MRI scan, and volumes of the HSv were determined using Freesurfer (v6.0). The effects of the BDNF Val66Met genotype on the HSv were assessed using general linear models corrected by age, gender, education, number of APOE-ε4 alleles and total intracranial volume. We also investigated whether the association between APOE-ε4 allele and HSv were modified by BDNF Val66Met genotypes.

Results: BDNF Val66Met carriers showed larger bilateral volumes of the subiculum subfield. In addition, HSv reductions associated with APOE-ε4 allele were significantly moderated by BDNF Val66Met status. BDNF Met carriers who were also APOE-ε4 homozygous showed patterns of higher HSv than BDNF Val carriers.

Conclusion: To our knowledge, the present study is the first to show that carrying the BDNF Val66Met polymorphisms partially compensates the decreased on HSv associated with APOE-ε4 in middle-age cognitively unimpaired individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00429-020-02125-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7544723PMC
November 2020

The relation between APOE genotype and cerebral microbleeds in cognitively unimpaired middle- and old-aged individuals.

Neurobiol Aging 2020 11 29;95:104-114. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Amsterdam Neuroscience, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Institutes of Neurology and Healthcare Engineering, UCL, London, UK.

Positive associations between cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) and APOE-ε4 (apolipoprotein E) genotype have been reported in Alzheimer's disease, but show conflicting results. We investigated the effect of APOE genotype on CMBs in a cohort of cognitively unimpaired middle- and old-aged individuals enriched for APOE-ε4 genotype. Participants from ALFA (Alzheimer and Families) cohort were included and their magnetic resonance scans assessed (n = 564, 50% APOE-ε4 carriers). Quantitative magnetic resonance analyses included visual ratings, atrophy measures, and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) segmentations. The prevalence of CMBs was 17%, increased with age (p < 0.05), and followed an increasing trend paralleling APOE-ε4 dose. The number of CMBs was significantly higher in APOE-ε4 homozygotes compared to heterozygotes and non-carriers (p < 0.05). This association was driven by lobar CMBs (p < 0.05). CMBs co-localized with WMH (p < 0.05). No associations between CMBs and APOE-ε2, gray matter volumes, and cognitive performance were found. Our results suggest that cerebral vessels of APOE-ε4 homozygous are more fragile, especially in lobar locations. Co-occurrence of CMBs and WMH suggests that such changes localize in areas with increased vascular vulnerability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2020.06.015DOI Listing
November 2020
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