It is essential to detect and then treat factors that aggravate Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we sought to determine whether or not continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for sleep apnoea syndrome (SAS) slows the rate of cognitive decline in mild-to-moderate AD patients.
Large-scale longitudinal neuroimaging studies with diffusion imaging techniques are necessary to test and validate models of white matter neurophysiological processes that change in time, both in healthy and diseased brains. The predictive power of such longitudinal models will always be limited by the reproducibility of repeated measures acquired during different sessions. At present, there is limited quantitative knowledge about the across-session reproducibility of standard diffusion metrics in 3T multi-centric studies on subjects in stable conditions, in particular when using tract based spatial statistics and with elderly people. In this study we implemented a multi-site brain diffusion protocol in 10 clinical 3T MRI sites distributed across 4 countries in Europe (Italy, Germany, France and Greece) using vendor provided sequences from Siemens (Allegra, Trio Tim, Verio, Skyra, Biograph mMR), Philips (Achieva) and GE (HDxt) scanners. We acquired DTI data (2 × 2 × 2 mm(3), b = 700 s/mm(2), 5 b0 and 30 diffusion weighted volumes) of a group of healthy stable elderly subjects (5 subjects per site) in two separate sessions at least a week apart. For each subject and session four scalar diffusion metrics were considered: fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD) and axial (AD) diffusivity. The diffusion metrics from multiple subjects and sessions at each site were aligned to their common white matter skeleton using tract-based spatial statistics. The reproducibility at each MRI site was examined by looking at group averages of absolute changes relative to the mean (%) on various parameters: i) reproducibility of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the b0 images in centrum semiovale, ii) full brain test-retest differences of the diffusion metric maps on the white matter skeleton, iii) reproducibility of the diffusion metrics on atlas-based white matter ROIs on the white matter skeleton. Despite the differences of MRI scanner configurations across sites (vendors, models, RF coils and acquisition sequences) we found good and consistent test-retest reproducibility. White matter b0 SNR reproducibility was on average 7 ± 1% with no significant MRI site effects. Whole brain analysis resulted in no significant test-retest differences at any of the sites with any of the DTI metrics. The atlas-based ROI analysis showed that the mean reproducibility errors largely remained in the 2-4% range for FA and AD and 2-6% for MD and RD, averaged across ROIs. Our results show reproducibility values comparable to those reported in studies using a smaller number of MRI scanners, slightly different DTI protocols and mostly younger populations. We therefore show that the acquisition and analysis protocols used are appropriate for multi-site experimental scenarios.
The objective of this work was to improve the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimers disease (AD) by proposing a simple decision tree based on three major biomarkers of AD found in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF): amyloid peptide A?1- 42, total Tau (t-Tau) and Tau phosphorylated at Thr181 (p-Tau). Two consecutive cohorts comprising 548 patients in total were recruited by the Memory and Neurology Clinics at Lille University Hospital (France). These included 293 patients with AD, 171 patients with other dementias and 84 healthy controls. All patients underwent lumbar puncture for the assessment of CSF concentrations of A?1-42, t-Tau and p-Tau. International criteria for dementias were used for diagnosis by investigators blind to CSF test results. To identify the combination of biomarkers that best predicted the 3 diagnoses, we used the CHAID decision tree method with the first cohort. Our analysis yielded a two-step decision tree, with a first stratification step based on the A?1-42/p-Tau ratio of the CSF, and a second step based on CSF p-Tau concentrations. The second cohort was then used to determine the power (0.618), sensitivity (82%) and specificity (81%) of this tree in AD diagnosis. These were found to be at least as high as those of other known algorithms based on the three CSF biomarkers, A?1-42, t-Tau and p-Tau.For the first time, diagnostic rules for AD based on CSF variables were compared in a single study. Our findings indicate that the measurement of A?1-42 and p-Tau levels in the CSF is sufficient to diagnose AD.
Increasing age is the most important risk factor for developing Alzheimers disease (AD). The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between age and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of ?-amyloid (A? 1-42), total Tau and phosphorylated Tau (pTau-181), in AD and non-AD patients explored for cognitive disorders. 966 patients (AD, n=528; non-AD, n=438) were included between January 2008 and December 2010 (mean age, 69.5years; mean MMSE, 20.2) from three French memory centers. Multivariable linear regression models were used to study the relationship between CSF biomarker levels and age in AD and non-AD patients. The capacity of each CSF biomarker in discriminating patients was evaluated using the area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves by quartile of distribution of age. In AD patients, older age was associated with higher CSF A? 1-42 and lower Tau levels. Conversely, in non-AD patients, age was associated with lower CSF A? 1-42, higher Tau, and higher pTau-181 levels. In sex-stratified analysis, these relationships were significant only in women. Using ROC curve analysis, CSF AD biomarkers were more discriminant in younger patients than in older ones. In this clinically-based study, younger patients with AD had exacerbated CSF anomalies compared to older patients with AD. CSF biomarkers were more discriminant in younger patients than in older ones for the diagnosis of AD, especially in women. These results support the idea of an overlap in AD neuropathological lesions in oldest subjects with or without AD.
Studying rare extreme forms of Alzheimer disease (AD) may prove to be a useful strategy in identifying new genes involved in monogenic determinism of AD. Amyloid precursor protein (APP), PSEN1, and PSEN2 mutations account for only 85% of autosomal dominant early-onset AD (ADEOAD) families. We hypothesised that rare copy number variants (CNVs) could be involved in ADEOAD families without mutations in known genes, as well as in rare sporadic young-onset AD cases. Using high-resolution array comparative genomic hybridisation, we assessed the presence of rare CNVs in 21 unrelated ADEOAD cases, having no alteration on known genes, and 12 sporadic AD cases, with an age of onset younger than 55 years. The analysis revealed the presence of 7 singleton CNVs (4 in ADEOAD and 3 in sporadic cases) absent in 1078 controls and 912 late-onset AD cases. Strikingly, 4 out of 7 rearrangements target genes (KLK6, SLC30A3, MEOX2, and FPR2) encoding proteins that are tightly related to amyloid-? peptide metabolism or signalling. Although these variants are individually rare and restricted to particular subgroups of patients, these findings support the causal role, in human pathology, of a set of genes coding for molecules suspected for a long time to modify A? metabolism or signalling, and for which animal or cellular models have already been developed.
Alzheimers disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by neuropathological lesions: amyloid deposits and neurofibrillary degeneration. However, the links between these two brain hallmarks are still poorly understood. Until now, mainly amyloid pathology has been targeted un many clinical trials without any success. Both new therapeutic strategies and diagnosis improvement are needed.
Memory impairment caused by bilateral hippocampal primitive brain tumor is rarely reported. Clinical and MRI features can mimic paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis (PLE), and the differential diagnosis between these 2 entities may be difficult.
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