Plasma Aβ42 and Aβ40 as markers of cognitive change in follow-up: a prospective, longitudinal, population-based cohort study

T T Seppälä
October 2010
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry;Oct2010, Vol. 81 Issue 10, p1123
Academic Journal
BACKGROUND: Single measurements of plasma Aβ are not useful in the diagnostics of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, changes in plasma Aβ levels during repeated testing may be helpful in the prediction and evaluation of progression of the incipient AD or mild cognitive impairment. OBJECTIVE: To examine the relation of baseline and serial plasma Aβ levels to cognitive change in follow-up. METHODS: 269 subjects (52 cognitively impaired and 217 controls) from a population-based cohort were clinically followed up from 3 to 6 years. Serial plasma samples were available from 70 subjects who were followed up for 3 years and 43 subjects followed for 6 years. The plasma Aβ levels were measured using ELISA. RESULTS: Subjects who declined cognitively during the follow-up had lower levels of plasma Aβ42 at the baseline. Plasma Aβ42 and the Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio decreased (–2.4 pg/ml for Aβ42 in 6 years) in those who declined in follow-up, whereas Aβ42 and the Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio increased in the subjects who remained cognitively stable or improved in follow-up. Subjects using acetylsalicylic acid, dipyridamole, antidiabetic or anticoagulant drugs as well as subjects with coronary heart disease had higher levels of Aβ40. CONCLUSIONS: Low or decreasing plasma Aβ42 during the follow-up is associated with cognitive decline. Serial measurement of plasma Aβ42 may be useful in the detection of the subjects who are at risk for cognitive decline.


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