Publications & Posters

Association of plasma Aβ40/Aβ42 ratio and brain Aβ accumulation: testing a whole-brain PLS-VIP in individuals at risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Neurobiology of Aging | July 14 , 2021

Lemercier P, Vergallo A, Lista S, Zetterberg H, Blennow K, Potier M-C, Habert M-O, Lejeune F-X, Dubois B, Teipel S and Hampel H

Neurobiology of Aging. 2021



Molecular and brain regional/network-wise pathophysiological changes at preclinical stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have primarily been found through knowledge-based studies conducted in late-stage mild cognitive impairment/dementia populations. However, such an approach may compromise the objective of identifying the earliest spatial-temporal pathophysiological processes.

We investigated 261 individuals with subjective memory complaints, a condition at increased risk of AD, to test a whole-brain, non-a-priori method based on partial least squares, in unraveling the association between plasma Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio and an extensive set of brain regions characterized through molecular imaging of Aβ accumulation and cortical metabolism. Significant associations were mapped onto large-scale networks, identified through an atlas and by knowledge, to elaborate on the reliability of the results.

Plasma Aβ42/40 ratio was associated with Aβ-PET uptake (but not FDG-PET) in regions generally investigated in preclinical AD such as those belonging to the default mode network, but also in regions/networks normally not accounted – including the central executive and salience networks – which likely have a selective vulnerability to incipient Aβ accumulation.

The present whole-brain approach is promising to investigate early pathophysiological changes of AD to fully capture the complexity of the disease, which is essential to develop timely screening, detection, diagnostic, and therapeutic interventions.