ABSTRACT: The global prevalence of dementia is estimated to be as high as 24 million, and is predicted to double every 20 years through to 2040, leading to a costly burden of disease. Alzheimer disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia and is characterized by a progressive decline in cognitive function, which typically begins with deterioration in memory. Before death, individuals with this disorder have usually become dependent on caregivers. The neuropathological hallmarks of the AD brain are diffuse and neuritic extracellular amyloid plaques-which are frequently surrounded by dystrophic neurites-and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles. These hallmark pathologies are often accompanied by the presence of reactive microgliosis and the loss of neurons, white matter and synapses. The etiological mechanisms underlying the neuropathological changes in AD remain unclear, but are probably affected by both environmental and genetic factors. Here, we provide an overview of the criteria used in the diagnosis of AD, highlighting how this disease is related to, but distinct from, normal aging. We also summarize current information relating to AD prevalence, incidence and risk factors, and review the biomarkers that may be used for risk assessment and in diagnosis.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly, which is characterized by progressive cognitive impairment. Neuritic plaques, neurofibrillary tangles and neuronal loss are the major neuropathological hallmarks in AD brains. TMP21 is a key molecule for protein trafficking in cells. Growing evidence indicates that TMP21 is dysregulated in AD, which plays a pivotal role in neuritic plaque formation. Therefore, we aim to review the dysregulation of TMP21 in AD, the role of TMP21 in neuritic plaque formation and underlying mechanisms. Moreover, the potential role of TMP21 in neurofibrillary tangle formation, synaptic impairment and neuronal loss is discussed. It will provide an outlook into the potential of regulating TMP21 as a therapeutic approach for AD treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:We developed multifactorial models for predicting incident dementia and brain pathology in the oldest old using the Vantaa 85+ cohort. METHODS:We included participants without dementia at baseline and at least 2 years of follow-up (N?=?245) for dementia prediction or with autopsy data (N?=?163) for pathology. A supervised machine learning method was used for model development, considering sociodemographic, cognitive, clinical, vascular, and lifestyle factors, as well as APOE genotype. Neuropathological assessments included ?-amyloid, neurofibrillary tangles and neuritic plaques, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), macro- and microscopic infarcts, ?-synuclein pathology, hippocampal sclerosis, and TDP-43. RESULTS:Prediction model performance was evaluated using AUC for 10?×?10-fold cross-validation. Overall AUCs were 0.73 for dementia, 0.64-0.68 for Alzheimer's disease (AD)- or amyloid-related pathologies, 0.72 for macroinfarcts, and 0.61 for microinfarcts. Predictors for dementia were different from those in previous reports of younger populations; for example, age, sex, and vascular and lifestyle factors were not predictive. Predictors for dementia versus pathology were also different, because cognition and education predicted dementia but not AD- or amyloid-related pathologies. APOE genotype was most consistently present across all models. APOE alleles had a different impact: ?4 did not predict dementia, but it did predict all AD- or amyloid-related pathologies; ?2 predicted dementia, but it was protective against amyloid and neuropathological AD; and ?3?3 was protective against dementia, neurofibrillary tangles, and CAA. Very few other factors were predictive of pathology. CONCLUSIONS:Differences between predictors for dementia in younger old versus oldest old populations, as well as for dementia versus pathology, should be considered more carefully in future studies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Clinicopathological studies are important in determining the brain lesions underlying dementia. Although almost 60% of individuals with dementia live in developing countries, few clinicopathological studies focus on these individuals. We investigated the frequency of neurodegenerative and vascular-related neuropathological lesions in 1,092 Brazilian admixed older adults, their correlation with cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms, and the accuracy of dementia subtype diagnosis. METHODS AND FINDINGS:In this cross-sectional study, we describe clinical and neuropathological variables related to cognitive impairment in 1,092 participants (mean age = 74 y, 49% male, 69% white, and mean education = 4 y). Cognitive function was investigated using the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) and the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE); neuropsychiatric symptoms were evaluated using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Associations between neuropathological lesions and cognitive impairment were investigated using ordinal logistic regression. We developed a neuropathological comorbidity (NPC) score and compared it to CDR, IQCODE, and NPI scores. We also described and compared the frequency of neuropathological diagnosis to clinical diagnosis of dementia subtype. Forty-four percent of the sample met criteria for neuropathological diagnosis. Among these participants, 50% had neuropathological diagnoses of Alzheimer disease (AD), and 35% of vascular dementia (VaD). Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), hippocampal sclerosis, lacunar infarcts, hyaline atherosclerosis, siderocalcinosis, and Lewy body disease were independently associated with cognitive impairment. Higher NPC scores were associated with worse scores in the CDR sum of boxes (? = 1.33, 95% CI 1.20-1.46), IQCODE (? = 0.14, 95% CI 0.13-0.16), and NPI (? = 1.74, 95% CI = 1.33-2.16). Compared to neuropathological diagnoses, clinical diagnosis had high sensitivity to AD and high specificity to dementia with Lewy body/Parkinson dementia. The major limitation of our study is the lack of clinical follow-up of participants during life. CONCLUSIONS:NFT deposition, vascular lesions, and high NPC scorewere associated with cognitive impairment in a unique Brazilian sample with low education. Our results confirm the high prevalence of neuropathological diagnosis in older adults and the mismatch between clinical and neuropathological diagnoses.
Project description:Previous studies in dementia epidemiology have reported higher Alzheimer's disease rates in African-Americans when compared with White Americans. To determine whether genetically determined African ancestry is associated with neuropathological changes commonly associated with dementia, we analyzed a population-based brain bank in the highly admixed city of São Paulo, Brazil. African ancestry was estimated through the use of previously described ancestry-informative markers. Risk of presence of neuritic plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, small vessel disease, brain infarcts and Lewy bodies in subjects with significant African ancestry versus those without was determined. Results were adjusted for multiple environmental risk factors, demographic variables and apolipoprotein E genotype. African ancestry was inversely correlated with neuritic plaques (P=0.03). Subjects with significant African ancestry (n=112, 55.4%) showed lower prevalence of neuritic plaques in the univariate analysis (odds ratio (OR) 0.72, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.55-0.95, P=0.01) and when adjusted for age, sex, APOE genotype and environmental risk factors (OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.21-0.89, P=0.02). There were no significant differences for the presence of other neuropathological alterations. We show for the first time, using genetically determined ancestry, that African ancestry may be highly protective of Alzheimer's disease neuropathology, functioning through either genetic variants or unknown environmental factors. Epidemiological studies correlating African-American race/ethnicity with increased Alzheimer's disease rates should not be interpreted as surrogates of genetic ancestry or considered to represent African-derived populations from the developing nations such as Brazil.
Project description:To test the hypothesis that Alzheimer disease (AD) is a clinical and pathologic continuum between normal aging and end-stage dementia, we selected a convenience sample of subjects from the National Alzheimer Coordinating Center 2005 to 2012 autopsy cohort (n = 2,083) with the last clinical evaluation within 2 years before autopsy and no other primary neuropathologic diagnosis. Demographic and neuropathologic characteristics were correlated with the Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes in the 835 subjects meeting these criteria. Both neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles independently predicted Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes. Severe small-vessel disease, severe amyloid angiopathy, and hippocampal sclerosis were also independently associated with the degree of cognitive impairment. By contrast, education was a strong independent protective factor against cognitive deficits. The cause of mild to moderate dementia remained uncertain in 14% of the patients. Inverse probability weighting suggests the generalizability of these results to nonautopsied cohorts. These data indicate that plaques and tangles independently contribute to cognitive impairment, that concurrent vascular disease strongly correlates with cognitive dysfunction even in a sample selected to represent the AD pathologic continuum, and that education further modifies clinical expression. Thus, multiple concomitant etiologies of brain damage and premorbid characteristics contribute to the uncertainty of AD clinicopathologic correlations based only on tangles and plaques.
Project description:We report the clinical, neuroimaging, and neuropathologic characteristics of 2 patients who developed early onset dementia after a moderate-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Neuropathological evaluation revealed abundant ?-amyloid neuritic and cored plaques, diffuse ?-amyloid plaques, and frequent hyperphosphorylated-tau neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) involving much of the cortex, including insula and mammillary bodies in both cases. Case 1 additionally showed NFTs in both the superficial and deep cortical layers, occasional perivascular and depth-of-sulci NFTs, and parietal white matter rarefaction, which corresponded with decreased parietal fiber tracts observed on ex vivo MRI. Case 2 additionally showed NFT predominance in the superficial layers of the cortex, hypothalamus and brainstem, diffuse Lewy bodies in the cortex, amygdala and brainstem, and intraneuronal TDP-43 inclusions. The neuropathologic diagnoses were atypical Alzheimer disease (AD) with features of chronic traumatic encephalopathy and white matter loss (Case 1), and atypical AD, dementia with Lewy bodies and coexistent TDP-43 pathology (Case 2). These findings support an epidemiological association between TBI and dementia and further characterize the variety of misfolded proteins that may accumulate after TBI. Analyses with comprehensive clinical, imaging, genetic, and neuropathological data are required to characterize the full clinicopathological spectrum associated with dementias occurring after moderate-severe TBI.
Project description:The 2012 neuropathological criteria for the diagnosis of Alzheimer disease (AD) summarize the extent of AD neuropathological change with an ABC score, which is a composite of the Thal stage of amyloid deposition (A), the Braak stage of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) (B), and the CERAD neuritic plaque score (C). NFTs and neuritic plaques are well-established contributors to cognitive impairment, but whether the Thal amyloid stage independently predicts antemortem cognition remains unknown. We used the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center autopsy data set to build adjacent-categories logit regression models with CDR-SOB and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores as cognitive outcome variables. Increasing CERAD scores were independently associated with higher CDR-SOB scores, whereas increasing Braak NFT stages predicted both higher CDR-SOB and lower MMSE scores. Increasing Thal amyloid stages were not significantly independently associated with either outcome measure. Increasing ABC scores predicted higher CDR-SOB and lower MMSE scores. These results raise the possibility that Thal amyloid stages do not substantially contribute to predicting antemortem cognition compared to CERAD neuritic plaque scores and Braak NFT stages, and suggest that the diffuse amyloid deposits participating in the assignment of Thal amyloid stages are neutral with respect to clinically detectable cognitive and functional changes.
Project description:The neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD), i.e., neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, consist of beta amyloid peptides (A?) and hyperphosphorylated Tau. These are accompanied by reactive microglia and astrocytes in the vicinity of the neuritic plaques and by changes to the peripheral immune system, e.g., an increase of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1?, IL-6, and TNF-? in the peripheral blood. To address a potential involvement of peripheral T helper cell (Th) subsets in AD, we conducted a case control study with 54 individuals with AD dementia (n?=?14), with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to AD (MCIAD, n?=?14), with MCI unlikely due to AD (MCIother, n?=?13), and controls without cognitive impairment (controls, n?=?13). The proportions of CD3+CD8-IL-17A+IFN?- Th17?cells, CD3+CD8-IL-17A-IFN?+ Th1?cells, and CD4+CD127lowCD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) were assessed by flow cytometry. In addition, the correlations of the proportions of Th subsets to cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers were studied. CD3+CD8-IL-17A+IFN?- Th17?cells were significantly increased in subjects with MCIAD compared to age- and sex-matched subjects with MCIother and controls (MCIAD mean?=?1.13, SD?=?0.77; MCIother mean?=?0.58, SD?=?0.28; and controls mean?=?0.52, SD?=?0.22; p?=?0.008). The proportion of CD4+CD127lowCD25+ Tregs was not altered between the different groups, but it significantly positively related with the levels of total Tau and pTau181 (rTreg|totalTau?=?0.43, p?=?0.021, n?=?28; rTreg|pTau181?=?0.46; p?=?0.024, n?=?28) in subjects with AD but not in nonAD controls (rTreg|totalTau?=?-0.51, p?=?0.007, n?=?26). The increase of circulating CD3+CD8-IL-17A+IFN?- Th17?cells in the early stages of AD and the association of CD4+CD127lowCD25+ Tregs with neurodegeneration marker Tau may indicate that the adaptive immune system relates to neuropathological changes in AD.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, characterized by progressive cognitive impairment and neurodegeneration. However, despite extensive clinical and genomic studies, the molecular basis of AD development and progression remains elusive.To elucidate molecular systems associated with AD, we developed a large scale gene expression dataset from 1053 postmortem brain samples across 19 cortical regions of 125 individuals with a severity spectrum of dementia and neuropathology of AD. We excluded brain specimens that evidenced neuropathology other than that characteristic of AD. For the first time, we performed a pan-cortical brain region genomic analysis, characterizing the gene expression changes associated with a measure of dementia severity and multiple measures of the severity of neuropathological lesions associated with AD (neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles) and constructing region-specific co-expression networks. We rank-ordered 44,692 gene probesets, 1558 co-expressed gene modules and 19 brain regions based upon their association with the disease traits.The neurobiological pathways identified through these analyses included actin cytoskeleton, axon guidance, and nervous system development. Using public human brain single-cell RNA-sequencing data, we computed brain cell type-specific marker genes for human and determined that many of the abnormally expressed gene signatures and network modules were specific to oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and neurons. Analysis based on disease severity suggested that: many of the gene expression changes, including those of oligodendrocytes, occurred early in the progression of disease, making them potential translational/treatment development targets and unlikely to be mere bystander result of degeneration; several modules were closely linked to cognitive compromise with lesser association with traditional measures of neuropathology. The brain regional analyses identified temporal lobe gyri as sites associated with the greatest and earliest gene expression abnormalities.This transcriptomic network analysis of 19 brain regions provides a comprehensive assessment of the critical molecular pathways associated with AD pathology and offers new insights into molecular mechanisms underlying selective regional vulnerability to AD at different stages of the progression of cognitive compromise and development of the canonical neuropathological lesions of AD.
Project description:We studied Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology in the precuneus and surrounding brain areas. Anatomically, the precuneus corresponds to the medial portion of human cerebral cortical Brodmann Area 7. This study utilized patients from the University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center autopsy cohort. Data from 47 brains were used comprising patients of differing antemortem cognitive impairment severities, each with longitudinal clinical data and extensive neuropathological data. We assessed whether the precuneus and surrounding areas are differentially vulnerable to AD-type pathological lesions (diffuse amyloid plaques, neuritic amyloid plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles). Eleven areas of brain were evaluated for each case: amygdala, hippocampal CA1, subiculum, entorhinal cortex, frontal cortex, superior and middle temporal gyri, inferior parietal lobule, occipital cortex, posterior cingulate gyrus, Brodmann Area 31, and the precuneus proper. Like other areas of neocortex, the precuneus demonstrated increased diffuse and neuritic amyloid plaques early in the evolution in AD, and increased neurofibrillary tangles late in AD. Correcting for the antemortem cognitive status of the patients, there was no evidence of an increase in the density of AD-type pathology in the precuneus or neighboring areas relative to other areas of cerebral neocortex. Our results are not consistent with the idea that the precuneus is involved in a special way with plaques or tangles relative to other areas of neocortex.