• Open Access

Amyloid-β associated cortical thinning in clinically normal elderly

Authors

  • J. Alex Becker PhD,

    1. Departments of Radiology, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
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  • Trey Hedden PhD,

    1. Departments of Radiology, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    2. Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
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  • Jeremy Carmasin BA,

    1. Departments of Radiology, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
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  • Jacqueline Maye BS,

    1. Departments of Radiology, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
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  • Dorene M. Rentz PsyD,

    1. Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    2. Neurology, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
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  • Deepti Putcha BA,

    1. Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
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  • Bruce Fischl PhD,

    1. Departments of Radiology, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    2. Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    3. Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Health Science and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
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  • Douglas N. Greve PhD,

    1. Departments of Radiology, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    2. Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
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  • Gad A. Marshall MD,

    1. Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    2. Neurology, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
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  • Stephen Salloway MD,

    1. Department of Neurology, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI
    2. Memory and Aging Program, Butler Hospital, Providence, RI
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  • Donald Marks MD,

    1. Tufts School of Medicine, Boston, MA
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  • Randy L. Buckner PhD,

    1. Departments of Radiology, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    2. Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    3. Department of Psychology and Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
    4. Psychiatry, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    5. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Cambridge, MA
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  • Reisa A. Sperling MD,

    1. Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    2. Neurology, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
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  • Keith A. Johnson MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Radiology, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    2. Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    3. Neurology, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    • Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Bartlett 507, 33 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114
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Abstract

Objective:

Both amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition and brain atrophy are associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and the disease process likely begins many years before symptoms appear. We sought to determine whether clinically normal (CN) older individuals with Aβ deposition revealed by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging using Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB) also have evidence of both cortical thickness and hippocampal volume reductions in a pattern similar to that seen in AD.

Methods:

A total of 119 older individuals (87 CN subjects and 32 patients with mild AD) underwent PiB PET and high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Regression models were used to relate PiB retention to cortical thickness and hippocampal volume.

Results:

We found that PiB retention in CN subjects was (1) age-related and (2) associated with cortical thickness reductions, particularly in parietal and posterior cingulate regions extending into the precuneus, in a pattern similar to that observed in mild AD. Hippocampal volume reduction was variably related to Aβ deposition.

Interpretation:

We conclude that Aβ deposition is associated with a pattern of cortical thickness reduction consistent with AD prior to the development of cognitive impairment. ANN NEUROL 2010;

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