Dementia from Alzheimer disease and mixed pathologies in the oldest old.

Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 29.98). 05/2012; 307(17):1798-800. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.3556
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Age and APOE are the most robust risk factors for dementia and cognitive decline, but the underlying neurobiology remains unclear. We examined the extent to which the hallmark pathologies of Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body disease, and cerebrovascular diseases account for the association of age and APOE with decline in episodic memory versus nonepisodic cognitive abilities. Up to 20 waves of longitudinal cognitive data were collected from 858 autopsied participants in 2 ongoing clinical-pathologic cohort studies of aging. Neuropathologic examinations quantified measures of beta amyloid (Aβ) plaque, mesial temporal and neocortical neurofibrillary tangles, macro- and microinfarcts, and neocortical Lewy bodies. Random coefficient models estimated person-specific slopes of decline in episodic memory and nonepisodic cognition. Path analysis examined the relation of age, APOE, and the 6 pathologic indices to the slopes of cognitive decline. The effect of age on decline in episodic memory was mediated by Aβ, mesial temporal and neocortical tau tangles, and macroscopic infarcts; age on decline in nonepisodic cognition was mediated by Aβ, neocortical tangles, and macroscopic infarcts. The effect of APOE on decline in episodic memory was mediated by Aβ, mesial temporal and neocortical tangles, and neocortical Lewy bodies; APOE on nonepisodic cognition was mediated by Aβ, neocortical tangles, and neocortical Lewy bodies. There were no direct effects of age and APOE on decline after accounting for these pathologic pathways.
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    ABSTRACT: Myotonic dystrophy (DM) of type 1 and 2 (DM1 and DM2) are inherited autosomal dominant diseases caused by dynamic and unstable expanded microsatellite sequences (CTG and CCTG, respectively) in the non-coding regions of the genes DMPK and ZNF9, respectively. These mutations result in the intranuclear accumulation of mutated transcripts and the mis-splicing of numerous transcripts. This so-called RNA gain of toxic function is the main feature of an emerging group of pathologies known as RNAopathies. Interestingly, in addition to these RNA inclusions, called foci, the presence of neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) in patient brains also distinguishes DM as a tauopathy. Tauopathies are a group of nearly 30 neurodegenerative diseases that are characterized by intraneuronal protein aggregates of the microtubule-associated protein Tau (MAPT) in patient brains. Furthermore, a number of neurodegenerative diseases involve the dysregulation of splicing regulating factors and have been characterized as spliceopathies. Thus, myotonic dystrophies are pathologies resulting from the interplay among RNAopathy, spliceopathy, and tauopathy. This review will describe how these processes contribute to neurodegeneration. We will first focus on the tauopathy associated with DM1, including clinical symptoms, brain histology, and molecular mechanisms. We will also discuss the features of DM1 that are shared by other tauopathies and, consequently, might participate in the development of a tauopathy. Moreover, we will discuss the determinants common to both RNAopathies and spliceopathies that could interfere with tau-related neurodegeneration.
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