Regional brain volume differences in symptomatic and presymptomatic carriers of familial Alzheimer's disease mutations
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Mutations in the presenilin (PSEN1, PSEN2) and amyloid precursor protein (APP) genes cause familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) in a nearly fully penetrant, autosomal dominant manner, providing a unique opportunity to study presymptomatic individuals who can be predicted to develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) with essentially 100% certainty. Using tensor-based morphometry (TBM), we examined brain volume differences between presymptomatic and symptomatic FAD mutation carriers and non-carrier (NC) relatives. METHODS: Twenty-five mutation carriers and 10 NC relatives underwent brain MRI and clinical assessment. Four mutation carriers had dementia (MUT-Dem), 12 had amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MUT-aMCI) and nine were cognitively normal (MUT-Norm). TBM brain volume maps of MUT-Norm, MUT-aMCI and MUT-Dem subjects were compared to NC subjects. RESULTS: MUT-Norm subjects exhibited significantly smaller volumes in the thalamus, caudate and putamen. MUT-aMCI subjects had smaller volumes in the thalamus, splenium and pons, but not in the caudate or putamen. MUT-Dem subjects demonstrated smaller volumes in temporal, parietal and left frontal regions. As non-demented carriers approached the expected age of dementia diagnosis, this was associated with larger ventricular and caudate volumes and a trend towards smaller temporal lobe volume. CONCLUSIONS: Cognitively intact FAD mutation carriers had lower thalamic, caudate and putamen volumes, and we found preliminary evidence for increasing caudate size during the predementia stage. These regions may be affected earliest during prodromal stages of FAD, while cortical atrophy may occur in later stages, when carriers show cognitive deficits. Further studies of this population will help us understand the progression of neurobiological changes in AD.
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ABSTRACT: As the need to develop a successful disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) becomes more urgent, imaging is increasingly used in therapeutic trials. We provide an overview of how the different imaging modalities are used in AD studies and the current regulatory guidelines for their use in clinical trials as endpoints. We review the current literature for results of imaging endpoints of efficacy and safety in published clinical trials. We start with trials in mild to moderate AD, where imaging (largely magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) has long played a role in inclusion and exclusion criteria; more recently, MRI has been used to identify adverse events and to measure rates of brain atrophy. The advent of amyloid imaging using positron emission tomography has led to trials incorporating amyloid measurements as endpoints and incidentally to the recognition of the high proportion of amyloid-negative individuals that may be recruited into these trials. Ongoing and planned trials now commonly include multimodality imaging: amyloid positron emission tomography, MRI and other modalities. At the same time, the failure of recent large profile trials in mild to moderate AD together with the realisation that there is a long prodromal period to AD has driven a push to move studies to earlier in the disease. Imaging has particularly important roles, alongside other biomarkers, in assessing efficacy because conventional clinical outcomes may have limited ability to detect treatment effects in these early stages. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13195-014-0087-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 12/2014; 6(9):87. DOI:10.1186/s13195-014-0087-9 · 3.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a complex, irreversible neurodegenerative disorder. At present there are neither reliable markers to diagnose AD at an early stage nor therapy. To investigate underlying disease mechanisms, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) allow the generation of patient-derived neuronal cells in a dish. In this study, employing iPS technology, we derived and characterized iPSCs from dermal fibroblasts of an 82-year-old female patient affected by sporadic AD. The AD-iPSCs were differentiated into neuronal cells, in order to generate disease-specific protein association networks modeling the molecular pathology on the transcriptome level of AD, to analyse the reflection of the disease phenotype in gene expression in AD-iPS neuronal cells, in particular in the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), and to address expression of typical AD proteins. Our study demonstrates how an iPSC-based model system could represent (i) a tool to study the underlying molecular basis of sporadic AD, (ii) a platform for drug screening and toxicology studies which might unveil novel therapeutic avenues for this debilitating neuronal disorder.BMC Genomics 02/2015; 16(1):84. DOI:10.1186/s12864-015-1262-5 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We present a validated protocol for manual segmentation of the thalamus on T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans using brain image analysis software. The MRI scans of five normal control subjects were randomly selected from a larger cohort recruited from Lund University Hospital and Landskrona Hospital, Sweden. MRIs were performed using a 3.0T Philips MR scanner, with an eight-channel head coil, and high resolution images were acquired using a T1-weighted turbo field echo (T1 TFE) pulse sequence, with resulting voxel size 1×1×1mm(3). Manual segmentation of the left and right thalami and volume measurement was performed on 28-30 contiguous coronal slices, using ANALYZE 11.0 software. Reliability of image analysis was performed by measuring intra-class correlations between initial segmentation and random repeated segmentation of the left and right thalami (in total 10 thalami for segmentation); inter-rater reliability was measured using volumes obtained by two other experienced tracers. Intra-class correlations for two independent raters were 0.95 and 0.98; inter-class correlations between the expert rater and two independent raters were 0.92 and 0.98. We anticipate that mapping thalamic morphology in various neuropsychiatric disorders may yield clinically useful disease-specific biomarkers. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging 02/2015; 232(1). DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2015.02.001 · 2.83 Impact Factor