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CSF b-Amyloid and APOE ɛ4 Related Decline in Episodic Memory over 12 months

Detection and monitoring of subtle cognitive decline over shorter time periods is critical for the diagnosis of patients at risk of dementia (i.e. MCI / prodromal AD) and for monitoring the therapeutic effects of symptomatic and disease-modifying treatments.


In this research, presented at AAIC 2016, we examined the effects of Aβ and APOE ɛ4 on rates of cognitive change assessed using the computerised cognitive assessment battery, CANTAB, over 12 months in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) (i.e. prodromal AD).

Participants aged between 50 and 90 were recruited from the PharmaCog multicentre study. In total, 145 individuals underwent clinical and cognitive evaluation using the CANTAB tests, high-resolution 3T MRI with MPRAGE and lumbar punctures for the assessment of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of Aβ42, tau and p-tau.


This research showed that Aβ+ aMCI individuals (relative to Aβ-) showed faster decline in the Paired Associates Learning (PAL) task (p=0.02, ES=0.43) over 12 months and that Aβ+ aMCI individuals who were APOE ɛ4 carriers (Aβ+ ɛ4+) (compared to Aβ- ɛ4-) had a greater decline in PAL (p<0.01, ES=0.56). No other cognitive domain including attention and executive function were affected by Aβ positivity and / or APOE ɛ4 carriage.

Interested in learning more about CSF b-amyloid and APOE ɛ4-related decline in episodic memory in individuals with aMCI? Download this poster.



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