Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Sahlgren’s University Hospital/Mölndal
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Mattsson: The main finding of this study was that cognitively healthy people with signs of emerging beta-amyloid pathology had increased regional brain atrophy rates. We used serial CSF samples to identify people with normal CSF beta-amyloid42 levels at baseline but declining levels over time. Since low CSF beta-amyloid42 reflects the presence of amyloid plaques in the brain, these persons may be in a transitional state of emerging beta-amyloid pathology.
MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Mattsson: One unexpected finding was that the increased atrophy rates were not primarily seen in the medial temporal lobe, which is believed to be an early site of atrophy in Alzheimer’s disease. Rather, we found increased atrophy rates in the frontal and parietal lobes. These are brain regions where early amyloid deposition occurs. Therefore, it is possible, although not proven, that the results reflect early local amyloid toxicity
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Mattsson: The results support the idea that pathological processes associated with Alzheimer’s disease, such as amyloid accumulation and brain injury, starts already prior to cognitive impairment. However, the exact relationship between the different pathologies is still not clear.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Mattsson: It is important to clarify the sequence of pathological events in Alzheimer’s disease, and validate biomarkers reflecting these events. Our study was done in a small cohort and needs to be replicated. Also, future studies may test how the presence of tau pathology affect our findings.