Maternal age affects brain metabolism in adult children of mothers affected by Alzheimer's disease

Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Mar;33(3):624.e1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2011.03.003. Epub 2011 Apr 22.


Cognitively normal (NL) individuals with a maternal history of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (MH) show reduced brain glucose metabolism on FDG-PET as compared to those with a paternal history (PH) and those with negative family history (NH) of Alzheimer's disease (AD). This FDG-PET study investigates whether metabolic deficits in NL MH are associated with advancing maternal age at birth. Ninety-six NL individuals with FDG-PET were examined, including 36 MH, 24 PH, and 36 NH. Regional-to-whole brain gray matter standardized FDG uptake value ratios were examined for associations with parental age across groups using automated regions-of-interest and statistical parametric mapping. Groups were comparable for clinical and neuropsychological measures. Brain metabolism in AD-vulnerable regions was lower in MH compared to NH and PH, and negatively correlated with maternal age at birth only in MH. There were no associations between paternal age and metabolism in any group. Evidence for a maternally inherited, maternal age-related mechanism provides further insight on risk factors and genetic transmission in late-onset AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Children
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal Age*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors