Introduction: Recent literature proposes that amyloid β (Aβ) and phosphorylated tau (p-tau) synergism accelerates biomarker abnormalities in controls. Yet, it remains to be answered whether this synergism is the driving force behind Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia.
Methods: We stratified 314 mild cognitive impairment individuals using [18F]florbetapir positron emission tomography Aβ imaging and cerebrospinal fluid p-tau. Regression and voxel-based logistic regression models with interaction terms evaluated 2-year changes in cognition and clinical status as a function of baseline biomarkers.
Results: We found that the synergism between [18F]florbetapir and p-tau, rather than their additive effects, was associated with the cognitive decline and progression to AD. Furthermore, voxel-based analysis revealed that temporal and inferior parietal were the regions where the synergism determined an increased likelihood of developing AD.
Discussion: Together, the present results support that progression to AD dementia is driven by the synergistic rather than a mere additive effect between Aβ and p-tau proteins.
Keywords: Alzheimer disease; Amyloid-PET; Mild cognitive impairment; Neuropsychological tests; Phosphorylated tau.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.