Impact of tau and amyloid burden on glucose metabolism in Alzheimer's disease

Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2016 Oct 20;3(12):934-939. doi: 10.1002/acn3.339. eCollection 2016 Dec.


In a multimodal PET imaging approach, we determined the differential contribution of neurofibrillary tangles (measured with [18F]AV-1451) and beta-amyloid burden (measured with [11C]PiB) on degree of neurodegeneration (i.e., glucose metabolism measured with [18F]FDG-PET) in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Across brain regions, we observed an interactive effect of beta-amyloid burden and tau deposition on glucose metabolism which was most pronounced in the parietal lobe. Elevated beta-amyloid burden was associated with a stronger influence of tau accumulation on glucose metabolism. Our data provide the first in vivo insights into the differential contribution of Aβ and tau to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease.