Few studies have examined the relationship between CSF and structural biomarkers, and cognitive function in MCI. We examined the relationship between cognitive function, hippocampal volume and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Aβ42 and tau in 145 patients with MCI. Patients were assessed on cognitive tasks from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), the Geriatric Depression Scale and the Functional Activities Questionnaire. Hippocampal volume was measured using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and CSF markers of Aβ42, tau and p-tau181 were also measured. Worse performance on a wide range of memory and sustained attention tasks were associated with reduced hippocampal volume, higher CSF tau and p-tau181 and increased tau/Aβ42 ratio. Memory tasks were also associated with lower ability to conduct functional activities of daily living, providing a link between AD biomarkers, memory performance and functional outcome. These results suggest that biomarkers of Aβ and tau are strongly related to cognitive performance as assessed by the CANTAB, and have implications for the early detection and characterization of incipient AD.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Amyloid; CANTAB; CSF; Cognitive assessment; Hippocampal volume; Mild cognitive impairment; Prodromal; Tau.
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