Regional patterns of gray matter volume, hypometabolism, and beta-amyloid in groups at risk of Alzheimer's disease

Neurobiol Aging. 2018 Mar;63:140-151. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.10.023. Epub 2017 Nov 7.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the presence of β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition and neurodegeneration. To seek for signs of such pathologies, we compared regional biomarker degrees and patterns of Aβ deposition, glucose hypometabolism, and gray matter volume (GMV) reduction in 3 groups at risk of AD. In elderly carriers of the apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOE4, n = 17), patients with subjective cognitive decline (n = 16), and patients with mild cognitive impairment (n = 30), head-to-head intermodality comparisons were performed on cross-sectional structural magnetic resonance images as well as 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose and 18F-florbetapir positron emission tomography scans. In mild cognitive impairment patients, 3 distinct biomarker patterns were recovered, similarly seen in AD patients: (1) in medial temporal regions, local GMV reduction exceeded hypometabolism, (2) in temporoparietal regions, hypometabolism predominated over GMV reduction, and (3) in frontal regions, Aβ deposition exceeded GMV reduction and hypometabolism. In subjective cognitive decline patients, only pattern 1 was detected, while APOE4 carriers demonstrated only pattern 3. Our findings highlight that regional AD-like biomarker patterns may vary across different at-risk populations, potentially reflecting differential mediators of these risks.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Apolipoprotein E; Mild cognitive impairment; Multimodal neuroimaging; Subjective cognitive decline.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism*
  • Apolipoprotein E4 / genetics
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnostic imaging
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / genetics
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / metabolism
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / pathology
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Gray Matter / diagnostic imaging
  • Gray Matter / metabolism
  • Gray Matter / pathology*
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Degeneration
  • Neuroimaging
  • Organ Size
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Risk


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Apolipoprotein E4
  • Glucose