Objective: To apply the ATN scheme to memory clinic patients, to assess whether it discriminates patient populations with specific features.
Methods: We included 305 memory clinic patients (33% subjective cognitive decline [SCD]: 60 ± 9 years, 61% M; 19% mild cognitive impairment [MCI]: 68 ± 9 years, 68% M; 48% dementia: 66 ± 10 years, 58% M) classified for positivity (±) of amyloid (A) ([18F]Florbetaben PET), tau (T) (CSF p-tau), and neurodegeneration (N) (medial temporal lobe atrophy). We assessed ATN profiles' demographic, clinical, and cognitive features at baseline, and cognitive decline over time.
Results: The proportion of A+T+N+ patients increased with syndrome severity (from 1% in SCD to 14% in MCI and 35% in dementia), while the opposite was true for A-T-N- (from 48% to 19% and 6%). Compared to A-T-N-, patients with the Alzheimer disease profiles (A+T+N- and A+T+N+) were older (both p < 0.05) and had a higher prevalence of APOE ε4 (both p < 0.05) and lower Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) (both p < 0.05), memory (both p < 0.05), and visuospatial abilities (both p < 0.05) at baseline. Non-Alzheimer profiles A-T-N+ and A-T+N+ showed more severe white matter hyperintensities (both p < 0.05) and worse language performance (both p < 0.05) than A-T-N-. A linear mixed model showed faster decline on MMSE over time in A+T+N- and A+T+N+ (p = 0.059 and p < 0.001 vs A-T-N-), attributable mainly to patients without dementia.
Conclusions: The ATN scheme identified different biomarker profiles with overlapping baseline features and patterns of cognitive decline. The large number of profiles, which may have different implications in patients with vs without dementia, poses a challenge to the application of the ATN scheme.
© 2019 American Academy of Neurology.