Plasma amyloid is associated with the rate of cognitive decline in cognitively normal elderly: the SCIENCe project

Neurobiol Aging. 2020 May:89:99-107. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2020.01.007. Epub 2020 Jan 15.


Plasma biomarkers are promising prognostic tools in individuals with subjective cognitive decline (SCD). We aimed to investigate the relationships of baseline plasma amyloid beta (Aβ)42/Aβ40 and total Tau (tTau) with rate of cognitive decline, in comparison to relationships of baseline cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Aβ42, tTau, and phosphorylated tau181 (pTau181) with rate of cognitive decline. We included 241 subjects with SCD (age = 61 ± 9, 40% female, Mini-Mental State Examination = 28 ± 2) with follow-up (average: 2 ± 2 years, median visits: 3 [range: 1-11]) for re-evaluation of neuropsychological test performance (attention, memory, language, and executive functioning domains). Using age, gender and education-adjusted linear mixed models, we found that lower plasma Aβ42/Aβ40 was associated with steeper rate of decline on tests for attention, memory, and executive functioning, but not language. Lower CSF Aβ42 was associated with steeper decline on tests covering all domains. Associations for plasma amyloid and cognitive decline mirror those of CSF amyloid. Plasma tTau was not associated with rate of cognitive decline, whereas CSF tTau and pTau181 were on multiple tests covering all domains.

Keywords: Amyloid beta; Blood biomarkers; CSF biomarkers; Cognitive decline; Neuropsychological tests; Simoa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / blood*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cognition*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnosis*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / psychology
  • Executive Function
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Healthy Aging / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Peptide Fragments / blood*
  • Peptide Fragments / cerebrospinal fluid
  • tau Proteins / blood
  • tau Proteins / cerebrospinal fluid


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers
  • Peptide Fragments
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-42)
  • amyloid beta-protein (40-42)
  • tau Proteins