Objective: To determine the associations between amyloid-PET, tau-PET, and atrophy with the behavioral/dysexecutive presentation of Alzheimer disease (AD), how these differ from amnestic AD, and how they correlate to clinical symptoms.
Methods: We assessed 15 patients with behavioral/dysexecutive AD recruited from a tertiary care memory clinic, all of whom had biologically defined AD. They were compared with 25 patients with disease severity- and age-matched amnestic AD and a group of 131 cognitively unimpaired (CU) elderly individuals. All participants were evaluated with amyloid-PET with [18F]AZD4694, tau-PET with [18F]MK6240, MRI, and neuropsychological testing.
Results: Voxelwise contrasts identified patterns of frontal cortical tau aggregation in behavioral/dysexecutive AD, with peaks in medial prefrontal, anterior cingulate, and frontal insular cortices in contrast to amnestic AD. No differences were observed in the distribution of amyloid-PET or atrophy as determined by voxel-based morphometry. Voxelwise area under the receiver operating characteristic curve analyses revealed that tau-PET uptake in the medial prefrontal, anterior cingulate, and frontal insular cortices were best able to differentiate between behavioral/dysexecutive and amnestic AD (area under the curve 0.87). Voxelwise regressions demonstrated relationships between frontal cortical tau load and degree of executive dysfunction.
Conclusions: Our results provide evidence of frontal cortical involvement of tau pathology in behavioral/dysexecutive AD and highlight the need for consensus clinical criteria in this syndrome.
Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the American Academy of Neurology.