To explore markers for synaptic function and Alzheimer disease (AD) pathology in late life depression (LLD), predementia AD and normal controls (NC). A cross-sectional study to compare cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of neurogranin (Ng), Beta-site amyloid-precursor-protein cleaving enzyme1 (BACE1), Ng/BACE1 ratio and Amyloid-β 42/40 ratio, phosphorylated-tau and total-tau in LLD with (LLD AD) or without (LLD NoAD) AD pathology, predementia AD and normal controls (NC). We included 145 participants (NC = 41; predementia AD = 66 and LLD = 38). LLD comprised LLD AD (n = 16), LLD NoAD (n = 19), LLD with non-AD typical changes (n = 3, excluded). LLD AD (pADJ < 0.05) and predementia AD (pADJ < 0.0001) showed significantly higher Ng than NC. BACE1 and Ng/BACE1 ratio were altered similarly. Compared to LLD NoAD, LLD AD showed significantly higher Ng (pADJ < 0.001), BACE1 (pADJ < 0.05) and Ng/BACE1 ratio (pADJ < 0.01). All groups had significantly lower Aβ 42/40 ratio than NC (predementia AD and LLD AD, p < 0.0001; LLD NoAD, p < 0.05). Both LLD groups performed similarly on tests of memory and executive function, but significantly poorer than NC. Synaptic function in LLD depended on AD pathology. LLD showed an association to Amyloid dysmetabolism. The LLD groups performed poorer cognitively than NC. LLD AD may be conceptualized as "predementia AD with depression".
© 2021. The Author(s).