Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plasma beta-amyloid levels associated with cognitive decline

Date:
August 10, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
High plasma levels of beta-amyloid -- protein fragments associated with Alzheimer's disease when they accumulate in the brain -- appear to be associated with faster cognitive decline even in those who do not develop dementia, according to a new report.

High plasma levels of beta-amyloid -- protein fragments associated with Alzheimer's disease when they accumulate in the brain -- appear to be associated with faster cognitive decline even in those who do not develop dementia, according to a report that will appear in the December print issue of Archives of Neurology.

The amyloid cascade hypothesis suggests that Alzheimer's disease develops when the body is unable to metabolize glycoproteins, the precursors to amyloid, according to background information in the article. Beta-amyloid 40 and beta-amyloid 42 then accumulate, and this accumulation is considered the primary trigger for the development of Alzheimer's disease. Previous research suggests that plasma beta-amyloid levels decrease as brain beta-amyloid levels increase, prompting interest in whether plasma beta-amyloid level could be used as a biomarker for Alzheimer's disease.

Stephanie A. Cosentino, Ph.D., of Taub Institute for Research in Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, and colleagues studied 880 individuals who were free of dementia at the beginning of the study and who had at least two plasma beta-amyloid measurements approximately four and one-half years apart. Participants were assessed for cognitive change using an overall thinking, learning and memory score as well as in separate memory, language and visuospatial domains. Between the two beta-amyloid measurements, 481 participants remained cognitively healthy, 329 were cognitively or functionally impaired but did not have dementia and 70 developed Alzheimer's disease.

High plasma beta-amyloid levels at the beginning of the study, along with decreasing or relatively stable values over time, were associated with faster cognitive declines in multiple domains. This association persisted even when only those who did not develop dementia were analyzed.

"Examination of specific cognitive domains in the current study revealed that global cognitive change in healthy elderly individuals was driven primarily by memory, rather than language or visuospatial abilities," the authors write. "This seemingly selective association with memory has several interpretations. First, it may suggest that healthy elderly people with a high-risk beta-amyloid profile are in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease but have not yet demonstrated sufficient change in non-memory domains to meet criteria for dementia."

It may also be that changes in amyloid levels are an important factor in cognitive aging, independent of the development of Alzheimer's disease, they note. "Stated differently, the observable change in both plasma beta-amyloid and memory in this group could be a fundamentally different process than that involved in Alzheimer's disease or might fall short of a critical threshold beyond which the full pathological presentation and clinical dementia syndrome of Alzheimer's disease would unfold," the authors conclude. "It is thus important for future work to determine more definitively the specificity of beta-amyloid profiles for predicting dementia vs. their significance for cognitive aging more generally."

This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stephanie A. Cosentino et al. Plasma β-Amyloid and Cognitive Decline. Arch Neurol., DOI: 10.1001/archneurol.2010.189

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Plasma beta-amyloid levels associated with cognitive decline." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100809161134.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, August 10). Plasma beta-amyloid levels associated with cognitive decline. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100809161134.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Plasma beta-amyloid levels associated with cognitive decline." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100809161134.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins