Amyloid, neurodegeneration, and small vessel disease as predictors of dementia in the oldest-old

Oscar L. Lopez, William E. Klunk, Chester Mathis, Rhaven L. Coleman, Julie Price, James T. Becker, Howard J. Aizenstein, Beth Snitz, Ann Cohen, Milos Ikonomovic, Eric McDade, Steven T. Dekosky, Lisa Weissfeld, Lewis H. Kuller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the association between brain structural changes and b-amyloid deposition, and incident dementia in 183 elderly subjects without dementia (mean age 85.5 years) 2 years later. Methods: Subjects had a brain structural MRI scan and a PET scan with 11C-labeled Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) in 2009, and were evaluated clinically in 2011. Results: At baseline evaluation, of the 183 participants (146 cognitively normal [CN]); 37 mild cognitive impairment [MCI]), 139 (76%) were PiB1, had small hippocampal volume (,25th percentile), or had high white matter lesion (WML) volume (.75th percentile). Two years later, 111 (61%) were classified as CN, 51 (28%) as MCI, and 21 (11%) as dementia. At baseline, 51% of the CN participants and 67.5% of the MCI cases were PiB1. Thirty percent of the CN and 51% of the MCI cases had small hippocampi, and 24% of the CN and 40.5% of the MCI cases had abnormal WMLs. Of the 21 participants who progressed to dementia, 20 (95%) had at least one imaging abnormality. Only 3 (14%) were only PiB1, 1 (5%) had only small hippocampi, 1 (5%) had only WMLs, 1 (5%) was biomarker negative, and the other 16 had various pairs of imaging abnormalities. Continuous variables of PiB retention, left and right hippocampal volume, and WML volume were independent predictors of dementia in a logistic regression analysis controlling for age, sex, education level, and Mini-Mental State Examination scores. Conclusions: The prevalence of b-amyloid deposition, neurodegeneration (i.e., hippocampal atrophy), and small vessel disease (WMLs) is high in CN older individuals and in MCI. A combination of 2 or 3 of these factors is a powerful predictor of short-term incidence of dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1804-1811
Number of pages8
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


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