Background: Trisomy 21 causes Down syndrome (DS) and is a recognized cause of early-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). Objective: The current study sought to determine if premorbid intellectual disability level (ID) was associated with variability in age-trajectories of AD biomarkers and cognitive impairments. General linear mixed models compared the age-trajectory of the AD biomarkers PET Aβ and tau and cognitive decline across premorbid ID levels (mild, moderate, and severe/profound), in models controlling trisomy type, APOE status, biological sex, and site. Methods: Analyses involved adults with DS from the Alzheimer's Biomarkers Consortium-Down Syndrome. Participants completed measures of memory, mental status, and visuospatial ability. Premorbid ID level was based on IQ or mental age scores prior to dementia concerns. PET was acquired using [11C] PiB for Aβ, and [18F] AV-1451 for tau. Results: Cognitive data was available for 361 participants with a mean age of 45.22 (SD = 9.92) and PET biomarker data was available for 154 participants. There was not a significant effect of premorbid ID level by age on cognitive outcomes. There was not a significant effect of premorbid ID by age on PET Aβ or on tau PET. There was not a significant difference in age at time of study visit of those with mild cognitive impairment-DS or dementia by premorbid ID level. Conclusion: Findings provide robust evidence of a similar time course in AD trajectory across premorbid ID levels, laying the groundwork for the inclusion of individuals with DS with a variety of IQ levels in clinical AD trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-225
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 29 2023


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Down syndrome
  • amyloid
  • cognitive
  • dementia
  • imaging
  • intellectual
  • memory
  • tau


Dive into the research topics of 'Timing of Alzheimer's Disease by Intellectual Disability Level in Down Syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this