Objective: A clock relating amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) to time was used to estimate the timing of biomarker changes in sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD). Methods: Research participants were included who underwent cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection within 2 years of amyloid PET. The ages at amyloid onset and AD symptom onset were estimated for each individual. The timing of change for plasma, CSF, imaging, and cognitive measures was calculated by comparing restricted cubic splines of cross-sectional data from the amyloid PET positive and negative groups. Results: The amyloid PET positive sub-cohort (n = 118) had an average age of 70.4 ± 7.4 years (mean ± standard deviation) and 16% were cognitively impaired. The amyloid PET negative sub-cohort (n = 277) included individuals with low levels of amyloid plaque burden at all scans who were cognitively unimpaired at the time of the scans. Biomarker changes were detected 15–19 years before estimated symptom onset for CSF Aβ42/Aβ40, plasma Aβ42/Aβ40, CSF pT217/T217, and amyloid PET; 12–14 years before estimated symptom onset for plasma pT217/T217, CSF neurogranin, CSF SNAP-25, CSF sTREM2, plasma GFAP, and plasma NfL; and 7–9 years before estimated symptom onset for CSF pT205/T205, CSF YKL-40, hippocampal volumes, and cognitive measures. Interpretation: The use of an amyloid clock enabled visualization and analysis of biomarker changes as a function of estimated years from symptom onset in sporadic AD. This study demonstrates that estimated years from symptom onset based on an amyloid clock can be used as a continuous staging measure for sporadic AD and aligns with findings in autosomal dominant AD. ANN NEUROL 2024;95:951–965.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-965
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2024


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