. Amyloid burden in normal aging: The Dallas Lifespan Brain Study. Human Amyloid Imaging 2010 Meeting Abstracts. 2010 April 9;

Abstract:

Beta-amyloid (Ab) plaques have been well-documented in the brains of persons with Alzheimer’s disease. The precise effect of this deposition on the disruption of human brain function/structure is unclear. Notably, how this protein accumulation is related to the course of normal aging is unknown. Approximately a third of older adults have levels of amyloid on par with those individuals diagnosed with AD, yet are cognitively normal. Examining the time-course of Aβ deposition and its neural and cognitive consequences in normal and healthy aging populations is an important step in disentangling healthy from pathological aging. Our goal is to characterize the distribution of Aβ in a normally aging population across the adult lifespan.

The Dallas Lifespan Brain Study (DLBS) is an ongoing large study of brain structural and functional aging and the impact on cognitive performance that will enroll 350 individuals aged 20-89 (n = 50 per decade). We are now PET scanning a subset of these individuals (n = 260) to quantify amyloid deposition using AV-45 (18F-florpiramine). To date, we have scanned 50 individuals ranging in age from 45-89 (m = 63.95; 20 men, 37 women) with a mean education level of 16.18 years (range = 12-21) and MMSE = 29 (26-30). The ultimate goal of the study is to not only characterize when in the age span beta-amyloid deposition begins to occur but also to examine if earlier deposition in middle-age is associated with brain structural decline (e.g., regional volumes, white matter integrity) and age-related differences in patterns of functional neural activation, as well as cognitive performance. We expect that the DLBS will greatly expand the existing knowledge of the time course and neural/cognitive consequences of amyloid deposition in normal aging. We will report the DLBS amyloid findings to date.

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