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Brain. 2011 Jul;134(Pt 7):2036-43. doi: 10.1093/brain/awr130.

Similar amyloid-β burden in posterior cortical atrophy and Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Fédération des Maladies du Système Nerveux, Research and Resource Memory Centre, Pavillon Jean Lhermitte, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, 47 Boulevard de l'Hôpital, 75013 Paris, France.

Abstract

While the clinical presentation of posterior cortical atrophy is clearly distinct from typical Alzheimer's disease, neuropathological studies have suggested that most patients with posterior cortical atrophy have Alzheimer's disease with an atypical visual presentation. We analysed in vivo pathophysiological markers of Alzheimer's disease such as cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers and positron emission tomography imaging with ¹¹C-labelled Pittsburgh compound-B in posterior cortical atrophy to determine whether biochemical profile and fibrillar amyloid-β burden topography are associated with the clinical presentation. Nine patients with posterior cortical atrophy and nine with typical Alzheimer's disease individually matched for age, duration and severity of the disease and 10 cognitively normal age-matched controls were included. ¹¹C-labelled Pittsburgh compound-B images were analysed both using volumes of interest and on a voxel-wise basis using statistical parametric mapping, taking into account the individual regional cortical atrophy. Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers did not differ between posterior cortical atrophy and patients with Alzheimer's disease. Compared with normal controls, both posterior cortical atrophy and Alzheimer's disease groups showed increased ¹¹C-labelled Pittsburgh compound-B uptake. No significant difference was found in regional or global ¹¹C-labelled Pittsburgh compound-B binding between posterior cortical atrophy and Alzheimer's disease groups with both volumes of interest and voxel-wise basis using statistical parametric mapping methods. Our findings demonstrate that cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers and positron emission tomography imaging with ¹¹C-labelled Pittsburgh compound-B may be useful in identifying an atypical visual form of Alzheimer's disease. The similar topography of fibrillar amyloid-β deposition between typical Alzheimer's disease and posterior cortical atrophy groups suggests that, although amyloid-β accumulation plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, other factors such as neurofibrillary tangles may contribute to the different clinical features observed in posterior cortical atrophy.

PMID:
21705422
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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