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J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;33(3):775-80. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2012-121267.

Confirmation of the amyloidogenic process in posterior cortical atrophy: value of the Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio.

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  • 1CHRU de Tours, Tours, France. e.beaufils@chu-tours.fr


Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is characterized by progressive higher-order visuo-perceptual dysfunction and praxis declines. This syndrome is related to several underlying diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), sometimes involving an amyloidogenic process. The aims of the study were to 1) define cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker profiles in PCA patients compared to AD patients and 2) explore the amyloidogenic process through the Aβ(42)/Aβ(40) ratio in PCA patients to elucidate the underlying disease in vivo. CSF biomarker analysis (t-tau, p-tau, Aβ(42), and Aβ(42)/Aβ(40) ratio) and neuropsychological examination were performed in 22 PCA patients and compared with those of age-matched AD patients. Associated clinical neurological signs were investigated (e.g., extrapyramidal motor signs, myoclonus). CSF biomarker profiles did not differ significantly between the PCA and AD groups; 82% of patients with PCA fulfilled the biological criteria for typical AD with abnormal levels of the three markers and 18% of PCA patients presented atypical CSF profiles. All PCA patients with associated clinical neurological signs presented typical AD CSF profiles. The clinical presentations of these patients were similar to other PCA subjects. The Aβ(42)/Aβ(40) ratio for all PCA patients, including those with atypical CSF profiles, was decreased. Most PCA syndromes were associated with CSF biomarkers suggestive of AD, even in cases with associated clinical neurological signs. The amyloidogenic process was confirmed by the decreased Aβ(42)/Aβ(40) ratio for all patients. This analysis avoids misdiagnosis in the presence of physiologically high or low amyloid peptide production rates and provides information in vivo to improve understanding of the underlying disease in PCA.

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