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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 1999 Nov-Dec;10(6):526-33.

A follow-up study of the family with the Swedish APP 670/671 Alzheimer's disease mutation.

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Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Family Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, B-56, Huddinge University Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden.



To study the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) at a very early stage and to evaluate clinical markers of presymptomatic AD.


Longitudinal study at a university hospital.


A Swedish family harboring a double mutation at codons 670/671 of the APP gene on chromosome 21 was followed longitudinally for 3 years. Both mutation carriers and noncarriers participated.


Results from clinical investigations, electroencephalography, neuropsychological and neuroradiological examinations including magnetic resonance imaging, single-photon emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography were assessed and compared on two or more occasions.


During follow-up, 1 initially asymptomatic mutation carrier who was near the expected age of onset for this family, developed cognitive symptoms, and at the end of the follow-up fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for AD. One mutation carrier with cognitive symptoms at the first examination showed clinical deterioration and was diagnosed with AD. One demented mutation carrier died and was shown to have typical AD neuropathology at autopsy. The two remaining asymptomatic mutation carriers, as well as all the noncarriers were asymptomatic. These mutation carriers who were near the expected age of onset of AD but without clinical signs of the disease, did not show changes in either electrophysiological parameters or volumes of the temporal lobes. However, in these 2 individuals the blood flow in the temporal lobe showed intermediate values between the symptomatic mutation carriers and healthy noncarriers. Two neuropsychological tests showed a deterioration that paralleled clinical symptoms in 1 of the mutation carriers who was close to the expected age of onset and who at the end of the follow-up had clinical signs of AD. In the same subject, brain glucose metabolism was pathologically reduced in the temporal lobes before other clinical symptoms were obvious.


In this familial form of AD a reduced temporal lobe glucose metabolism was indicative of AD before the expected clinical onset. Reduced glucose metabolism even preceded the development of subjective or objective cognitive dysfunction and might therefore serve as a clinical marker for AD before the onset of clinical symptoms. Reduced cerebral blood flow in the temporal lobes and cognitive deterioration paralleled the clinical decline in the early stage of the disease. Copyrightz1999S.KargerAG,Basel

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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