Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Psychiatry Res. 2011 Jun 30;192(3):140-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2010.12.001. Epub 2011 May 4.

Association between cerebrospinal fluid tau and brain atrophy is not related to clinical severity in the Alzheimer's disease continuum.

Author information

Alzheimer's disease and other Cognitive Disorders Unit, Neurology Service, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.


We aimed to assess the association between core cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, regional brain atrophy and clinical severity in the Alzheimer's disease (AD) continuum, as well as to investigate how cognitive reserve (CR) may modulate these putative associations. Forty-nine subjects (11 controls, 10 patients with subjective memory complaints, 19 with mild cognitive impairment and 9 mild AD) underwent lumbar puncture and high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). CSF amyloid-β(1-42) (Aβ(1-42)), total tau (t-tau) and phosphorylated tau (p-tau(181)) were determined. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was applied and multiple regression analyses for the whole sample were carried out. Clinical severity was adjusted using the Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes score (CDR-SB). A negative correlation between t-tau levels and grey matter (GM) volume in temporo-parietal regions was found, regardless of CDR-SB score. In contrast, the negative correlation between p-tau(181) and GM volume was largely explained by clinical severity, except in the posterior cingulate cortex. CR did not significantly modify these correlations. Aβ(1-42) levels were not related to GM volume but were related to clinical severity, an association that was attenuated when CR was considered. In conclusion, the present findings reflect that t-tau CSF concentrations are associated with GM atrophy in neuropathologically relevant areas across the AD continuum, whereas the p-tau(181) association is largely dependent on the degree of clinical severity. The relationship between CSF Aβ(1-42) and clinical severity seems to be modulated by CR, suggesting that there may be subjects with pathological levels of Aβ(1-42) and high CR estimates who remain clinically asymptomatic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center