Brain Amyloid in Sporadic Young Onset Alzheimer's Disease

Peter K. Panegyres, Peter Robins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Controversy exists as to the role of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Objective: To clarify the effect of age on Aβ deposition in sporadic AD by exploring the degree of amyloid burden in patients with sporadic young onset AD (YOAD). Methods: Patients were diagnosed with YOAD with dementia starting before the age of 65 years (N = 42; males = 20, females = 22). A cross-sectional analysis of amyloid binding using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging was performed using the C-Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB). The global standardized uptake value ratios (gSUVR) were examined using the Wilcoxon two-sample test, as were the cognitive scores between disease and healthy control populations. Differences in PiB retention in different anatomical areas were compared using the Kruskal-Wallis test. The contrast in APOE genotyping between groups was calculated with Fisher's Exact Test. Results: Women had a median gSUVR = 2.68±0.73 and 73% had at least one APOE ϵ4 allele. Men had gSUVR = 2.37±0.54, with 80% having at least one APOE ϵ4 allele. The gSUVRs were significantly higher than the control populations for men and women and had significantly greater frequency of APOE ϵ4. Men and women analyzed together had significantly greater amyloid burden and APOE ϵ4 allele frequencies than controls, but no differences existed between them in gSUVR nor in the anatomical distribution of amyloid uptake. Conclusion: Men and women with YOAD have greater amyloid uptake than controls and have more APOE ϵ4 alleles. Our findings suggest that the Aβ peptide is operational in young onset dementia and driven by the APOE ϵ4 allele.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-270
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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