Aβ and cognitive change

Examining the preclinical and prodromal stages of Alzheimer's disease

Yen Ying Lim*, Paul Maruff, Robert H. Pietrzak, Kathryn A. Ellis, David Darby, David Ames, Karra Harrington, Ralph N. Martins, Colin L. Masters, Cassandra Szoeke, Greg Savage, Victor L. Villemagne, Christopher C. Rowe

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    52 Citations (Scopus)


    Background High β-amyloid (Aβ) is associated with faster memory decline in healthy individuals and adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, longer prospective studies are required to determine if Aβ-related memory decline continues and whether it is associated with increased rate of disease progression. Methods Healthy controls (HCs; n = 177) and adults with MCI (n = 48) underwent neuroimaging for Aβ and cognitive assessment at baseline. Cognition was reassessed 18 and 36 months later. Results Compared with low-Aβ HCs, high-Aβ HC and MCI groups showed moderate decline in episodic and working memory over 36 months. Those with MCI with low Aβ did not show any cognitive decline. Rates of disease progression were increased in the high-Aβ HC and MCI groups. Conclusions In healthy individuals, high Aβ likely indicates that Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related neurodegeneration has begun. Once commenced, the rate of decline in cognitive function remains constant across the preclinical and prodromal stages of AD.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)743-751
    Number of pages9
    JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


    • Cognitive decline
    • Neuropsychology
    • Preclinical AD
    • Prodromal AD

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