Plasma amyloid beta levels are associated with cerebral amyloid and tau deposition

Shannon L. Risacher, Noelia Fandos, Judith Romero, Ian Sherriff, P. Pesini, Andrew J. Saykin, Liana G. Apostolova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction: We investigated the relationship of plasma amyloid beta (Aβ) with cerebral deposition of Aβ and tau on positron emission tomography (PET). Methods: Forty-four participants (18 cognitively normal older adults [CN], 10 mild cognitive impairment, 16 Alzheimer's disease [AD]) underwent amyloid PET and a blood draw. Free and total plasma Aβ40 and Aβ42 were assessed using a validated assay. Thirty-seven participants (17 CN, 8 mild cognitive impairment, 12 AD) also underwent a [18F]flortaucipir scan. Scans were preprocessed by standard techniques, and mean global and regional amyloid and tau values were extracted. Free Aβ42/Aβ40 (Aβ F42:F40) and total Aβ42/Aβ40 (Aβ T42:T40) were evaluated for differences by diagnosis and relation to PET Aβ positivity. Relationships between these measures and cerebral Aβ and tau on both regional and voxel-wise basis were also evaluated. Results: Lower Aβ T42:T40 was associated with diagnosis and PET Aβ positivity. Lower plasma Aβ T42:T40 ratios predicted cerebral Aβ positivity, both across the full sample and in CN only. Finally, lower plasma Aβ T42:T40 ratios were associated with increased cortical Aβ and tau in AD-related regions on both regional and voxel-wise analyses. Discussion: Plasma Aβ measures may be useful biomarkers for predicting cerebral Aβ and tau. Additional studies in larger samples are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-519
Number of pages10
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Alzheimer's disease (AD)
  • Amyloid positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Blood biomarkers
  • Tau positron emission tomography (PET)
  • mild cognitive impairment (MCI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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