Increased fibrillar amyloid-β burden in normal individuals with a family history of late-onset Alzheimer's
Having a parent affected with late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) is a major risk factor among cognitively normal (NL) individuals. This (11)C-Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB)-PET study examines whether NL individuals with LOAD parents show increased fibrillar amyloid-beta (Abeta) deposition, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology and whether there are parent-of-origin effects. Forty-two 50- to 80-year-old NL persons were examined with PiB-PET. These individuals included 14 NL subjects with a maternal family history (FH) of LOAD (FHm), 14 NL subjects with a paternal FH (FHp), and 14 NL subjects with a negative family history of any dementia (FH-). Statistical parametric mapping and automated regions-of-interest were used to compare cerebral-to-cerebellar PiB standardized uptake value ratios, reflecting fibrillar Abeta burden, across groups. FH groups did not differ in age, gender, education, and apolipoprotein E (ApoE) status. NL FHm subjects showed higher PiB retention in AD-affected anterior and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), precuneus, parietal, temporal, occipital, and frontal cortices, right basal ganglia, and thalamus, compared with FH- and FHp subjects. FHp subjects showed increased PiB retention in the PCC and frontal cortex, intermediate between FHm and FH- subjects. Results remained significant after controlling for age, gender, education, and ApoE status. Children of parents with LOAD, particularly those with affected mothers, have increased fibrillar Abeta load in AD-vulnerable regions compared with controls, perhaps accounting for the known increased risk for AD. Present findings may motivate further research on familial transmission and parent-of-origin effects in LOAD.