Cerebral white matter lesions – associations with Aβ isoforms and amyloid PET

27 January, 2016

van Westen D, Lindqvist D, Blennow K, Minthon L, Nägga K, Stomrud E, Zetterberg H, Hansson O. Scientific Reports (in press 2016).

Small vessel disease (SVD) and amyloid deposition may promote each other, with a potential association between SVD and altered production or clearance of β-amyloid (Aβ) a ecting its cleavage products. We investigated the relationship between SVD, multiple isoforms of Aβ in cerebrospinal uid (CSF) and cortical Aβ in 831 subjects with cognitive performance ranging from normal to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (the Swedish BioFINDER study). SVD was estimated as white matter lesions (WML) and lacunes. 18F- utemetamol PET was performed in 321 subjects. Lower CSF levels of Aβ38 and Aβ40 were consistently associated with increased WML in all subgroups, while lower levels of CSF Aβ42 were associated with WML mainly in AD. CSF Aβ38 and Aβ40 were associated with regional WML in all regions, while CSF Aβ42 was associated with temporal WML only. A composite measure of 18F- utemetamol uptake was not associated with WML, and regional 18F- utemetamol uptake only with temporal WML. Lacunes were not associated with Aβ isoforms nor 18F- utemetamol uptake. Our results suggest that WML may be associated with alterations in the production or clearance of Aβ species, particularly of Aβ38 and Aβ40. However, in AD cases, Aβ42 pathology might be associated with WML, especially in the temporal lobes.