Plasma Aβ 42 as a biomarker of prodromal Alzheimer's disease progression in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment: Evidence from the PharmaCog/E-ADNI Study

Diego Albani, Moira Marizzoni, Clarissa Ferrari, Federica Fusco, Lucia Boeri, Ilaria Raimondi, Jorge Jovicich, Claudio Babiloni, Andrea Soricelli, Roberta Lizio, Samantha Galluzzi, Libera Cavaliere, Mira Didic, Peter Schönknecht, José Luis Molinuevo, Flavio Nobili, Lucilla Parnetti, Pierre Payoux, Luisella Bocchio, Marco SalvatorePaolo Maria Rossini, Magda Tsolaki, Pieter Jelle Visser, Jill C. Richardson, Jens Wiltfang, Régis Bordet, Olivier Blin, Gianluigi Forloni, Giovanni B. Frisoni

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18 Citations (Scopus)


It is an open issue whether blood biomarkers serve to diagnose Alzheimer's disease (AD) or monitor its progression over time from prodromal stages. Here, we addressed this question starting from data of the European FP7 IMI-PharmaCog/E-ADNI longitudinal study in amnesic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) patients including biological, clinical, neuropsychological (e.g., ADAS-Cog13), neuroimaging, and electroencephalographic measures. PharmaCog/E-ADNI patients were classified as "positive" (i.e., "prodromal AD" n = 76) or "negative" (n = 52) based on a diagnostic cut-off of Aβ 42 /P-tau in cerebrospinal fluid as well as APOE ϵ 4 genotype. Blood was sampled at baseline and at two follow-ups (12 and 18 months), when plasma amyloid peptide 42 and 40 (Aβ 42 , Aβ 40) and apolipoprotein J (clusterin, CLU) were assessed. Linear Mixed Models found no significant differences in plasma molecules between the "positive" (i.e., prodromal AD) and "negative" groups at baseline. In contrast, plasma Aβ 42 showed a greater reduction over time in the prodromal AD than the "negative" aMCI group (p = 0.048), while CLU and Aβ 40 increased, but similarly in the two groups. Furthermore, plasma Aβ 42 correlated with the ADAS-Cog13 score both in aMCI patients as a whole and the prodromal AD group alone. Finally, CLU correlated with the ADAS-Cog13 only in the whole aMCI group, and no association with ADAS-Cog13 was found for Aβ 40. In conclusion, plasma Aβ 42 showed disease progression-related features in aMCI patients with prodromal AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-48
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Amnesic mild cognitive impairment
  • PharmaCog project
  • amyloid-beta peptide
  • biomarkers
  • clinical trial
  • clusterin
  • prodromal Alzheimer's disease

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