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Education is associated with Aβ burden in preclinical familial and sporadic Alzheimer’s disease

Citation

Gonneaud, Julie et al. (2021), Education is associated with Aβ burden in preclinical familial and sporadic Alzheimer’s disease, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ttdz08kth

Abstract

Objective. To determine whether years of education and the ε4 risk allele at APOE influence β-amyloid pathology similarly in asymptomatic individuals with a family history of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and pre-symptomatic autosomal dominant AD mutation carriers.

Methods. We analyzed cross-sectional data from 106 asymptomatic individuals with a parental history of sporadic AD (PREVENT-AD cohort; age=67.28±4.72 years) and 117 pre-symptomatic autosomal dominant AD mutation carriers (DIAN cohort; age=34.00±9.43 years). All participants underwent structural MRI and β-amyloid PET imaging. In each cohort we investigated the influence of years of education, APOE-ε4 status and their interaction on β-amyloid PET.

Results. Asymptomatic individuals with a parental history of sporadic AD showed increased β-amyloid burden associated with APOE-ε4 carriage and lower level of education, but no interaction between these. Pre-symptomatic mutation carriers of autosomal dominant AD showed no relation between APOE-ε4 and β-amyloid burden, but increasing level of education was associated with reduced β-amyloid burden. The association between educational attainment and β-amyloid burden was similar in the two cohorts.

Conclusions. While the APOE-ε4 allele confers increased tendency toward β-amyloid accumulation in sporadic AD only, protective environmental factors, like increased education, may promote brain resistance against β-amyloid pathology   in both sporadic and autosomal dominant AD.