Reduced monoaminergic nuclei MRI signal detectable in pre-symptomatic older adults with future memory decline

Annalena Venneri, Matteo De Marco
2020 Scientific Reports  
Evidence from murine models and human post-mortem studies indicates that monoaminergic nuclei undergo degeneration at the pre-symptomatic stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Analysing 129 datasets from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) and relying on the Clinical Dementia Rating as group-defining instrument, we hypothesised that the MRI signal of monoaminergic nuclei would be a statistically significant predictor of memory decline in participants initially recruited in ADNI
more » ... recruited in ADNI as healthy adults. As opposed to a group of cognitively stable participants, participants developing memory decline had reduced signal in the ventral tegmental area at baseline, before any evidence of functional decline emerged. These findings indicate that monoaminergic degeneration predates the onset of memory decline in an AD-centred initiative, with a crucial involvement of very-early changes of a dopaminergic region. This translates into potential informative avenues for pharmacological treatment of pre-symptomatic AD.
doi:10.1038/s41598-020-71368-1 pmid:33127923 fatcat:3lmjrbflove6nafx3rz2uaj77u