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Down syndrome: Distribution of brain amyloid in mild cognitive impairment.



Down syndrome (DS) is associated with a higher risk of dementia. We hypothesize that amyloid beta (Aβ) in specific brain regions differentiates mild cognitive impairment in DS (MCI-DS) and test these hypotheses using cross-sectional and longitudinal data.


18F-AV-45 (florbetapir) positron emission tomography (PET) data were collected to analyze amyloid burden in 58 participants clinically classified as cognitively stable (CS) or MCI-DS and 12 longitudinal CS participants.


The study confirmed our hypotheses of increased amyloid in inferior parietal, lateral occipital, and superior frontal regions as the main effects differentiating MCI-DS from the CS groups. The largest annualized amyloid increases in longitudinal CS data were in the rostral middle frontal, superior frontal, superior/middle temporal, and posterior cingulate cortices.


This study helps us to understand amyloid in the MCI-DS transitional state between cognitively stable aging and frank dementia in DS. The spatial distribution of Aβ may be a reliable indicator of MCI-DS in DS.

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