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Psychological well-being and regional brain amyloid and tau in mild cognitive impairment

  • Author(s): Chen, ST
  • Siddarth, P
  • Saito, NY
  • Rueda, F
  • Haight, T
  • Ercoli, LM
  • Miller, KJ
  • Lavretsky, H
  • Barrio, JR
  • Bookheimer, SY
  • Small, GW
  • Merrill, DA
  • et al.
Abstract

Objectives: To determine whether psychological well-being in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a risk state for Alzheimer disease (AD), is associated with in vivo measures of brain pathology. Methods: Cross-sectional clinical assessments and positron emission tomography (PET) scans after intravenous injections of 2-(1-{6-[(2-[F18]fluoroethyl)(methyl)amino]-2- naphthyl}ethylidene) malononitrile (FDDNP), a molecule that binds to plaques and tangles, were performed on middle-aged and older adults at a university research institute. Volunteers were aged 40e85 years with MCI (N = 35) or normal cognition (N = 29) without depression or anxiety. Statistical analyses included general linear models, using regional FDDNP-PET binding values as dependent variables and the Vigor-Activity subscale of the Profile of Mood States (POMS) as the independent variable, covarying for age. The POMS is a self-rated inventory of 65 adjectives that describe positive and negative feelings. Results: Scores on the POMS Vigor-Activity subscale were inversely associated with degree of FDDNP binding in the posterior cingulate cortex (r = 0.35, p = 0.04) in the MCI group but not in the control group. Conclusion: Psychological well-being, as indicated by self-reports of greater vigor and activity, is associated with lower FDDNP-PET binding in the posterior cingulate cortex, a region involved in emotional regulation, in individuals with MCI but not in those with normal cognition. These findings are consistent with previous work indicating that deposition of brain amyloid plaques and tau tangles may result in noncognitive and cognitive symptoms in persons at risk for AD. © 2014 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.

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