We examined cortical amyloid-β (Aβ) levels and interactions with apolipoprotein (APOE) ϵ4 genotype status across empirically-derived mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subgroups and cognitively normal older adults. Participants were 583 ADNI participants (444 MCI, 139 normal controls [NC]) with baseline florbetapir positron emission tomography (PET) amyloid imaging and neuropsychological testing. Of those with ADNI-defined MCI, a previous cluster analysis  classified 51 (n=227) of the current sample as amnestic MCI, 8 (n=37) as dysexecutive/mixed MCI, and 41 (n=180) as cluster-derived normal (cognitively normal). Results demonstrated that the dysexecutive/mixed and amnestic MCI groups showed significantly greater levels of amyloid relative to the cluster-derived normal and NC groups who did not differ from each other. Additionally, 78 of the dysexecutive/mixed, 63 of the amnestic MCI, 42 of the cluster-derived normal, and 34 of the NC group exceeded the amyloid positivity threshold. Finally, a group by APOE genotype interaction demonstrated that APOE ϵ4 carriers within the amnestic MCI, cluster-derived normal, and NC groups showed significantly greater amyloid accumulation compared to non-carriers of their respective group. Such an interaction was not revealed within the dysexecutive/mixed MCI group which was characterized by both greater cognitive impairment and amyloid accumulation compared to the other participant groups. Our results from the ADNI cohort show considerable heterogeneity in Aβ across all groups studied, even within a group of robust NC participants. Findings suggest that conventional criteria for MCI may be susceptible to false positive diagnostic errors, and that onset of Aβ accumulation may occur earlier in APOE ϵ4 carriers compared to non-carriers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health