Cortical atrophy and amyloid and tau deposition in Down syndrome: A longitudinal study.


Introduction: The Down syndrome population has a high prevalence for dementia, often showing their first clinical symptoms in their 40s. Methods: In a longitudinal cohort, we investigate whether amyloid deposition at time point 1 (TP1) could predict cortical thickness change at time point 2 (TP2). The association between tau burden and cortical thickness was also examined at time point 3 (TP3). Results: Between TP1 and TP2 there was pronounced cortical thinning in temporo-parietal cortices and cortical thickening in the frontal cortex. Baseline amyloid burden was strongly associated to cortical thinning progression, especially in the temporo-parietal regions. At TP3, tau deposition negatively correlated with cortical atrophy in regions where tau usually accumulates at later Braak stages. Discussion: A higher amount of amyloid accumulation triggers a cascade of changes of disease-causing processes that eventually lead to dementia. As expected, we found that regions where tau usually accumulates were those also displaying high levels of cortical atrophy.