Medicine (Austin & Northern Health) - Research Publications

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    Non-negative matrix factorisation improves Centiloid robustness in longitudinal studies
    Bourgeat, P ; Dore, V ; Doecke, J ; Ames, D ; Masters, CL ; Rowe, CC ; Fripp, J ; Villemagne, VL (ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE, 2021-02-01)
    BACKGROUND: Centiloid was introduced to harmonise β-Amyloid (Aβ) PET quantification across different tracers, scanners and analysis techniques. Unfortunately, Centiloid still suffers from some quantification disparities in longitudinal analysis when normalising data from different tracers or scanners. In this work, we aim to reduce this variability using a different analysis technique applied to the existing calibration data. METHOD: All PET images from the Centiloid calibration dataset, along with 3762 PET images from the AIBL study were analysed using the recommended SPM pipeline. The PET images were SUVR normalised using the whole cerebellum. All SUVR normalised PiB images from the calibration dataset were decomposed using non-negative matrix factorisation (NMF). The NMF coefficients related to the first component were strongly correlated with global SUVR and were subsequently used as a surrogate for Aβ retention. For each tracer of the calibration dataset, the components of the NMF were computed in a way such that the coefficients of the first component would match those of the corresponding PiB. Given the strong correlations between the SUVR and the NMF coefficients on the calibration dataset, all PET images from AIBL were subsequently decomposed using the computed NMF, and their coefficients transformed into Centiloids. RESULTS: Using the AIBL data, the correlation between the standard Centiloid and the novel NMF-based Centiloid was high in each tracer. The NMF-based Centiloids showed a reduction of outliers, and improved longitudinal consistency. Furthermore, it removed the effects of switching tracers from the longitudinal variance of the Centiloid measure, when assessed using a linear mixed effects model. CONCLUSION: We here propose a novel image driven method to perform the Centiloid quantification. The methods is highly correlated with standard Centiloids while improving the longitudinal reliability when switching tracers. Implementation of this method across multiple studies may lend to more robust and comparable data for future research.
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    Increased cerebral blood flow with increased amyloid burden in the preclinical phase of alzheimer's disease
    Fazlollahi, A ; Calamante, F ; Liang, X ; Bourgeat, P ; Raniga, P ; Dore, V ; Fripp, J ; Ames, D ; Masters, CL ; Rowe, CC ; Connelly, A ; Villemagne, VL ; Salvado, O (WILEY, 2020-02-01)
    BACKGROUND: Arterial spin labeling (ASL) is an emerging MRI technique for noninvasive measurement of cerebral blood flow (CBF) that has been used to show hemodynamic changes in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease (AD). CBF changes have been measured using positron emission tomography (PET) across the AD spectrum, but ASL showed limited success in measuring CBF variations in the preclinical phase of AD, where amyloid β (Aβ) plaques accumulate in the decades prior to symptom onset. PURPOSE: To investigate the relationship between CBF measured by multiphase-pseudocontinuous-ASL (MP-PCASL) and Aβ burden as measured by 11 C-PiB PET imaging in a study of cognitively normal (CN) subjects age over 65. STUDY TYPE: Cross-sectional. POPULATION: Forty-six CN subjects including 33 with low levels of Aβ burden and 13 with high levels of Aβ. FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE: 3T/3D MP-PCASL. ASSESSMENT: The MP-PCASL method was chosen because it has a high signal-to-noise ratio. Furthermore, the data were analyzed using an efficient processing pipeline consisting of motion correction, ASL motion correction imprecision removal, temporal and spatial filtering, and partial volume effect correction. STATISTICAL TESTS: General Linear Model. RESULTS: In CN subjects positive for Aβ burden (n = 13), we observed a positive correlation between CBF and Aβ burden in the hippocampus, amygdala, caudate (P < 0.01), frontal, temporal, and insula (P < 0.05). DATA CONCLUSION: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study using MP-PCASL in the study of AD, and the results suggest a potential compensatory hemodynamic mechanism that protects against pathology in the early stages of AD. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 1 Technical Efficacy: Stage 3 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2020;51:505-513.
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    Fifteen Years of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Study: Progress and Observations from 2,359 Older Adults Spanning the Spectrum from Cognitive Normality to Alzheimer's Disease
    Fowler, C ; Rainey-Smith, SR ; Bird, S ; Bomke, J ; Bourgeat, P ; Brown, BM ; Burnham, SC ; Bush, A ; Chadunow, C ; Collins, S ; Doecke, J ; Dore, V ; Ellis, KA ; Evered, L ; Fazlollahi, A ; Fripp, J ; Gardener, SL ; Gibson, S ; Grenfell, R ; Harrison, E ; Head, R ; Jin, L ; Kamer, A ; Lamb, F ; Lautenschlager, NT ; Laws, SM ; Li, Q-X ; Lim, L ; Lim, YY ; Louey, A ; Macaulay, SL ; Mackintosh, L ; Martins, RN ; Maruff, P ; Masters, CL ; McBride, S ; Milicic, L ; Peretti, M ; Pertile, K ; Porter, T ; Radler, M ; Rembach, A ; Robertson, J ; Rodrigues, M ; Rowe, CC ; Rumble, R ; Salvado, O ; Savage, G ; Silbert, B ; Soh, M ; Sohrabi, HR ; Taddei, K ; Taddei, T ; Thai, C ; Trounson, B ; Tyrrell, R ; Vacher, M ; Varghese, S ; Villemagne, VL ; Weinborn, M ; Woodward, M ; Xia, Y ; Ames, D (IOS PRESS, 2021-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Study commenced in 2006 as a prospective study of 1,112 individuals (768 cognitively normal (CN), 133 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 211 with Alzheimer's disease dementia (AD)) as an 'Inception cohort' who underwent detailed ssessments every 18 months. Over the past decade, an additional 1247 subjects have been added as an 'Enrichment cohort' (as of 10 April 2019). OBJECTIVE: Here we provide an overview of these Inception and Enrichment cohorts of more than 8,500 person-years of investigation. METHODS: Participants underwent reassessment every 18 months including comprehensive cognitive testing, neuroimaging (magnetic resonance imaging, MRI; positron emission tomography, PET), biofluid biomarkers and lifestyle evaluations. RESULTS: AIBL has made major contributions to the understanding of the natural history of AD, with cognitive and biological definitions of its three major stages: preclinical, prodromal and clinical. Early deployment of Aβ-amyloid and tau molecular PET imaging and the development of more sensitive and specific blood tests have facilitated the assessment of genetic and environmental factors which affect age at onset and rates of progression. CONCLUSION: This fifteen-year study provides a large database of highly characterized individuals with longitudinal cognitive, imaging and lifestyle data and biofluid collections, to aid in the development of interventions to delay onset, prevent or treat AD. Harmonization with similar large longitudinal cohort studies is underway to further these aims.
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    Association of beta-Amyloid Level, Clinical Progression, and Longitudinal Cognitive Change in Normal Older Individuals
    Van der Kall, LM ; Thanh, T ; Burnham, SC ; Dore, V ; Mulligan, RS ; Bozinovski, S ; Lamb, F ; Bourgeat, P ; Fripp, J ; Schultz, S ; Lim, YY ; Laws, SM ; Ames, D ; Fowler, C ; Rainey-Smith, SR ; Martins, RN ; Salvado, O ; Robertson, J ; Maruff, P ; Masters, CL ; Villemagne, VL ; Rowe, CC (LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2021-02-02)
    OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of β-amyloid (Aβ) level on progression risk to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia and longitudinal cognitive change in cognitively normal (CN) older individuals. METHODS: All CN from the Australian Imaging Biomarkers and Lifestyle study with Aβ PET and ≥3 years follow-up were included (n = 534; age 72 ± 6 years; 27% Aβ positive; follow-up 5.3 ± 1.7 years). Aβ level was divided using the standardized 0-100 Centiloid scale: <15 CL negative, 15-25 CL uncertain, 26-50 CL moderate, 51-100 CL high, >100 CL very high, noting >25 CL approximates a positive scan. Cox proportional hazards analysis and linear mixed effect models were used to assess risk of progression and cognitive decline. RESULTS: Aβ levels in 63% were negative, 10% uncertain, 10% moderate, 14% high, and 3% very high. Fifty-seven (11%) progressed to MCI or dementia. Compared to negative Aβ, the hazard ratio for progression for moderate Aβ was 3.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3-7.6; p < 0.05), for high was 7.0 (95% CI 3.7-13.3; p < 0.001), and for very high was 11.4 (95% CI 5.1-25.8; p < 0.001). Decline in cognitive composite score was minimal in the moderate group (-0.02 SD/year, p = 0.05), while the high and very high declined substantially (high -0.08 SD/year, p < 0.001; very high -0.35 SD/year, p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: The risk of MCI or dementia over 5 years in older CN is related to Aβ level on PET, 5% if negative vs 25% if positive but ranging from 12% if 26-50 CL to 28% if 51-100 CL and 50% if >100 CL. This information may be useful for dementia risk counseling and aid design of preclinical AD trials.
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    Longitudinal evaluation of the natural history of amyloid-beta in plasma and brain
    Burnham, SC ; Fandos, N ; Fowler, C ; Perez-Grijalba, V ; Dore, V ; Doecke, JD ; Shishegar, R ; Cox, T ; Fripp, J ; Rowe, C ; Sarasa, M ; Masters, CL ; Pesini, P ; Villemagne, VL (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2020-04-14)
    Plasma amyloid-β peptide concentration has recently been shown to have high accuracy to predict amyloid-β plaque burden in the brain. These amyloid-β plasma markers will allow wider screening of the population and simplify and reduce screening costs for therapeutic trials in Alzheimer’s disease. The aim of this study was to determine how longitudinal changes in blood amyloid-β track with changes in brain amyloid-β. Australian Imaging, Biomarker and Lifestyle study participants with a minimum of two assessments were evaluated (111 cognitively normal, 7 mild cognitively impaired, 15 participants with Alzheimer’s disease). Amyloid-β burden in the brain was evaluated through PET and was expressed in Centiloids. Total protein amyloid-β 42/40 plasma ratios were determined using ABtest® assays. We applied our method for obtaining natural history trajectories from short term data to measures of total protein amyloid-β 42/40 plasma ratios and PET amyloid-β. The natural history trajectory of total protein amyloid-β 42/40 plasma ratios appears to approximately mirror that of PET amyloid-β, with both spanning decades. Rates of change of 7.9% and 8.8%, were observed for total protein amyloid-β 42/40 plasma ratios and PET amyloid-β, respectively. The trajectory of plasma amyloid-β preceded that of brain amyloid-β by a median value of 6 years (significant at 88% confidence interval). These findings, showing the tight association between changes in plasma and brain amyloid-β, support the use of plasma total protein amyloid-β 42/40 plasma ratios as a surrogate marker of brain amyloid-β. Also, that plasma total protein amyloid-β 42/40 plasma ratios has potential utility in monitoring trial participants, and as an outcome measure.
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    Concordant peripheral lipidome signatures in two large clinical studies of Alzheimer's disease
    Huynh, K ; Lim, WLF ; Giles, C ; Jayawardana, KS ; Salim, A ; Mellett, NA ; Smith, AAT ; Olshansky, G ; Drew, BG ; Chatterjee, P ; Martins, I ; Laws, SM ; Bush, AI ; Rowe, CC ; Villemagne, VL ; Ames, D ; Masters, CL ; Arnold, M ; Nho, K ; Saykin, AJ ; Baillie, R ; Han, X ; Kaddurah-Daouk, R ; Martins, RN ; Meikle, PJ (NATURE RESEARCH, 2020-11-10)
    Changes to lipid metabolism are tightly associated with the onset and pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Lipids are complex molecules comprising many isomeric and isobaric species, necessitating detailed analysis to enable interpretation of biological significance. Our expanded targeted lipidomics platform (569 species across 32 classes) allows for detailed lipid separation and characterisation. In this study we examined peripheral samples of two cohorts (AIBL, n = 1112 and ADNI, n = 800). We are able to identify concordant peripheral signatures associated with prevalent AD arising from lipid pathways including; ether lipids, sphingolipids (notably GM3 gangliosides) and lipid classes previously associated with cardiometabolic disease (phosphatidylethanolamine and triglycerides). We subsequently identified similar lipid signatures in both cohorts with future disease. Lastly, we developed multivariate lipid models that improved classification and prediction. Our results provide a holistic view between the lipidome and AD using a comprehensive approach, providing targets for further mechanistic investigation.
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    Risk prediction of late-onset Alzheimer's disease implies an oligogenic architecture
    Zhang, Q ; Sidorenko, J ; Couvy-Duchesne, B ; Marioni, RE ; Wright, MJ ; Goate, AM ; Marcora, E ; Huang, K-L ; Porter, T ; Laws, SM ; Sachdev, PS ; Mather, KA ; Armstrong, NJ ; Thalamuthu, A ; Brodaty, H ; Yengo, L ; Yang, J ; Wray, NR ; McRae, AF ; Visscher, PM (NATURE RESEARCH, 2020-09-23)
    Genetic association studies have identified 44 common genome-wide significant risk loci for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD). However, LOAD genetic architecture and prediction are unclear. Here we estimate the optimal P-threshold (Poptimal) of a genetic risk score (GRS) for prediction of LOAD in three independent datasets comprising 676 cases and 35,675 family history proxy cases. We show that the discriminative ability of GRS in LOAD prediction is maximised when selecting a small number of SNPs. Both simulation results and direct estimation indicate that the number of causal common SNPs for LOAD may be less than 100, suggesting LOAD is more oligogenic than polygenic. The best GRS explains approximately 75% of SNP-heritability, and individuals in the top decile of GRS have ten-fold increased odds when compared to those in the bottom decile. In addition, 14 variants are identified that contribute to both LOAD risk and age at onset of LOAD.
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    Plasma High Density Lipoprotein Small Subclass is Reduced in Alzheimer's Disease Patients and Correlates with Cognitive Performance
    Pedrini, S ; Hone, E ; Gupta, VB ; James, I ; Teimouri, E ; Bush, A ; Rowe, CC ; Villemagne, VL ; Ames, D ; Masters, CL ; Rainey-Smith, S ; Verdile, G ; Sohrabi, HR ; Raida, MR ; Wenk, MR ; Taddei, K ; Chatterjee, P ; Martins, I ; Laws, SM ; Martins, RN ; Pasinetti, G (IOS PRESS, 2020-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: The link between cholesterol and Alzheimer's disease (AD) has received much attention, as evidence suggests high levels of cholesterol might be an AD risk factor. The carriage of cholesterol and lipids through the body is mediated via lipoproteins, some of which, particularly apolipoprotein E (ApoE), are intimately linked with AD. In humans, high density lipoprotein (HDL) is regarded as a "good" lipid complex due to its ability to enable clearance of excess cholesterol via 'cholesterol reverse transport', although its activities in the pathogenesis of AD are poorly understood. There are several subclasses of HDL; these range from the newly formed small HDL, to much larger HDL. OBJECTIVE: We examined the major subclasses of HDL in healthy controls, mild cognitively impaired, and AD patients who were not taking statins to determine whether there were HDL profile differences between the groups, and whether HDL subclass levels correlated with plasma amyloid-β (Aβ) levels or brain Aβ deposition. METHODS: Samples from AIBL cohort were used in this study. HDL subclass levels were assessed by Lipoprint while Aβ1-42 levels were assessed by ELISA. Brain Aβ deposition was assessed by PET scan. Statistical analysis was performed using parametric and non-parametric tests. RESULTS: We found that small HDL subclass is reduced in AD patients and it correlates with cognitive performance while plasma Aβ concentrations do not correlate with lipid profile or HDL subfraction levels. CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that AD patients exhibit altered plasma HDL profile and that HDL subclasses correlate with cognitive performances.
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    Relationships Between Plasma Lipids Species, Gender, Risk Factors, and Alzheimer's Disease
    Lim, WLF ; Huynh, K ; Chatterjee, P ; Martins, I ; Jayawardana, KS ; Giles, C ; Mellett, NA ; Laws, SM ; Bush, AI ; Rowe, CC ; Villemagne, VL ; Ames, D ; Drew, BG ; Masters, CL ; Meikle, PJ ; Martins, RN ; Götz, J (IOS PRESS, 2020-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: Lipid metabolism is altered in Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, the relationship between AD risk factors (age, APOEɛ4, and gender) and lipid metabolism is not well defined. OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether altered lipid metabolism associated with increased age, gender, and APOE status may contribute to the development of AD by examining these risk factors in healthy controls and also clinically diagnosed AD individuals. METHODS: We performed plasma lipidomic profiling (582 lipid species) of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle flagship study of aging cohort (AIBL) using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Linear regression and interaction analysis were used to explore the relationship between risk factors and plasma lipid species. RESULTS: We observed strong associations between plasma lipid species with gender and increasing age in cognitively normal individuals. However, APOEɛ4 was relatively weakly associated with plasma lipid species. Interaction analysis identified differential associations of sphingolipids and polyunsaturated fatty acid esterified lipid species with AD based on age and gender, respectively. These data indicate that the risk associated with age, gender, and APOEɛ4 may, in part, be mediated by changes in lipid metabolism. CONCLUSION: This study extends our existing knowledge of the relationship between the lipidome and AD and highlights the complexity of the relationships between lipid metabolism and AD at different ages and between men and women. This has important implications for how we assess AD risk and also for potential therapeutic strategies involving modulation of lipid metabolic pathways.
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    Baseline White Matter Is Associated With Physical Fitness Change in Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease
    Venkatraman, VK ; Steward, CE ; Cox, KL ; Ellis, KA ; Phal, PM ; Sharman, MJ ; Villemagne, VL ; Lai, MMY ; Cyarto, E ; Ames, D ; Szoeke, C ; Rowe, CC ; Masters, CL ; Lautenschlager, NT ; Desmond, PM (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2020-04-29)
    White matter (WM) microstructure is a sensitive marker to distinguish individuals at risk of Alzheimer's disease. The association of objective physical fitness (PF) measures and WM microstructure has not been explored and mixed results reported with physical activity (PA). Longitudinal studies of WM with PA and PF measures have had limited investigation. This study explored the relationship between objective PF measures over 24-months with "normal-appearing" WM microstructure. Data acquired on magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure "normal-appearing" WM microstructure at baseline and 24-months. Clinical variables such as cognitive and blood-based measures were collected longitudinally. Also, as part of the randomized controlled trial of a PA, extensive measures of PA and fitness were obtained over the 24 months. Bilateral corticospinal tracts (CST) and the corpus callosum showed a significant association between PF performance over 24-months and baseline WM microstructural measures. There was no significant longitudinal effect of the intervention or PF performance over 24-months. Baseline WM microstructural measures were significantly associated with PF performance over 24-months in this cohort of participants with vascular risk factors and at risk of Alzheimer's disease with distinctive patterns for each PF test.