Amyloid-β (Aβ) positivity is defined using different biomarkers and different criteria. Criteria used in symptomatic patients may conceal meaningful early Aβ pathology in preclinical Alzheimer. Therefore, the description of sensitive cutoffs to study the pathophysiological changes in early stages of the Alzheimer's continuum is critical. Here, we compare different Aβ classification approaches and we show their performance in detecting pathophysiological changes downstream Aβ pathology. We studied 368 cognitively unimpaired individuals of the ALFA+ study, many of whom in the preclinical stage of the Alzheimer's continuum. Participants underwent Aβ PET and CSF biomarkers assessment. We classified participants as Aβ -positive using five approaches: (1) CSF Aβ42 < 1098 pg/ml; (2) CSF Aβ42/40 < 0.071; (3) Aβ PET Centiloid > 12; (4) Aβ PET Centiloid > 30 or (5) Aβ PET Positive visual read. We assessed the correlations between Aβ biomarkers and compared the prevalence of Aβ positivity. We determined which approach significantly detected associations between Aβ pathology and tau/neurodegeneration CSF biomarkers. We found that CSF-based approaches result in a higher Aβ-positive prevalence than PET-based ones. There was a higher number of discordant participants classified as CSF Aβ-positive but PET Aβ-negative than CSF Aβ-negative but PET Aβ-positive. The CSF Aβ 42/40 approach allowed optimal detection of significant associations with CSF p-tau and t-tau in the Aβ-positive group. Altogether, we highlight the need for sensitive Aβ -classifications to study the preclinical Alzheimer's continuum. Approaches that define Aβ positivity based on optimal discrimination of symptomatic Alzheimer's disease patients may be suboptimal for the detection of early pathophysiological alterations in preclinical Alzheimer.
Milà-Alomà M, Salvadó G, Shekari M, Grau-Rivera O, Sala-Vila A, Sánchez-Benavides G, Arenaza-Urquijo EM, González-de-Echávarri JM, Simon M, Kollmorgen G, Zetterberg H, Blennow K, Gispert JD, Suárez-Calvet M, Molinuevo JL. Comparative Analysis of Different Definitions of Amyloid-β Positivity to Detect Early Downstream Pathophysiological Alterations in Preclinical Alzheimer. J Prev Alzheimers Dis. 2021;8(1):68-77. doi: 10.14283/jpad.2020.51. PMID: 33336227.