Researchers ID Phenotype Tied to Maternal Alzheimer's History

Alzheimer's biomarkers found in cerebrospinal fluid of cognitively normal adults with maternal history

MONDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Adults whose mothers had late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) -- but not those whose fathers did -- have a pathobiological phenotype marked by amyloid-beta (Aβ) oxidative stress, which may reflect their risk for developing the disease themselves, according to a study published in the Nov. 15 issue of Biological Psychiatry.

Lisa Mosconi, Ph.D., of the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues examined 59 cognitively normal subjects (aged 40 to 80 years), including 23 subjects with a maternal history of LOAD, 14 with a paternal history, and 22 with no family history. The researchers conducted clinical neuropsychological examinations and assessed cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of Aβ proteins, total and hyperphosphorylated tau (markers of neurofibrillary tangles and axonal degeneration), and F2-isoprostanes (IsoP, a marker for oxidative stress).

Compared to the subjects with a paternal history or no history of LOAD, the researchers found that the subjects with a maternal history of LOAD had higher IsoP, indicating increased oxidative stress, and reduced Aβ42/40 CSF levels, a major marker of Alzheimer's pathology.

"Adult children of LOAD-affected mothers express a pathobiological phenotype characterized by Aβ-associated oxidative stress consistent with Alzheimer's disease, which might reflect increased risk for developing the disease," the authors write.

Two study authors hold a patent on and a financial interest in technology licensed to Abiant Imaging by New York University. They have also consulted for Abiant Imaging. Other authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

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