Amyloid-associated depression: a prodromal depression of Alzheimer disease?


Journal Article

CONTEXT: A high ratio of plasma amyloid-beta peptide 40 (Abeta(40)) to Abeta(42), determined by both high Abeta(40) and low Abeta(42) levels, increases the risk of Alzheimer disease. In a previous study, we reported that depression is also associated with low plasma Abeta(42) levels in the elderly population. OBJECTIVE: To characterize plasma Abeta(40):Abeta(42) ratio and cognitive function in elderly individuals with and without depression. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Homecare agencies. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 995 homebound elderly individuals of whom 348 were defined as depressed by a Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression score of 16 or greater. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cognitive domains of memory, language, executive, and visuospatial functions according to levels of plasma Abeta(40) and Abeta(42) peptides. RESULTS: Subjects with depression had lower plasma Abeta(42) levels (median, 14.1 vs 19.2 pg/mL; P = .006) and a higher plasma Abeta(40):Abeta(42) ratio (median, 8.9 vs 6.4; P < .001) than did those without depression in the absence of cardiovascular disease and antidepressant use. The interaction between depression and plasma Abeta(40):Abeta(42) ratio was associated with lower memory score (beta = -1.9, SE = 0.7, P = .006) after adjusting for potentially confounders. Relative to those without depression, "amyloid-associated depression," defined by presence of depression and a high plasma Abeta(40):Abeta(42) ratio, was associated with greater impairment in memory, visuospatial ability, and executive function; in contrast, nonamyloid depression was not associated with memory impairment but with other cognitive disabilities. CONCLUSION: Amyloid-associated depression may define a subtype of depression representing a prodromal manifestation of Alzheimer disease.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sun, X; Steffens, DC; Au, R; Folstein, M; Summergrad, P; Yee, J; Rosenberg, I; Mwamburi, DM; Qiu, WQ

Published Date

  • May 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 65 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 542 - 550

PubMed ID

  • 18458206

Pubmed Central ID

  • 18458206

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-3636

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1001/archpsyc.65.5.542


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States