Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Objective To assess the onset, sequence, and rate of progression of comprehensive biomarker and clinical measures across the spectrum of Alzheimer disease (AD) using the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) study and compare these to cross-sectional estimates. Methods We conducted longitudinal clinical, cognitive, CSF, and neuroimaging assessments (mean of 2.7 [±1.1] visits) in 217 DIAN participants. Linear mixed effects models were used to assess changes in each measure relative to individuals’ estimated years to symptom onset and to compare mutation carriers and noncarriers. Results Longitudinal β-amyloid measures changed first (starting 25 years before estimated symptom onset), followed by declines in measures of cortical metabolism (approximately 7–10 years later), then cognition and hippocampal atrophy (approximately 20 years later). There were significant differences in the estimates of CSF p-tau181 and tau, with elevations from crosssectional estimates preceding longitudinal estimates by over 10 years; further, longitudinal estimates identified a significant decline in CSF p-tau181 near symptom onset as opposed to continued elevations. Conclusion These longitudinal estimates clarify the sequence and temporal dynamics of presymptomatic pathologic changes in autosomal dominant AD, information critical to a better understanding of the disease. The pattern of biomarker changes identified here also suggests that once β-amyloidosis begins, additional pathologies may begin to develop less than 10 years later, but more than 15 years before symptom onset, an important consideration for interventions meant to alter the disease course.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1295 - 1306



β-amyloid; Alzheimer disease; autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease; asymptomatic mutation, carriers; Clinical Dementia Rating scale; Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network; fluorodeoxyglucose; , mutation carriers; NC = noncarriers; NFT = neurofibrillary tangle; p-tau = phosphorylated tau; PiB = Pittsburgh compound B.