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New publication in Alzheimer's & Dementia Journal

Publication title: "Application of the ATN classification scheme in a population without dementia: Findings from the EPAD cohort"


Silvia Ingala, Casper De Boer, Larissa A Masselink, Ilaria Vergari, Luigi Lorenzini, Kaj Blennow, Gaël Chételat, Carol Di Perri, Michael Ewers, Wiesje M van der Flier, Nick C Fox, Juan Domingo Gispert, Sven Haller, José Luís Molinuevo, Graciela Muniz‐Terrera, Henri JMM Mutsaerts, Craig W Ritchie, Karen Ritchie, Mark Schmidt, Adam J Schwarz, Lisa Vermunt, Adam D Waldman, Joanna Wardlaw, Alle Meije Wink, Robin Wolz, Viktor Wottschel, Philip Scheltens, Pieter Jelle Visser, Frederik Barkhof, the EPAD consortium


Publication year: 2021




We classified non‐demented European Prevention of Alzheimer's Dementia (EPAD) participants through the amyloid/tau/neurodegeneration (ATN) scheme and assessed their neuropsychological and imaging profiles.

Materials and methods

From 1500 EPAD participants, 312 were excluded. Cerebrospinal fluid cut‐offs of 1000 pg/mL for amyloid beta (Aß)1‐42 and 27 pg/mL for p‐tau181 were validated using Gaussian mixture models. Given strong correlation of p‐tau and t‐tau (R2 = 0.98, P < 0.001), neurodegeneration was defined by age‐adjusted hippocampal volume. Multinomial regressions were used to test whether neuropsychological tests and regional brain volumes could distinguish ATN stages.


Age was 65 ± 7 years, with 58% females and 38% apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 carriers; 57.1% were A–T–N–, 32.5% were in the Alzheimer's disease (AD) continuum, and 10.4% suspected non‐Alzheimer's pathology. Age and cerebrovascular burden progressed with biomarker positivity (P < 0.001). Cognitive dysfunction appeared with T+. Paradoxically higher regional gray matter volumes were observed in A+T–N– compared to A–T–N– (P < 0.001).


In non‐demented individuals along the AD continuum, p‐tau drives cognitive dysfunction. Memory and language domains are affected in the earliest stages.


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EPAD project website