Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 21 pp 21004—21022
Plasma tau predicts cerebral vulnerability in aging
- 1 Laboratory of Functional Neuroscience, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain
- 2 CIBERNED, Network Center for Biomedical Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, Madrid, Spain
- 3 Division of Brain Aging, Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA
- 4 Alzheimer's Center at Temple, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA
- 5 Departments of Neurology, Pathology and Psychiatry, Center for Cognitive Neurology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA
Received: June 13, 2020 Accepted: August 25, 2020 Published: November 4, 2020https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.104057
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2020 Cantero et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Identifying cerebral vulnerability in late life may help prevent or slow the progression of aging-related chronic diseases. However, non-invasive biomarkers aimed at detecting subclinical cerebral changes in the elderly are lacking. Here, we have examined the potential of plasma total tau (t-tau) for identifying cerebral and cognitive deficits in normal elderly subjects. Patterns of cortical thickness and cortical glucose metabolism were used as outcomes of cerebral vulnerability. We found that increased plasma t-tau levels were associated with widespread reductions of cortical glucose uptake, thinning of the temporal lobe, and memory deficits. Importantly, tau-related reductions of glucose consumption in the orbitofrontal cortex emerged as a determining factor of the relationship between cortical thinning and memory loss. Together, these results support the view that plasma t-tau may serve to identify subclinical cerebral and cognitive deficits in normal aging, allowing detection of individuals at risk for developing aging-related neurodegenerative conditions.