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Magnetic resonance evidence of increased iron content in subcortical brain regions in asymptomatic Alzheimer's disease
Qixiang Lin 1, Salman Shahid 1, Antoine Hone-Blanchet 1, Shuai Huang 2, Junjie Wu 2, Aditya Bisht 1, David Loring 1, Felicia Goldstein 1 3, Allan Levey 1 3, Bruce Crosson 1 2, James Lah 1 3, Deqiang Qiu 2 3 4
...We aimed to assess brain iron levels in asymptomatic AD using quantitative MR relaxometry of effective transverse relaxation rate (R2*) and longitudinal relaxation rate (R1), and recruited 118 participants comprised of three groups including healthy young participants, and cognitively normal older individuals without or with positive AD biomarkers based on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteomics analysis. Compared with the healthy young group, increased R2* was found in widespread cortical and subcortical regions in the older groups. Further, significantly higher levels of R2* were found in the cognitively normal older subjects with positive CSF AD biomarker (i.e., asymptomatic AD) compared with those with negative AD biomarker in subcortical regions including the left and right caudate, left and right putamen, and left and right globus pallidus (p < .05 for all regions), suggesting increased iron content in these regions. Subcortical R2* of some regions was found to significantly correlate with CSF AD biomarkers and neuropsychological assessments of visuospatial functions. In conclusion, R2* could be a valuable biomarker for studying early pathophysiological changes in AD.