High levels of β-amyloid (Aβ) characterize Alzheimer disease.
To investigate whether longitudinal changes in Aβ deposition can be detected in vivo in older adults without dementia (hereafter referred to as nondemented).
Community-dwelling older adults.
Twenty-four nondemented participants (4 with a baseline Clinical Dementia Rating Scale score of 0.5; mean [SD] age, 79.2 [8.1] years) in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging underwent serial carbon 11–labeled Pittsburgh Compound B–positron emission tomography ([11C]PiB-PET) (follow-up at a mean [SD] of 1.5 [0.5] years), with 5 participants undergoing a third [11C]PiB-PET examination.
Main Outcome Measures
Annual changes in distribution volume ratio (DVR) were evaluated using a global index of cortical DVR (cDVR) and region-of-interest analyses. Given the variability of cDVR at the initial PiB-PET, annual changes in cDVR in those with minimal vs those with elevated initial cDVR were compared.
In nondemented older adults, annual increase in [11C]PiB retention is 0.011 DVR per year (0.9%; P = .01), which localizes to the prefrontal, parietal, lateral temporal, occipital, and anterior and posterior cingulate cortices. Annual change in cDVR is greater in older adults with elevated cDVR than in those with a minimal initial cDVR (P = .006).
Fibrillar Aβ detected by [11C]PiB-PET increases over time even in nondemented older adults. Individuals with higher initial [11C]PiB retention have greater rates of Aβ deposition, providing evidence of differential rates of Aβ deposition. Moreover, regional vulnerabilities to Aβ deposition allow for more targeted investigation of early Aβ changes.