It is increasingly recognized that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) exists before dementia is present and that shifts in amyloid beta occur long before clinical symptoms can be detected. Early detection of these molecular changes is a key aspect for the success of interventions aimed at slowing down rates of cognitive decline. Recent evidence indicates that of the two established methods for measuring amyloid, a decrease in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid β1−42 (Aβ1−42) may be an earlier indicator of Alzheimer’s disease risk than measures of amyloid obtained from Positron Emission Tomography (PET). However, CSF collection is highly invasive and expensive. In contrast, blood collection is routinely performed, minimally invasive and cheap. In this work, we develop a blood-based signature that can provide a cheap and minimally invasive estimation of an individual’s CSF amyloid status using a machine learning approach. We show that a Random Forest model derived from plasma analytes can accurately predict subjects as having abnormal (low) CSF Aβ1−42 levels indicative of AD risk (0.84 AUC, 0.78 sensitivity, and 0.73 specificity). Refinement of the modeling indicates that only APOEε4 carrier status and four plasma analytes (CGA, Aβ1−42, Eotaxin 3, APOE) are required to achieve a high level of accuracy. Furthermore, we show across an independent validation cohort that individuals with predicted abnormal CSF Aβ1−42 levels transitioned to an AD diagnosis over 120 months significantly faster than those with predicted normal CSF Aβ1−42 levels and that the resulting model also validates reasonably across PET Aβ1−42 status (0.78 AUC). This is the first study to show that a machine learning approach, using plasma protein levels, age and APOEε4 carrier status, is able to predict CSF Aβ1−42 status, the earliest risk indicator for AD, with high accuracy.
|State||Published - Dec 1 2019|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Data collection and sharing for this project was funded by the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) (National Institutes of Health Grant U01 AG024904) and DOD ADNI (Department of Defense award number W81XWH-12-2-0012). ADNI is funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and through generous contributions from the following: AbbVie, Alzheimer’s Association; Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation; Araclon Biotech; BioClinica, Inc.; Biogen; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; CereSpir, Inc.; Cogstate; Eisai Inc.; Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Eli Lilly and Company; EuroImmun; F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and its affiliated company Genentech, Inc.; Fujirebio; GE Healthcare; IXICO Ltd.; Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research & Development, LLC.; Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development LLC.; Lumosity; Lundbeck; Merck & Co., Inc.; Meso Scale Diagnostics, LLC.; NeuroRx Research; Neurotrack Technologies; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Pfizer Inc.; Piramal Imaging; Servier; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company; and Transition Therapeutics. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is providing funds to support ADNI clinical sites in Canada. Private sector contributions are facilitated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (www.fnih.org). The grantee organization is the Northern California Institute for Research and Education, and the study is coordinated by the Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute at the University of Southern California. ADNI data are disseminated by the Laboratory for Neuro Imaging at the University of Southern California. This work was supported by IBM. We would like to thank Dr. Matthew Downton, Dr. Annalisa Swan and Dr. Anna Trigos for helpful feedback on the manuscript.
© 2019, The Author(s).
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