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The definition of Alzheimer's disease (AD) now considers the presence of the markers of amyloid (A), tau deposition (T), and neurodegeneration (N) essential for diagnosis. AD patients have been reported to have increased blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction, but that has not been tested within the ATN framework so far. As the field is moving towards the use of blood-based biomarkers, the relationship between BBB disruption and AD-specific biomarkers requires considerable attention. Moreover, other factors have been previously implicated in modulating BBB permeability, including age, gender, and ApoE status. A total of 172 cognitively impaired individuals underwent cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis for AD biomarkers, and data on BBB dysfunction, demographics, and ApoE status were collected. Our data showed that there was no difference in BBB dysfunction across different ATN subtypes, and that BBB damage was not correlated with cognitive impairment. However, patients with BBB disruption, if measured with a high Qalb, had low Aβ40 levels. ApoE status did not affect BBB function but had a dose-dependent effect on the Aβ42/40 ratio. These results might highlight the importance of understanding dynamic changes across the BBB in future studies in patients with AD.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Mol Sci

Publication Date





ATN, Alzheimer’s disease, ApoE, Aβ amyloid, blood–brain barrier, Humans, Blood-Brain Barrier, Amyloid beta-Peptides, Alzheimer Disease, Peptide Fragments, Apolipoproteins E, Cognitive Dysfunction, Genotype, Biomarkers, tau Proteins