Objective: To investigate whether cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers can predict cognitive decline in healthy, elderly individuals as they have been shown to do in cognitively impaired patient samples. Methods: In this study, 57 controls were tested for CSF biomarkers at baseline and then cognitively followed over 3 years. Results: Low levels of baseline β-amyloid 1–42 (Aβ42) were associated with development of subjective memory impairment affecting quality of life (memQoL), with a worse Mini Mental Status Examination score and with inability to live in regular housing at follow-up (p < 0.05). The combination of baseline Aβ42 and phosphorylated tau (P-tau) was found to predict development of pathological memQoL with a sensitivity of 71.4% and a specificity of 75.7 (<0.01). Conclusion: Low Aβ42 and combined Aβ42 and P-tau predicted subjective cognitive decline in healthy individuals. In summary, this study shows that already in the clinically normal population Alzheimer-disease-related biological signs might be detectable.
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