Depression is associated with low plasma Aβ42 independently of cardiovascular disease in the homebound elderly

Wei Qiao Qiu, Xiaoyan Sun, Dennis J. Selkoe, D. Mkaya Mwamburi, Tina Huang, Refeeque Bhadela, Peter Bergethon, Tammy M. Scott, Paul Summergrad, Lixia Wang, Irwin Rosenberg, Marshal Folstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background: Depression often the onset of Alzheimer's disease before the of precedes (AD) appearance cognitive symptoms. Plasma Amyloid-β peptide 42 (Aβ42) declines before and soon after the onset of AD, yet the relationship between plasma Aβ42 and depression is unclear. Methods: We used 515 homebound elders aged 60 and older in a population-based, cross-sectional study to investigate associations between plasma Aβ levels and depression with and without cardiovascular co-morbidities. Depression was evaluated by using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale. Plasma Aβ40 and Aβ42 were measured. Results: The elderly with depression had lower plasma Aβ42 (median: 15.3 vs. 18.9, p=0.008) than those without depression. The CES-D score was inversely associated with plasma Aβ42 (p=0.001) in subjects with no cardiovascular disease (CVD); however, in the presence of CVD, this association did not exist. Low plasma Aβ42 (OR = 0.41, p = 0.007) and the presence of CVD (OR = 1.84, p = 0.005) were independently associated with depression after adjusting for the confounders of age, stroke and apolipoprotein FA. Conclusions: Depressive symptoms are associated with low plasma Aβ42 independently of CVD. Prospective studies are needed to determine whether depression associated with low plasma Aβ42 is a separate depression subtype that could predict the onset of AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-542
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of geriatric psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease (AD)
  • Amyloid-β peptide 42 (Aβ42)
  • Depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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