Metabolic correlates of prevalent mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease in adults with Down syndrome

for the Alzheimer's Biomarkers Consortium–Down Syndrome (ABC-DS) Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Introduction: Disruption of metabolic function is a recognized feature of late onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD). We sought to determine whether similar metabolic pathways are implicated in adults with Down syndrome (DS) who have increased risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Methods: We examined peripheral blood from 292 participants with DS who completed baseline assessments in the Alzheimer's Biomarkers Consortium–Down Syndrome (ABC-DS) using untargeted mass spectrometry (MS). Our sample included 38 individuals who met consensus criteria for AD (DS-AD), 43 who met criteria for mild cognitive impairment (DS-MCI), and 211 who were cognitively unaffected and stable (CS). Results: We measured relative abundance of 8,805 features using MS and 180 putative metabolites were differentially expressed (DE) among the groups at false discovery rate-corrected q< 0.05. From the DE features, a nine-feature classifier model classified the CS and DS-AD groups with receiver operating characteristic area under the curve (ROC AUC) of 0.86 and a two-feature model classified the DS-MCI and DS-AD groups with ROC AUC of 0.88. Metabolite set enrichment analysis across the three groups suggested alterations in fatty acid and carbohydrate metabolism. Discussion: Our results reveal metabolic alterations in DS-AD that are similar to those seen in LOAD. The pattern of results in this cross-sectional DS cohort suggests a dynamic time course of metabolic dysregulation which evolves with clinical progression from non-demented, to MCI, to AD. Metabolomic markers may be useful for staging progression of DS-AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12028
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Down syndrome
  • carbohydrate metabolism
  • energy metabolism
  • fatty acid metabolism
  • lipid metabolism
  • metabolism
  • metabolomics
  • mild cognitive impairment


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