Amyloid and tau pathology are associated with cerebral blood flow in a mixed sample of nondemented older adults with and without vascular risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease

Identification of biomarkers for the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an imperative step in developing effective treatments. Cerebral blood flow (CBF) is a potential early biomarker for AD; generally, older adults with AD have decreased CBF compared to normally aging peers. CBF deviates as the disease process and symptoms progress. However, further characterization of the relationships between CBF and AD risk factors and pathologies is still needed. We assessed the relationships between CBF quantified by arterial spin-labeled magnetic resonance imaging, hypertension, APOEε4, and tau and amyloid positron emission tomography in 77 older adults: cognitively normal, subjective cognitive decline, and mild cognitive impairment. Tau and amyloid aggregation were related to altered CBF, and some of these relationships were dependent on hypertension or APOEε4 status. Our findings suggest a complex relationship between risk factors, AD pathologies, and CBF that warrants future studies of CBF as a potential early biomarker for AD.