Composite Scores of Plasma Tau and β-Amyloids Correlate with Dementia in down Syndrome

Wei Quan Fang, Wuh Liang Hwu, Yin Hsiu Chien, Shieh Yueh Yang, Jen Jie Chieh, Lih Maan Chang, Ai Chu Huang, Ni Chung Lee*, Ming Jang Chiu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Dementia frequently occurs in Down syndrome (DS) patients, and early intervention is important in its management. We have previously demonstrated a positive correlation of plasma β-amyloid Aβ42 levels and negative correlations of Aβ40 and tau levels with dementia in DS. In this study, we examined more cases and constructed composite scores with both tau and amyloids to correlate with dementia in DS. Plasma Aβ42, Aβ40, and tau proteins were measured by an immunomagnetic reduction assay in DS patients. Data were randomly and repeatedly split into training and validating sets, and logistic regression was applied to calculate the area under the curve (AUC) for each biomarker. A total of 73 DS patients (among them, 23 had neurodegeneration) and 77 controls were recruited. In DS patients without dementia, plasma Aβ40 and tau levels were highly elevated, but Aβ42 levels were lower than those of the healthy controls. DS patients with dementia, compared with DS patients with no dementia, had a large decline in Aβ40 and tau but a rise in Aβ42. For biomarker scores correlating with dementia, Aβ40 revealed an AUC of 0.912; the composite score of Aβ40 × tau revealed an AUC of 0.953; and a combined composite score of 0.1 for Aβ40 × Tau +0.9 Tau × Aβ40/Aβ42 achieved the highest AUC of 0.965. Therefore, composite biomarker scores including both plasma tau and β-amyloid levels correlate with dementia in DS better than using individual biomarker scores. The pattern of tau decline and Aβ42 rise in DS patients with dementia are also different from previous findings in Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-196
Number of pages6
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 15


  • Down syndrome
  • Neurodegeneration
  • amyloid peptides
  • biomarker
  • composite score
  • tau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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