Lauren Edwards, Renaud La Joie, Leonardo Iaccarino, Amelia Strom, Suzanne L Baker, Kaitlin B Casaletto, Yann Cobigo, Harli Grant, Minseon Kim, Joel H Kramer, Taylor J Mellinger, Julie Pham, Katherine L Possin, Howard J Rosen, David N Soleimani-Meigooni, Amy Wolf, Bruce L Miller, Gil D Rabinovici
Neurobiology of Aging 105, 86-98
Publication year: 2021

We assessed sex differences in amyloid- and tau-PET retention in 119 amyloid positive patients with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia. Patients underwent 3T-MRI, 11C-PIB amyloid-PET and 18F-Flortaucipir tau-PET. Linear ordinary least squares regression models tested sex differences in Flortaucipir-PET SUVR in a summary temporal region of interest as well as global PIB-PET. No sex differences were observed in demographics, Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR-SoB), Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE), raw episodic memory scores, or cortical thickness. Females had higher global PIB SUVR (ηp²=.043, p=.025) and temporal Flortaucipir SUVR (ηp²=.070, p=.004), adjusting for age and CDR-SoB. Sex differences in temporal Flortaucipir-PET remained significant when controlling additionally for PIB SUVR and APOE4 status (ηp²=.055, p=.013), or when using partial volume-corrected data. No sex differences were present in areas of known Flortaucipir off-target binding. Overall, females demonstrated greater AD regional tau-PET burden than males despite clinical comparability. Further characterization of sex differences will provide insight into AD pathogenesis and support development of personalized therapeutic strategies.