The relationship between body-mass index (BMI) and Alzheimeŕs disease (AD) has been extensively investigated. However, BMI alterations in preclinical individuals with autosomal dominant AD (ADAD) have not yet been investigated. We analyzed cross-sectional data from 230 asymptomatic members of families with ADAD participating in the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) study including 120 preclinical mutation carriers (MCs) and 110 asymptomatic non-carriers (NCs). Differences in BMI and their relation with cerebral amyloid load and episodic memory as a function of estimated years to symptom onset (EYO) were analyzed. Preclinical MCs showed significantly lower BMIs compared to NCs, starting 11.2 years before expected symptom onset. However, the BMI curves begun to diverge already at 17.8 years before expected symptom onset. Lower BMI in preclinical MCs was significantly associated with less years before estimated symptom onset, higher global Aβ brain burden, and with lower delayed total recall scores in the logical memory test. The study provides cross-sectional evidence that weight loss starts one to two decades before expected symptom onset of ADAD. Our findings point toward a link between the pathophysiology of ADAD and disturbance of weight control mechanisms. Longitudinal follow-up studies are warranted to investigate BMI changes over time.
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