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Stephanie Langella, PhD




Research Fellow




Postdoctoral Research Fellow




David Aguillon, M.D.*, Stephanie Langella, Ph.D.*, Yinghua Chen, M.S., Justin Sanchez, B.S., Yi Su, Ph.D., Clara Vila-Castelar, Ph.D., Daniel Vasquez, M.D., Henrik Zetterberg, M.D., Ph.D., Oskar Hansson, M.D., Ph.D., Jeffrey L. Dage. Ph.D., Shorena Janelidzde, Ph.D., Kewei Chen, Ph.D., Joshua T. Fox-Fuller, M.A., Paula Aduen, Ph.D., Jairo E. Martinez, B.A., Gloria Garcia, B.S., Ana Baena, M.A., Claudia Guzman, B.S., Keith Johnson, M.D., Reisa A. Sperling, M.D., Kaj Blennow, M.D., Ph.D., Eric M. Reiman, M.D., Francisco Lopera, M.D., Yakeel T. Quiroz, Ph.D.​

Plasma p-tau217 predicts in vivo brain pathology and cognition in individuals with autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease

I’m grateful to have been mentored both in graduate school and as a postdoctoral fellow by two intelligent female Principal Investigators, who have served as role models for me as I forge my own career as an independent researcher studying cognitive and biological markers of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. It is important for me to participate in this symposium to celebrate the outcomes of this mentorship and to show other trainees what women in science can achieve. Finally, representation at this conference would have an immense impact on my career, as I am an early career stage investigator.


Diagnostic methods available for in vivo diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease are expensive and invasive. Plasma measured tau phosphorylated at threonine 217 (p-tau217) is one potential non-invasive biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease. We tested whether baseline plasma p-tau217 is associated with subsequent cognition and PET-measured pathology in non-demented carriers from the world’s largest known autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease kindred due to a single mutation.


Participants included 44 presenilin-1 E280A carriers (n=24) and non-carrier family members (n=20) recruited from the COLBOS (Colombia-Boston) longitudinal biomarker study. Outcomes included baseline plasma p-tau217 and its associations with cortical β-amyloid-PET, tau-PET, and word list delayed recall measured 7.61 years later.


Plasma p-tau217 was higher in carriers than non-carriers (p=.005). Plasma p-tau217 correlated with subsequent PET-pathology, including cortical β-amyloid (r=0.55, p<.001) and regional tau (inferior temporal cortex: r=0.44, p=.003; entorhinal cortex: r=0.47, p=.001; precuneus: r=0.53, p<.001). Higher plasma p-tau217 correlated with lower subsequent delayed recall (r =-0.52, p<.001).


Our findings suggest that baseline levels of plasma p-tau217 predict subsequent brain pathological burden and cognition in presenilin-1 E280A carriers. These results provide support for plasma p-tau217 as a minimally invasive diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease, with potential utility in clinical practice and trials.