Background. The association between estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and progression of Alzheimer disease (AD), as measured by cognitive decline and brain atrophy, has been infrequently studied. Since AD is characterized by sarcopenia and other changes in body composition, which are known to influence GFR, a determination of how lean mass (LM) affects estimation of GFR in AD patients is important.Methods. Participants were drawn from a prospective longitudinal study of brain ageing and AD in community-dwelling individuals. Control (n = 60) and AD (n = 61) participants were enrolled. Estimated GFR was calculated using the four-variable Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD), CockroftGault, Macdonald appendicular LM and Taylor LM equations. Association of eGFR with 2-year change in cognitive function and brain volume was assessed.Results. Individuals with AD demonstrated a paradoxical finding in which lower baseline MDRD eGFR was associated with less cognitive decline (P = 0.04) and brain atrophy (P = 0.02), a phenomenon not observed in non-AD controls. This finding was abolished in the AD patients when either the Macdonald appendicular LM or Taylor LM equations were used. While significant group-by-eGFR interactions were present for cognitive decline (P = 0.006) and brain atrophy (P = 0.001) when the MDRD equation was used, no group-by-eGFR interactions were present when either the Macdonald LM (P = 0.58 and P = 0.10 for cognitive decline and brain atrophy, respectively) or Taylor LM (P = 0.97 and P = 0.55) equations were used.Conclusions. Accounting for measures of LM in GFR estimation appears to significantly mitigate counterintuitive relationships between measures of AD progression and eGFR as calculated by more traditional measures of renal function. This suggests that consideration of LM in eGFR calculations may be important in patients with sarcopenia, such as the AD population. © 2010 The Author.