Biomarkers In Cerebrospinal Fluid Predict Early Stages Of Alzheimer's

A research study with more than 1500 subjects was undertaken at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Molndal, Sweden. It coorborated the findings of many small studies showing specific changes in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that can predict Alzheimer's disease.

The study, published in the July 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, was led by Dr.Niklas Mattsson, who focused primarily on the three protein biomarkers found in the cerebrospinal fluid of persons with Alzheimer's disease: beta-amyloid1-42 (A?42), total tau protein (T-tau), and tau phosphorylated at position threonine 181 (P-tau).

A total of 1583 subjects was tested for these biomarkers, among them 750 people with mild cognitive impairment, 529 people with Alzheimer's disease, and 304 healthy people.  After two years, 271 of those with mild cognitive impairments progressed to Alzheimer's disease and 59 of the same group developed other dementias.

It was found that those who had progressed to Alzheimer's had lower levels of the A?42 protein and higher levels of P-tau and T-tau in their original CSF checks than the group of mildly cognitive impaired who did not progress.  This mirrored the research done in smaller studies, thereby supporting the conclusion that levels of A?42, P-tau, and T-tau are useful biomarkers in predicting Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Sam Gandy, the Mount Sinai Professor in Alzheimer's Disease Research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, said said that the Swedish study really quantifies the accuracy of the CSF tests in predicting Alzheimer's.

Hopefully, these tests will be helpful in developing treatment options for those who have mild cognitive impairments.  Then, to administer the treatments, accessibility to the CSF tests would be critical.


Keeping you posted...

Jul 22, 2009
by Anonymous

The Importance of Research

This type of research is exactly why clinical studies are so important.
It is important for patients and families affected by diseases such as Alzheimer’s to consider participating in clinical studies. One such study is the ICARA Study (, whose goal is to explore if an investigational drug, called Bapineuzumab, can help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. Clinical studies that test new treatments are the best chance we have for fighting this disease. Current therapies for Alzheimer’s treat the symptoms associated with it, not the disease itself.