The intra vitam diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is still based on clinical grounds. So far no technical investigations have been available to support this diagnosis. As for tau protein and β-amyloid(1–42) (Aβ42), promising results for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have been reported; we evaluated these markers and S-100B protein in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), using a set of commercially available assays, of 71 patients with DLB, 67 patients with AD and 41 nondemented controls (NDC) for their differential diagnostic relevance. Patients with DLB showed significantly lower tau protein values compared to AD but with a high overlap of values. More prominent differences were observed in the comparison of DLB patients with all three clinical core features and AD patients. Aβ42 levels were decreased in the DLB and AD groups versus NDC, without significant subgroup differences. S-100B levels were not significantly different between the groups. Tau protein levels in CSF may contribute to the clinical distinction between DLB and AD, but the value of the markers is still limited especially due to mixed pathology. We conclude that more specific markers have to be established for the differentiation of these diseases.
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