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Vol. 21, No. 1, 2006
Issue release date: December 2005
Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2006;21:9–15

Measurement of Thirteen Biological Markers in CSF of Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias

Blasko I. · Lederer W. · Oberbauer H. · Walch T. · Kemmler G. · Hinterhuber H. · Marksteiner J. · Humpel C.
Departments of aPsychiatry and bAnaesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria

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Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biological markers may be of valuable help in the diagnosis of dementia. The aim of the present study was to evaluate CSF levels of 13 potential biomarkers in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), frontotemporal lobe dementia, alcohol dementia, major depression and control patients without any neuropsychiatric disease. The study was performed using β-amyloid 1–42 (Aβ42), total tau and phosphorylated tau-181 (P-tau181) as core markers. The ratio P-tau181/Aβ42 could significantly distinguish AD patients from all other diagnostic subgroups. CSF levels of 5 growth factors (HGF, GDNF, VEGF, BDNF, FGF-2) and 3 cytokines/chemokines (TNF-α, TGF-β1, MIP-1α) did not significantly differentiate between the studied groups. However, depending on the degree of neurodegeneration (as expressed by the ratio P-tau181/Aβ42), patients with AD displayed significantly increased CSF levels of nerve growth factor (NGF) as compared to healthy controls. CSF levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) were found to be significantly increased with age in all groups but did not distinguish AD patients from healthy controls. The results confirmed the suitability of the ratio P-tau181/Aβ42 for the diagnosis of AD, while CSF levels of NGF and MCP-1 are less specific and reliable for AD. It is suggested that the increase in NGF depends on the extent of neurodegeneration of the AD type and the increase in MCP-1 on age.

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