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Vol. 21, No. 3, 2006
Issue release date: February 2006
Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2006;21:131–138

CSF Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease: Levels of β-Amyloid, Tau, Phosphorylated Tau Relate to Clinical Symptoms and Survival

Wallin Å.K. · Blennow K. · Andreasen N. · Minthon L.
aDepartment of Psychiatry, Neuropsychiatric Clinic, Malmö University Hospital, Malmö, bDepartment of Clinical Neuroscience, Göteborg University, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Mölndal, and cKarolinska Institutet, Department of NEUROTEC, Section of Geriatric Medicine, M51, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden

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Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from 21 patients with a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) participating in a 5-year treatment study with the choline esterase inhibitor tacrin were retrospectively analyzed for the contents of β-amyloid (Aβ42), total tau (T-tau) and phosphorylated tau (P-tau). A significant positive correlation between the level of P-tau and the number of symptoms according to the DSM-IV criteria (p = 0.041) and the NINCDS-ADRDA (p = 0.029) was observed (i.e. higher levels were found in cases with more symptoms). A significant positive correlation between T-tau, P-tau and ADAS-cog score was identified (i.e. higher levels were found with more severe cognitive dysfunction). Patients who died during the 5-year follow-up had significantly lower levels of Aβ42 (p = 0.011) than those who were still alive. Patients who had died in a 6-year follow-up had significantly lower levels of Aβ42 (p = 0.034) and higher levels of T-tau (p = 0.041) than patients still alive. Conclusion: CSF biomarkers do aid the clinical diagnosis of AD. Increased levels of P-tau and T-tau are possible markers for severity and abundance of symptoms in AD. Low levels of Aβ42 may indicate a higher risk of early death in AD.

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