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1.  Preclinical Evidence of Alzheimer Changes: Convergent Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarker and Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography Findings 
Archives of neurology  2009;66(5):632-637.
Alterations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau and β–amyloid peptide 1–42 (Aβ42) levels and rates of cerebral glucose (CMRglu) on fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) occur years before clinical symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) become manifest, but their relationship remains unclear.
To determine whether CSF AD biomarker levels and CMRglu in healthy individuals correlate in brain structures affected early in AD.
Cohort study.
Alzheimer’s disease research center.
Twenty individuals without dementia, aged 46 to 83 years.
Lumbar CSF sampling and FDG-PET imaging of CMRglu. The CSF Aβ42, tau, and tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (p–tau181) levels were measured using immunobead–based multiplex assays.
Main Outcome Measures
Correlations between CMRglu and CSF biomarker levels were analyzed via voxel–based and volume–of–interest approaches.
Voxel–based analyses demonstrated significant negative correlations between CSF tau and p–tau181 levels and CMRglu in the posterior cingulate, precuneus, and parahippocampal regions. In contrast, a limited positive correlation was found between CSF Aβ42 levels and CMRglu in the inferior temporal cortex. Volume–of–interest analyses confirmed negative associations between CSF tau and p–tau181 levels and CMRglu in the parietal and medial parietal lobes and a positive association between CSF Aβ42 levels and CMRglu in the parahippocampal gyrus.
In healthy individuals, higher CSF tau and p–tau181 concentrations were associated with more severe hypometabolism in several brain regions affected very early in AD, whereas lower CSF Aβ42 concentrations were associated with hypometabolism only in the medial temporal lobe. This suggests that early tau and Aβ abnormalities may be associated with subtle synaptic changes in brain regions vulnerable to AD. A longitudinal assessment of CSF and FDG–PET biomarkers is needed to determine whether these changes predict cognitive impairment and incipient AD.
PMCID: PMC2718788  PMID: 19433663
2.  Association of Cerebrospinal Fluid β-Amyloid 1-42, T-tau, P-tau181, and α-Synuclein Levels With Clinical Features of Drug-Naive Patients With Early Parkinson Disease 
JAMA neurology  2013;70(10):1277-1287.
We observed a significant correlation between cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of tau proteins and α-synuclein, but not β-amyloid 1–42 (Aβ1–42), and lower concentration of CSF biomarkers, as compared with healthy controls, in a cohort of entirely untreated patients with Parkinson disease (PD) at the earliest stage of the disease studied so far.
To evaluate the baseline characteristics and relationship to clinical features of CSF biomarkers (Aβ1–42, total tau [T-tau], tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 [P-tau181], and α-synuclein) in drug-naive patients with early PD and demographically matched healthy controls enrolled in the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) study.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Cross-sectional study of the initial 102 research volunteers (63 patients with PD and 39 healthy controls) of the PPMI cohort.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The CSF biomarkers were measured by INNO-BIA AlzBio3 immunoassay (Aβ1–42, T-tau, and P-tau181; Innogenetics Inc) or by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (α-synuclein). Clinical features including diagnosis, demographic characteristics, motor, neuropsychiatric, and cognitive assessments, and DaTscan were systematically assessed according to the PPMI study protocol.
Slightly, but significantly, lower levels of Aβ1–42, T-tau, P-tau181, α-synuclein, and T-tau/Aβ1–42 were seen in subjects with PD compared with healthy controls but with a marked overlap between groups. Using multivariate regression analysis, we found that lower Aβ1–42 and P-tau181 levels were associated with PD diagnosis and that decreased CSF T-tau and α-synuclein were associated with increased motor severity. Notably, when we classified patients with PD by their motor phenotypes, lower CSF Aβ1–42 and P-tau181 concentrations were associated with the postural instability–gait disturbance–dominant phenotype but not with the tremor-dominant or intermediate phenotype. Finally, we found a significant correlation of the levels of α-synuclein with the levels of T-tau and P-tau181.
Conclusions and Relevance
In this first report of CSF biomarkers in PPMI study subjects, we found that measures of CSF Aβ1–42, T-tau, P-tau181, and α-synuclein have prognostic and diagnostic potential in early-stage PD. Further investigations using the entire PPMI cohort will test the predictive performance of CSF biomarkers for PD progression.
PMCID: PMC4034348  PMID: 23979011
3.  Qualification of the analytical and clinical performance of CSF biomarker analyses in ADNI 
Acta neuropathologica  2011;121(5):597-609.
The close correlation between abnormally low pre-mortem cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of amyloid-β1-42 (Aβ1–42) and plaque burden measured by amyloid imaging as well as between pathologically increased levels of CSF tau and the extent of neurode-generation measured by MRI has led to growing interest in using these biomarkers to predict the presence of AD plaque and tangle pathology. A challenge for the wide-spread use of these CSF biomarkers is the high variability in the assays used to measure these analytes which has been ascribed to multiple pre-analytical and analytical test performance factors. To address this challenge, we conducted a seven-center inter-laboratory standardization study for CSF total tau (t-tau), phospho-tau (p-tau181) and Aβ1–42 as part of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). Aliquots prepared from five CSF pools assembled from multiple elderly controls (n = 3) and AD patients (n = 2) were the primary test samples analyzed in each of three analytical runs by the participating laboratories using a common batch of research use only immunoassay reagents (INNO-BIA AlzBio3, xMAP technology, from Innogenetics) on the Luminex analytical platform. To account for the combined effects on overall precision of CSF samples (fixed effect), different laboratories and analytical runs (random effects), these data were analyzed by mixed-effects modeling with the following results: within center %CV 95% CI values (mean) of 4.0–6.0% (5.3%) for CSF Aβ1–42; 6.4–6.8% (6.7%) for t-tau and 5.5–18.0% (10.8%) for p-tau181 and inter-center %CV 95% CI range of 15.9–19.8% (17.9%) for Aβ1–42, 9.6–15.2% (13.1%) for t-tau and 11.3–18.2% (14.6%) for p-tau181. Long-term experience by the ADNI biomarker core laboratory replicated this degree of within-center precision. Diagnostic threshold CSF concentrations for Aβ1–42 and for the ratio t-tau/Aβ1–42 were determined in an ADNI independent, autopsy-confirmed AD cohort from whom ante-mortem CSF was obtained, and a clinically defined group of cognitively normal controls (NCs) provides statistically significant separation of those who progressed from MCI to AD in the ADNI study. These data suggest that interrogation of ante-mortem CSF in cognitively impaired individuals to determine levels of t-tau, p-tau181 and Aβ1–42, together with MRI and amyloid imaging biomarkers, could replace autopsy confirmation of AD plaque and tangle pathology as the “gold standard” for the diagnosis of definite AD in the near future.
PMCID: PMC3175107  PMID: 21311900
Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative; Cerebrospinal fluid; Amyloid-β1-42; Total tau; p-tau181; Interlaboratory study; Mixed-effects modeling
4.  α-Synuclein improves diagnostic and prognostic performance of tau and Aβ in Alzheimer's disease 
Acta neuropathologica  2013;126(5):10.1007/s00401-013-1148-z.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Lewy body diseases (LBD), e.g. Parkinson's disease (PD) dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), are common causes of geriatric cognitive impairments. In addition, AD and LBD are often found in the same patients at autopsy; therefore, biomarkers that can detect the presence of both pathologies in living subjects are needed. In this investigation, we report the assessment of α-synuclein (α-syn) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and its association with CSF total tau (t-tau), phosphorylated tau181 (p-tau181), and amyloid beta1-42 (Aβ1-42) in subjects of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI; n=389), with longitudinal clinical assessments. A strong correlation was noted between α-syn and t-tau in controls, as well as in patients with AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, the correlation is not specific to subjects in the ADNI cohort, as it was also seen in PD patients and controls enrolled in the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI; n=102). A bimodal distribution of CSF α-syn levels was observed in the ADNI cohort, with high levels of α-syn in the subjects with abnormally increased t-tau values. Although a correlation was also noted between α-syn and p-tau181, there was a mismatch (α-syn-p-tau181-Mis), i.e. higher p-tau181 levels accompanied by lower α-syn levels in a subset of ADNI patients. We hypothesize that this α-syn-p-tau181-Mis is a CSF signature of concomitant LBD pathology in AD patients. Hence, we suggest that inclusion of measures of CSF α-syn and calculation of α-syn-p-tau181-Mis improves the diagnostic sensitivity/specificity of classic CSF AD biomarkers and better predicts longitudinal cognitive changes.
PMCID: PMC3812407  PMID: 23812319
Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson's disease; dementia with Lewy body; Cerebrospinal fluid; Amyloid β; tau; α-synuclein
5.  Longitudinal change in CSF Tau and Aβ biomarkers for up to 48 months in ADNI 
Acta neuropathologica  2013;126(5):10.1007/s00401-013-1151-4.
The dynamics of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau and Aβ biomarkers over time in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients from prodromal pre-symptomatic to severe stages of dementia have not been clearly defined and recent studies, most of which are cross-sectional, present conflicting findings. To clarify this issue, we analyzed the longitudinal CSF tau and Aβ biomarker data from 142 of the AD Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) study subjects [18 AD, 74 mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 50 cognitively normal subjects (CN)]. Yearly follow-up CSF collections and studies were conducted for up to 48 months (median = 36 months) for CSF Aβ1–42, phosphorylated tau (p-tau181), and total tau (t-tau). An unsupervised analysis of longitudinal measurements revealed that for Aβ1–42 and p-tau181 biomarkers there was a group of subjects with stable longitudinal CSF biomarkers measures and a group of subjects who showed a decrease (Aβ1–42, mean = −9.2 pg/ml/year) or increase (p-tau181, mean = 5.1 pg/ml/year) of these biomarker values. Low baseline Aβ1–42 values were associated with longitudinal increases in p-tau181. Conversely, high baseline p-tau181 values were not associated with changes in Aβ1–42 levels. When the subjects with normal baseline biomarkers and stable concentrations during follow-up were excluded, the expected time to reach abnormal CSF levels and the mean AD values was significantly shortened. Thus, our data demonstrate for the first time that there are distinct populations of ADNI subjects with abnormal longitudinal changes in CSF p-tau181 and Aβ1–42 levels, and our longitudinal results favor the hypothesis that Aβ1–42 changes precede p-tau181 changes.
PMCID: PMC3875373  PMID: 23812320
Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid beta; Tau; Cerebrospinal fluid; Longitudinal; Dementia; Mild cognitive impairment
6.  Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers and rate of cognitive decline in very mild dementia of the Alzheimer's type 
Archives of neurology  2009;66(5):638-645.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of Aβ peptide 1-42 (Aβ42), tau, and phosphorylated tau (ptau) are potential biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We hypothesized that these biomarkers might predict the rate of cognitive change in individuals with very mild dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT).
Retrospective analysis of CSF biomarkers and clinical data.
An academic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.
Research volunteers in a longitudinal study of aging and cognition. Participants (n=49) had a clinical diagnosis of very mild DAT with a Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) of 0.5 at the time of lumbar puncture. All participants had at least one follow-up assessment (mean years of follow-up = 3.5 ± 1.8 years).
Main outcome measures
Baseline CSF levels of Aβ42, Aβ40, tau and tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (ptau181), rate of dementia progression as measured by CDR-sum of boxes (CDR-SB) and by psychometric performance,
The rate of dementia progression was significantly more rapid in individuals with lower baseline CSF Aβ42, with higher tau or ptau181, or high tau/Aβ42 ratio. For example, the annual change in CDR-SB was 1.1 for the lowest two tertiles of Aβ42 values and 0.3 for the highest tertile of Aβ42 values.
In individuals with very mild DAT, lower CSF Aβ42, high tau or ptau181, or a high tau/Aβ42 ratio quantitatively predict more rapid progression of cognitive deficits and dementia. CSF biomarkers may be useful prognostically and to identify individuals who are more likely to progress for participation in therapeutic clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC2759394  PMID: 19433664
amyloid beta; Aβ; tau; biomarker; dementia progression
7.  Reduced CSF p-Tau181 to Tau ratio is a biomarker for FTLD-TDP 
Neurology  2013;81(22):1945-1952.
To validate the ability of candidate CSF biomarkers to distinguish between the 2 main forms of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), FTLD with TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) inclusions (FTLD-TDP) and FTLD with Tau inclusions (FTLD-Tau).
Antemortem CSF samples were collected from 30 patients with FTLD in a single-center validation cohort, and CSF levels of 5 putative FTLD-TDP biomarkers as well as levels of total Tau (t-Tau) and Tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (p-Tau181) were measured using independent assays. Biomarkers most associated with FTLD-TDP were then tested in a separate 2-center validation cohort composed of subjects with FTLD-TDP, FTLD-Tau, Alzheimer disease (AD), and cognitively normal subjects. The sensitivity and specificity of FTLD-TDP biomarkers were determined.
In the first validation cohort, FTLD-TDP cases had decreased levels of p-Tau181 and interleukin-23, and increased Fas. Reduced ratio of p-Tau181 to t-Tau (p/t-Tau) was the strongest predictor of FTLD-TDP pathology. Analysis in the second validation cohort showed CSF p/t-Tau ratio <0.37 to distinguish FTLD-TDP from FTLD-Tau, AD, and healthy seniors with 82% sensitivity and 82% specificity.
A reduced CSF p/t-Tau ratio represents a reproducible, validated biomarker for FTLD-TDP with performance approaching well-established CSF AD biomarkers. Introducing this biomarker into research and the clinical arena can significantly increase the power of clinical trials targeting abnormal accumulations of TDP-43 or Tau, and select the appropriate patients for target-specific therapies.
Classification of evidence:
This study provides Class II evidence that the CSF p/t-Tau ratio distinguishes FTLD-TDP from FTLD-Tau.
PMCID: PMC3843382  PMID: 24174584
8.  SNPs Associated with Cerebrospinal Fluid Phospho-Tau Levels Influence Rate of Decline in Alzheimer's Disease 
PLoS Genetics  2010;6(9):e1001101.
Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a complex and multifactorial disease. While large genome-wide association studies have had some success in identifying novel genetic risk factors for AD, case-control studies are less likely to uncover genetic factors that influence progression of disease. An alternative approach to identifying genetic risk for AD is the use of quantitative traits or endophenotypes. The use of endophenotypes has proven to be an effective strategy, implicating genetic risk factors in several diseases, including anemia, osteoporosis and heart disease. In this study we identify a genetic factor associated with the rate of decline in AD patients and present a methodology for identification of other such factors. We have used an established biomarker for AD, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (ptau181) levels as an endophenotype for AD, identifying a SNP, rs1868402, in the gene encoding the regulatory sub-unit of protein phosphatase B, associated with CSF ptau181 levels in two independent CSF series . We show no association of rs1868402 with risk for AD or age at onset, but detected a very significant association with rate of progression of disease that is consistent in two independent series . Our analyses suggest that genetic variants associated with CSF ptau181 levels may have a greater impact on rate of progression, while genetic variants such as APOE4, that are associated with CSF Aβ42 levels influence risk and onset but not the rate of progression. Our results also suggest that drugs that inhibit or decrease tau phosphorylation may slow cognitive decline in individuals with very mild dementia or delay the appearance of memory problems in elderly individuals with low CSF Aβ42 levels. Finally, we believe genome-wide association studies of CSF tau/ptau181 levels should identify novel genetic variants which will likely influence rate of progression of AD.
Author Summary
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease affecting more than 4.5 million people in the US. Genetic studies of AD have previously identified pathogenic mutations in three genes (APP, PSEN1 and PSEN2) and polymorphisms in APOE as risk factors. These findings have led to a better understanding of the underlying disease mechanisms. However, half of all AD cases have no known genetic risk factors for disease. Most studies are designed to identify variants associated with risk or age at onset, but rarely cover other important facets of AD, such as disease progression or duration. In this study we have used an established AD biomarker (cerebrospinal fluid tau phosphorylated at threonine 181, ptau181) to find genetic variants that influence levels of ptau181 in the cerebrospinal fluid. This novel and powerful approach has allowed us to identify a genetic factor located in the regulatory subunit of the calcineurin that is also strongly associated with rate of progression of AD. This study is important because it defines a strategy to find novel genetic factors influencing different facets of AD pathobiology including risk, onset and progression.
PMCID: PMC2940763  PMID: 20862329
9.  Cerebrospinal fluid markers in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease 
The objective was to assess the utility of total tau protein (tTau), the ratio of (tTau)/181 phosphorylated tau protein (P-Tau) and 14-3-3 protein, as diagnostic markers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).
CSF samples received from Norwegian hospitals between August 2005 and August 2007 were retrospectively selected from consecutive patients with tTau values > 1200 ng/L (n = 38). The samples from patients clinically diagnosed with CJD (n = 12) were compared to those from patients with other degenerative neurological diseases: Alzheimer's/vascular dementia (AD/VaD, n = 21), other neurological diseases (OND, n = 5). Total Tau, P-Tau, and β-Amyloid (Aβ42) were measured with commercial kits. Additionally, 14-3-3 protein was measured semi-quantitatively by immunoblot.
The minimum cut-off limits for diagnosis of CJD were chosen from the test results. For tTau the lower limit was fixed at 3000 ng/L, for the tTau/P-Tau ratio it was 60, and for 14-3-3 protein it was 0.75 arbitrary units. For tTau and tTau/P-Tau ratio, all but three CJD patients had levels above the minimum, whereas almost all of the other patients were below. For the 14-3-3 protein, two CJD patients were below the minimum and five were above. Only one of the other patients was higher than the limit. The sensitivities, specificities and diagnostic efficiencies were: tTau 75%, 92%, and 87%; tTau/P-Tau 75%, 96%, and 89%; and 14-3-3 protein 80%, 96%, and 91%.
The results suggest that 14-3-3 protein may be the better marker for CJD, tTau/P-Tau ratio and tTau are also efficient markers, but showed slightly inferior diagnostic properties in this study, with tTau/P-Tau marginally better than tTau.
PMCID: PMC2531166  PMID: 18727840
10.  Amyloid and tau cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers in HIV infection 
BMC Neurology  2009;9:63.
Because of the emerging intersections of HIV infection and Alzheimer's disease, we examined cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers related of amyloid and tau metabolism in HIV-infected patients.
In this cross-sectional study we measured soluble amyloid precursor proteins alpha and beta (sAPPα and sAPPβ), amyloid beta fragment 1-42 (Aβ1-42), and total and hyperphosphorylated tau (t-tau and p-tau) in CSF of 86 HIV-infected (HIV+) subjects, including 21 with AIDS dementia complex (ADC), 25 with central nervous system (CNS) opportunistic infections and 40 without neurological symptoms and signs. We also measured these CSF biomarkers in 64 uninfected (HIV-) subjects, including 21 with Alzheimer's disease, and both younger and older controls without neurological disease.
CSF sAPPα and sAPPβ concentrations were highly correlated and reduced in patients with ADC and opportunistic infections compared to the other groups. The opportunistic infection group but not the ADC patients had lower CSF Aβ1-42 in comparison to the other HIV+ subjects. CSF t-tau levels were high in some ADC patients, but did not differ significantly from the HIV+ neuroasymptomatic group, while CSF p-tau was not increased in any of the HIV+ groups. Together, CSF amyloid and tau markers segregated the ADC patients from both HIV+ and HIV- neuroasymptomatics and from Alzheimer's disease patients, but not from those with opportunistic infections.
Parallel reductions of CSF sAPPα and sAPPβ in ADC and CNS opportunistic infections suggest an effect of CNS immune activation or inflammation on neuronal amyloid synthesis or processing. Elevation of CSF t-tau in some ADC and CNS infection patients without concomitant increase in p-tau indicates neural injury without preferential accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau as found in Alzheimer's disease. These biomarker changes define pathogenetic pathways to brain injury in ADC that differ from those of Alzheimer's disease.
PMCID: PMC2807422  PMID: 20028512
11.  Comparison of analytical platforms for cerebrospinal fluid measures of Aβ1-42, total tau and p-tau181 for identifying Alzheimer’s disease amyloid plaque pathology 
Archives of neurology  2011;68(9):1137-1144.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are currently being considered for inclusion in revised diagnostic criteria for research and/or clinical purposes to increase the certainty of ante-mortem diagnosis. Establishing biomarker validity requires demonstration that the assays are true markers of underlying disease pathology (e.g., amyloid plaques and/or neurofibrillary tangles) in living individuals.
We compared the performances of the two most commonly used platforms, INNOTEST® ELISA and INNO-BIA AlzBio3 for measurement of CSF amyloid-beta (Aβ) and tau(s), for identifying the presence of amyloid plaques in a research cohort (n=103). Values obtained for CSF Aβ1-42, total tau and phosphorylated tau181 (p-tau181) using the two assay platforms were compared to brain amyloid load as assessed by positron emission tomography using the amyloid imaging agent, Pittsburgh Compound B (PIB).
Research volunteers who are cognitively normal or have very mild to moderate AD dementia.
The two assay platforms yielded different (~2–6-fold) absolute values for the various analytes, but relative values were highly correlated. CSF Aβ1-42 correlated inversely, and tau and p-tau181 correlated positively, with the amount of cortical PIB binding, albeit to differing degrees. Both assays yielded similar patterns of CSF biomarker correlations with amyloid load. The ratios of total tau/Aβ1-42 and p-tau181/Aβ1-42 outperformed any single analyte, including Aβ1-2, in discriminating individuals with versus without cortical amyloid.
The INNOTEST® and INNO-BIA CSF platforms performed equally well in identifying individuals with underlying amyloid plaque pathology. Differences in absolute values, however, point to the need for assay-specific diagnostic cut-point values.
PMCID: PMC3154969  PMID: 21555603
Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid; biomarkers; cerebrospinal fluid; imaging (PET, MRI) in dementias; Pittsburgh Compound B
12.  Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarker Signature in Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative Subjects 
Annals of neurology  2009;65(4):403-413.
Develop a cerebrospinal fluid biomarker signature for mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) subjects.
Amyloid-β 1 to 42 peptide (Aβ1-42), total tau (t-tau), and tau phosphorylated at the threonine 181 were measured in (1) cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples obtained during baseline evaluation of 100 mild AD, 196 mild cognitive impairment, and 114 elderly cognitively normal (NC) subjects in ADNI; and (2) independent 56 autopsy-confirmed AD cases and 52 age-matched elderly NCs using a multiplex immunoassay. Detection of an AD CSF profile for t-tau and Aβ1-42 in ADNI subjects was achieved using receiver operating characteristic cut points and logistic regression models derived from the autopsy-confirmed CSF data.
CSF Aβ1-42 was the most sensitive biomarker for AD in the autopsy cohort of CSF samples: receiver operating characteristic area under the curve of 0.913 and sensitivity for AD detection of 96.4%. In the ADNI cohort, a logistic regression model for Aβ1-42, t-tau, and APOε4 allele count provided the best assessment delineation of mild AD. An AD-like baseline CSF profile for t-tau/Aβ1-42 was detected in 33 of 37 ADNI mild cognitive impairment subjects who converted to probable AD during the first year of the study.
The CSF biomarker signature of AD defined by Aβ1-42 and t-tau in the autopsy-confirmed AD cohort and confirmed in the cohort followed in ADNI for 12 months detects mild AD in a large, multisite, prospective clinical investigation, and this signature appears to predict conversion from mild cognitive impairment to AD.
PMCID: PMC2696350  PMID: 19296504
13.  Genome-wide association reveals genetic effects on human Aβ42 and τ protein levels in cerebrospinal fluids: a case control study 
BMC Neurology  2010;10:90.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is common and highly heritable with many genes and gene variants associated with AD in one or more studies, including APOE ε2/ε3/ε4. However, the genetic backgrounds for normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD in terms of changes in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of Aβ1-42, T-tau, and P-tau181P, have not been clearly delineated. We carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in order to better define the genetic backgrounds to these three states in relation to CSF levels.
Subjects were participants in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). The GWAS dataset consisted of 818 participants (mainly Caucasian) genotyped using the Illumina Human Genome 610 Quad BeadChips. This sample included 410 subjects (119 Normal, 115 MCI and 176 AD) with measurements of CSF Aβ1-42, T-tau, and P-tau181P Levels. We used PLINK to find genetic associations with the three CSF biomarker levels. Association of each of the 498,205 SNPs was tested using additive, dominant, and general association models while considering APOE genotype and age. Finally, an effort was made to better identify relevant biochemical pathways for associated genes using the ALIGATOR software.
We found that there were some associations with APOE genotype although CSF levels were about the same for each subject group; CSF Aβ1-42 levels decreased with APOE gene dose for each subject group. T-tau levels tended to be higher among AD cases than among normal subjects. From adjusted result using APOE genotype and age as covariates, no SNP was associated with CSF levels among AD subjects. CYP19A1 'aromatase' (rs2899472), NCAM2, and multiple SNPs located on chromosome 10 near the ARL5B gene demonstrated the strongest associations with Aβ1-42 in normal subjects. Two genes found to be near the top SNPs, CYP19A1 (rs2899472, p = 1.90 × 10-7) and NCAM2 (rs1022442, p = 2.75 × 10-7) have been reported as genetic factors related to the progression of AD from previous studies. In AD subjects, APOE ε2/ε3 and ε2/ε4 genotypes were associated with elevated T-tau levels and ε4/ε4 genotype was associated with elevated T-tau and P-tau181P levels. Pathway analysis detected several biological pathways implicated in Normal with CSF β-amyloid peptide (Aβ1-42).
Our genome-wide association analysis identified several SNPs as important factors for CSF biomarker. We also provide new evidence for additional candidate genetic risk factors from pathway analysis that can be tested in further studies.
PMCID: PMC2964649  PMID: 20932310
14.  Low levels of cerebrospinal fluid complement 3 and factor H predict faster cognitive decline in mild cognitive impairment 
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by the deposition of tau and amyloid in the brain. Although the core cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) AD biomarkers amyloid β peptide 1–42 (Aβ1–42), total tau (t-tau) and phosphorylated tau 181 (p-tau181) show good diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, additional biomarkers that can aid in preclinical diagnosis or better track disease progression are needed. Activation of the complement system, a pivotal part of inflammation, occurs at very early stages in the AD brain. Therefore, CSF levels of complement proteins that could be linked to cognitive and structural changes in AD may have diagnostic and prognostic value.
Using xMAP® technology based assays we measured complement 3 (C3) and factor H (FH) in the CSF of 110 controls (CN), 187 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 92 AD subjects of the AD Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) at baseline. All ADNI participants underwent clinical follow-up at 12 month intervals and MCI subjects had additional visits at 6 and 18 months. The association between CSF biomarkers and different outcome measures were analyzed using Cox proportional hazard models (conversion from MCI to AD), logistic regression models (classification of clinical groups) and mixed-effects models adjusted for age, gender, education, t-tau/Aβ1–42 and APOE ϵ4 presence (baseline and longitudinal association between biomarkers and cognitive scores).
Although no association was found between the complement proteins and clinical diagnosis or cognitive measures, lower levels of C3 (β = −0.12, p = 0.041) and FH (β = −0.075, p = 0.041) were associated with faster cognitive decline in MCI subjects as measured by the AD Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog) test. Furthermore, lower FH levels were associated with larger lateral ventricular volume (p = 0.024), which is indicative of brain atrophy.
Our study confirms a lack of suitability of CSF C3 and FH as diagnostic biomarkers of AD, but points to their modest potential as prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets in cognitively impaired patients.
PMCID: PMC4255518  PMID: 25478014
15.  Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers for Alzheimer disease and subcortical axonal damage in 5,542 clinical samples 
The neuronal loss in Alzheimer disease (AD) has been described to affect grey matter in the cerebral cortex. However, in the elderly, AD pathology is likely to occur together with subcortical axonal degeneration on the basis of cerebrovascular disease. Therefore, we hypothesized that biomarkers for AD and subcortical axonal degeneration would correlate in patients undergoing testing for dementia biomarkers, particularly in older age groups.
We performed correlation and cluster analyses of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker data from 5,542 CSF samples analyzed in our routine clinical neurochemistry laboratory in 2010 through 2012 for the established CSF AD biomarkers total tau (T-tau), phosphorylated-tau (P-tau), amyloid β1-42 (Aβ42), and for neurofilament light (NFL), which is a protein expressed in large-caliber myelinated axons, the CSF levels of which correlate with subcortical axonal injury.
Aβ42, T-tau, and P-tau correlated with NFL. By cluster analysis, we found a bimodal data distribution in which a group with a low Aβ42/P-tau ratio (suggesting AD pathology) had high levels of NFL. High levels of NFL also correlated with the presence of an AD biomarker pattern defined by Aβ42/P-tau and T-tau. Only 29% of those with an AD biomarker signature had normal NFL levels. Age was a possible confounding factor for the associations between NFL and established AD biomarkers, but in a logistic regression analysis, both age and NFL independently predicted the AD biomarker pattern.
The association between an AD-like signature using the established biomarkers Aβ42, T-tau, and P-tau with increased levels of NFL provides in vivo evidence of an association between AD and subcortical axonal degeneration in this uniquely large dataset of CSF samples tested for dementia biomarkers.
PMCID: PMC3978733  PMID: 24479774
16.  3D PIB and CSF biomarker associations with hippocampal atrophy in ADNI subjects 
Neurobiology of aging  2010;31(8):1284-1303.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) measures of Ab and tau, Pittsburgh Compound B (PIB) imaging and hippocampal atrophy are promising Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers yet the associations between them are not known. We applied a validated, automated hippocampal labeling method and 3D radial distance mapping to the 1.5T structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data of 388 ADNI subjects with baseline CSF Ab42, total tau (t-tau) and phosphorylated tau (p-tau181) and 98 subjects with positron emission tomography (PET) imaging using PIB. We used linear regression to investigate associations between hippocampal atrophy and average cortical, parietal and precuneal PIB standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR) and CSF Ab42, t-tau, p-tau181, t-tau/Ab42 and p-tau181/Ab42. All CSF measures showed significant associations with hippocampal volume and radial distance in the pooled sample. Strongest correlations were seen for p-tau181, followed by p-tau181/Ab42 ratio, t-tau/Ab42 ratio, t-tau and Ab42. p-tau181 showed stronger correlation in ApoE4 carriers, while t-tau showed stronger correlation in ApoE4 noncarriers. Of the 3 PIB measures the precuneal SUVR showed strongest associations with hippocampal atrophy.
PMCID: PMC3051831  PMID: 20538372
Alzheimer’s disease; MRI; Magnetic resonance imaging; Imaging; PIB; Amyloid imaging; Abeta; tau; Hippocampus; Atrophy; Biomarkers; ADNI
17.  Cerebrospinal fluid tau protein as a biochemical marker for Alzheimer's disease: a community based follow up study 
OBJECTIVES—Biochemical markers for Alzheimer's disease would be of great value, especially to help in diagnosis early in the course of the disease. A pronounced increase in CSF tau protein (CSF-tau) is found in most patients with Alzheimer's disease. However, the specificity has to be further studied, as an increase in CSF-tau has also been found in other dementias, especially in vascular dementia. As most previous CSF studies have been based on selected inpatients, it was considered of special interest to examine the diagnostic potential of CSF-tau in a community population based sample of consecutive patients with dementia. Such patient material has been examined at the Piteå River Valley Hospital in Northern Sweden since 1986, and includes all those with memory disturbances in the community. The aim was also to study if an increase in CSF-tau is found early in the disease process, and whether CSF-tau changes during the progression of disease.
METHODS—Participants: Community population based sample of 75 demented patients (43 with Alzheimer's disease, 21 with vascular dementia, and 11 with mixed Alzheimer's disease/vascular dementia), 18 healthy subjects, and 18 neurological controls. A follow up investigation (including analysis of a new CSF sample) was performed in all patients after about one year.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES—Concentrations of total (both normal tau and PHF-tau) tau in CSF, clinical measures (duration and severity of dementia), and apoE polymorphism.
RESULTS—CSF-tau was markedly increased in Alzheimer's disease, 41/43 (95%) patients had values above the cut off level (mean+2 SD) in controls (306 pg/ml). High CSF-tau concentrations were also found in most patients with vascular dementia, preferentially in patients with vascular dementia without progressive leukoaraiosis on CT, whereas patients with vascular dementia with progressive leukoaraiosis had normal CSF-tau. Concentrations of CSF-tau were stable at one year follow up in both patients with Alzheimer's disease and patients with vascular dementia, and there was no correlation between CSF-tau and either duration or severity of dementia.
CONCLUSIONS—The findings confirm the high sensitivity of CSF-tau for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, but high CSF-tau was also found in vascular dementia, resulting in a lower specificity. However, high CSF-tau is preferentially found in patients with vascular dementia without progressive leukoaraiosis, which may constitute a group with concomitant Alzheimer's disease pathology. High CSF-tau may be present during the whole course of the disease in Alzheimer's disease. Possibly, therefore, the same high CSF-tau concentrations may be present before the onset of clinical dementia. Follow up studies on such patients will tell whether analysis of CSF-tau is useful as a biochemical marker for early Alzheimer's disease.

PMCID: PMC2170016  PMID: 9527138
18.  Relations between brain tissue loss, CSF biomarkers and the ApoE genetic profile: A longitudinal MRI study 
Neurobiology of aging  2010;31(8):1340-1354.
Previously it was reported that Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients have reduced amyloid (Aβ1-42) and elevated total tau (t-tau) and phosphorylated tau (p-tau181p) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), suggesting that these same measures could be used to detect early AD pathology in healthy elderly (CN) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In this study, we tested the hypothesis that there would be an association among rates of regional brain atrophy, the CSF biomarkers Aβ1-42, t-tau, and p-tau181p and ApoE ε4 status, and that the pattern of this association would be diagnosis specific. Our findings primarily showed that lower CSF Aβ1-42 and higher tau concentrations were associated with increased rates of regional brain tissue loss and the patterns varied across the clinical groups. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that CSF biomarker concentrations are associated with the characteristic patterns of structural brain changes in CN and MCI that resemble to a large extent the pathology seen in AD. Therefore, the finding of faster progression of brain atrophy in the presence of lower Aβ1-42 levels and higher p-tau levels supports the hypothesis that CSF Aβ1-42 and tau are measures of early AD pathology. Moreover, the relationship among CSF biomarkers, ApoE ε4 status, and brain atrophy rates are regionally varying, supporting the view that the genetic predisposition of the brain to amyloid and tau mediated pathology is regional and disease stage specific.
PMCID: PMC2902689  PMID: 20570401
MRI; Alzheimer's disease; cerebrospinal fluid; biomarkers; cortical thickness; atrophy; brain tissue volume; ApoE
19.  Baseline CSF p-tau levels independently predict progression of hippocampal atrophy in Alzheimer disease 
Neurology  2009;73(12):935-940.
To investigate whether baseline CSF biomarkers are associated with hippocampal atrophy rate as a measure of disease progression in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD), patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and controls, controlling for baseline neuropsychological and MRI findings.
We assessed data from 31 patients with AD, 25 patients with MCI, and 19 controls (mean age 68 ± 8 years; 39 [52%] female) who visited our memory clinic and had received serial MRI scanning (scan interval 1.7 ± 0.7 years). At baseline, CSF biomarkers (amyloid β 1-42, tau, and tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 [p-tau]) were obtained, as well as neuropsychological data. Baseline MRI scans were assessed using visual rating scales for medial temporal lobe atrophy (MTA), global cortical atrophy, and white matter hyperintensities. Hippocampal atrophy rates were estimated using regional nonlinear “fluid” registration of follow-up scan to baseline scan.
Stepwise multiple linear regression, adjusted for age and sex, showed that increased CSF p-tau levels (β [standard error]: −0.79 [0.35]) at baseline was independently associated with higher subsequent hippocampal atrophy rates (p < 0.05), together with poorer memory performance (0.09 [0.04]) and more severe MTA (−0.60 [0.21]). The association of memory function with hippocampal atrophy rate was explained by the link with diagnosis, because it disappeared from the model after we additionally corrected for diagnosis.
Baseline CSF levels of tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 are independently associated with subsequent disease progression, as reflected by hippocampal atrophy rate. This effect is independent of baseline neuropsychological and MRI predictors. Our results imply that predicting disease progression can best be achieved by combining information from different modalities.
= amyloid β 1-42;
= Alzheimer disease;
= field of view;
= global cortical atrophy;
= lumbar puncture;
= mild cognitive impairment;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= medial temporal lobe atrophy;
= tau phosphorylated at threonine 181;
= echo time;
= inversion time;
= Trail Making Test;
= repetition time;
= Visual Association Test;
= white matter hyperintensities.
PMCID: PMC2839552  PMID: 19770469
20.  Characterization of Novel CSF Tau and ptau Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76523.
Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) Aβ42, tau and p181tau are widely accepted biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Numerous studies show that CSF tau and p181tau levels are elevated in mild-to-moderate AD compared to age-matched controls. In addition, these increases might predict preclinical AD in cognitively normal elderly. Despite their importance as biomarkers, the molecular nature of CSF tau and ptau is not known. In the current study, reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography was used to enrich and concentrate tau prior to western-blot analysis. Multiple N-terminal and mid-domain fragments of tau were detected in pooled CSF with apparent sizes ranging from <20 kDa to ~40 kDa. The pattern of tau fragments in AD and control samples were similar. In contrast, full-length tau and C-terminal-containing fragments were not detected. To quantify levels, five tau ELISAs and three ptau ELISAs were developed to detect different overlapping regions of the protein. The discriminatory potential of each assay was determined using 20 AD and 20 age-matched control CSF samples. Of the tau ELISAs, the two assays specific for tau containing N-terminal sequences, amino acids 9-198 (numbering based on tau 441) and 9-163, exhibited the most significant differences between AD and control samples. In contrast, CSF tau was not detected with an ELISA specific for a more C-terminal region (amino acids 159-335). Significant discrimination was also observed with ptau assays measuring amino acids 159-p181 and 159-p231. Interestingly, the discriminatory potential of p181 was reduced when measured in the context of tau species containing amino acids 9-p181. Taken together, these results demonstrate that tau in CSF occurs as a series of fragments and that discrimination of AD from control is dependent on the subset of tau species measured. These assays provide novel tools to investigate CSF tau and ptau as biomarkers for other neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC3792042  PMID: 24116116
21.  Cerebrospinal Fluid PKR Level Predicts Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e53587.
The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of the proapoptotic kinase R (PKR) and its phosphorylated PKR (pPKR) are increased in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but whether CSF PKR concentrations are associated with cognitive decline in AD patients remain unknown. In this study, 41 consecutive patients with AD and 11 patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) from our Memory Clinic were included. A lumbar puncture was performed during the following month of the clinical diagnosis and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) evaluations were repeated every 6 months during a mean follow-up of 2 years. In AD patients, linear mixed models adjusted for age and sex were used to assess the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between MMSE scores and baseline CSF levels of Aβ peptide (Aβ 1-42), Tau, phosphorylated Tau (p-Tau 181), PKR and pPKR. The mean (SD) MMSE at baseline was 20.5 (6.1) and MMSE scores declined over the follow-up (-0.12 point/month, standard error [SE] = 0.03). A lower MMSE at baseline was associated with lower levels of CSF Aβ 1–42 and p-Tau 181/Tau ratio. pPKR level was associated with longitudinal MMSE changes over the follow-up, higher pPKR levels being related with an exacerbated cognitive deterioration. Other CSF biomarkers were not associated with MMSE changes over time. In aMCI patients, mean CSF biomarker levels were not different in patients who converted to AD from those who did not convert.These results suggest that at the time of AD diagnosis, a higher level of CSF pPKR can predict a faster rate of cognitive decline.
PMCID: PMC3539966  PMID: 23320095
22.  CSF biomarker associations with change in hippocampal volume and precuneus thickness: implications for the Alzheimer’s pathological cascade 
Brain imaging and behavior  2012;6(4):599-609.
Neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) and amyloid plaques are hallmark neuropathological features of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). There is some debate as to which neuropathological feature comes first in the disease process, with early autopsy studies suggesting that NFT develop first, and more recent neuroimaging studies supporting the early role of amyloid beta (Aβ) deposition. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of Aβ42 and hyperphosphorylated tau (p-tau) have been shown to serve as in vivo proxy measures of amyloid plaques and NFT, respectively. The aim of this study was to examine the association between CSF biomarkers and rate of atrophy in the precuneus and hippocampus. These regions were selected because the precuneus appears to be affected early and severely by Aβ deposition, and the hippocampus similarly by NFT pathology. We predicted (1) baseline Aβ42 would be related to accelerated rate of cortical thinning in the precuneus and volume loss in the hippocampus, with the latter relationship expected to be weaker, (2) baseline p-tau181p would be related to accelerated rate of hippocampal atrophy and cortical thinning in the precuneus, with the latter relationship expected to be weaker. Using all ADNI cohorts, we fitted separate linear mixed-effects models for changes in hippocampus and precuneus longitudinal outcome measures with baseline CSF biomarkers modeled as predictors. Results partially supported our hypotheses: Both baseline p-tau181p and Aβ42 were associated with hippocampal atrophy over time. Neither p-tau181p nor Aβ42 were significantly related to cortical thinning in the precuneus over time. However, follow-up analyses demonstrated that having abnormal levels of both Aβ42 and p-tau181p was associated with an accelerated rate of atrophy in both the hippocampus and precuneus. Results support early effects of Aβ in the Alzheimer’s disease process, which are less apparent than and perhaps dependent on p-tau effects as the disease progresses. However, amyloid deposition alone may be insufficient for emergence of significant morphometric changes and clinical symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3656503  PMID: 22614327
Biomarkers; Beta Amyloid; Phosphorylated Tau; MRI; Alzheimer’s Disease; Hippocampus; Precuneus
23.  GWAS of cerebrospinal fluid tau levels identifies novel risk variants for Alzheimer’s disease 
Neuron  2013;78(2):256-268.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau, tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (ptau) and Aβ42 are established biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and have been used as quantitative traits for genetic analyses. We performed the largest genome-wide association study for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau/ptau levels published to date (n=1,269), identifying three novel genome-wide significant loci for CSF tau and ptau: rs9877502 (P=4.89×10−9 for tau) located at 3q28 between GEMC1 and OSTN, rs514716 (P=1.07×10−8 and P=3.22×10−9 for tau and ptau respectively), located at 9p24.2 within GLIS3 and rs6922617 (P = 3.58×10−8 for CSF ptau) at 6p21.1 within the TREM gene cluster, a region recently reported to harbor rare variants that increase AD risk. In independent datasets rs9877502 showed a strong association with risk for AD, tangle pathology and global cognitive decline (P=2.67×10−4, 0.039, 4.86×10−5 respectively) illustrating how this endophenotype-based approach can be used to identify new AD risk loci.
PMCID: PMC3664945  PMID: 23562540
24.  Alzheimer’s disease markers, hypertension and gray matter damage in normal elderly 
Neurobiology of Aging  2011;33(7):1215-1227.
It is not well known whether Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers are associated with brain damage in cognitively normal elderly. The combined influence of CSF biomarkers and hypertension (HTN) on the gray matter (GM) is also not well described.
115 cognitively healthy subjects (mean age 62.6±9.5, 62% women) received clinical assessment, a high resolution MRI and a lumbar puncture. The CSF levels of total tau (t-tau), hyperphosphorylated tau (p-tau231), amyloid beta (Aβ42/Aβ40), p-tau231/Aβ42 and t-tau/Aβ42 were dichotomized as ‘high’ and ‘low’ based on accepted cut-off values. Statistical parametric mapping was used to examine MRI scans for regional GM density, studied as a function of the CSF markers, HTN and combination of both. Global and medial temporal lobe (MTL) GM was also assessed. Voxel based morphometry revealed that higher t-tau was associated with lower GM density in the precunei. Subjects with higher p-tau231 and p-tau231/Aβ42 had less GM in temporal lobes. Low Aβ42/Aβ40 was related to less GM in the thalami, caudate and midbrain. Subjects with hypertension showed more GM atrophy in the cerebellum, occipital and frontal regions. Simultaneous presence of elevated CSF AD biomarkers and HTN was associated with more GM atrophy than either marker individually, but no interaction effects were identified.
In conclusion, in normal elderly CSF tau markers were associated predominantly with lower GM estimates in structures typically affected early in the AD process. In this presymptomatic stage when no cognitive impairment is present, AD pathology and HTN have additive effects on gray matter damage.
PMCID: PMC3179821  PMID: 21530003
Aging; Biomarkers; MRI; Alzheimer’s Disease; Cerebrospinal Fluid; Hypertension
25.  Multiplexed Immunoassay Panel Identifies Novel CSF Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosis and Prognosis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e18850.
Clinicopathological studies suggest that Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology begins ∼10–15 years before the resulting cognitive impairment draws medical attention. Biomarkers that can detect AD pathology in its early stages and predict dementia onset would, therefore, be invaluable for patient care and efficient clinical trial design. We utilized a targeted proteomics approach to discover novel cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers that can augment the diagnostic and prognostic accuracy of current leading CSF biomarkers (Aβ42, tau, p-tau181).
Methods and Findings
Using a multiplexed Luminex platform, 190 analytes were measured in 333 CSF samples from cognitively normal (Clinical Dementia Rating [CDR] 0), very mildly demented (CDR 0.5), and mildly demented (CDR 1) individuals. Mean levels of 37 analytes (12 after Bonferroni correction) were found to differ between CDR 0 and CDR>0 groups. Receiver-operating characteristic curve analyses revealed that small combinations of a subset of these markers (cystatin C, VEGF, TRAIL-R3, PAI-1, PP, NT-proBNP, MMP-10, MIF, GRO-α, fibrinogen, FAS, eotaxin-3) enhanced the ability of the best-performing established CSF biomarker, the tau/Aβ42 ratio, to discriminate CDR>0 from CDR 0 individuals. Multiple machine learning algorithms likewise showed that the novel biomarker panels improved the diagnostic performance of the current leading biomarkers. Importantly, most of the markers that best discriminated CDR 0 from CDR>0 individuals in the more targeted ROC analyses were also identified as top predictors in the machine learning models, reconfirming their potential as biomarkers for early-stage AD. Cox proportional hazards models demonstrated that an optimal panel of markers for predicting risk of developing cognitive impairment (CDR 0 to CDR>0 conversion) consisted of calbindin, Aβ42, and age.
Using a targeted proteomic screen, we identified novel candidate biomarkers that complement the best current CSF biomarkers for distinguishing very mildly/mildly demented from cognitively normal individuals. Additionally, we identified a novel biomarker (calbindin) with significant prognostic potential.
PMCID: PMC3079734  PMID: 21526197

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