Several molecular subtypes of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease have been identified and electroencephalogram and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers have been reported to support clinical diagnosis but with variable utility according to subtype. In recent years, a series of publications have demonstrated a potentially important role for magnetic resonance imaging in the pre-mortem diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. Magnetic resonance imaging signal alterations correlate with distinct sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease molecular subtypes and thus might contribute to the earlier identification of the whole spectrum of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease cases. This multi-centre international study aimed to provide a rationale for the amendment of the clinical diagnostic criteria for sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. Patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and fluid attenuated inversion recovery or diffusion-weight imaging were recruited from 12 countries. Patients referred as ‘suspected sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease’ but with an alternative diagnosis after thorough follow up, were analysed as controls. All magnetic resonance imaging scans were assessed for signal changes according to a standard protocol encompassing seven cortical regions, basal ganglia, thalamus and cerebellum. Magnetic resonance imaging scans were evaluated in 436 sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease patients and 141 controls. The pattern of high signal intensity with the best sensitivity and specificity in the differential diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease was identified. The optimum diagnostic accuracy in the differential diagnosis of rapid progressive dementia was obtained when either at least two cortical regions (temporal, parietal or occipital) or both caudate nucleus and putamen displayed a high signal in fluid attenuated inversion recovery or diffusion-weight imaging magnetic resonance imaging. Based on our analyses, magnetic resonance imaging was positive in 83% of cases. In all definite cases, the amended criteria would cover the vast majority of suspected cases, being positive in 98%. Cerebral cortical signal increase and high signal in caudate nucleus and putamen on fluid attenuated inversion recovery or diffusion-weight imaging magnetic resonance imaging are useful in the diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. We propose an amendment to the clinical diagnostic criteria for sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease to include findings from magnetic resonance imaging scans.
CJD; MRI; FLAIR; DWI; molecular subtypes; dementia
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.
analysis of markers in the cerebrospinal
fluid (CSF) is useful in
the diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD). However,
the time at which the study
of these markers is most sensitive
To assess the influence of time of
sampling on the value of CSF tests
in the diagnosis of sCJD.
In the framework of a multinational
European study, we studied
the results of 14-3-3, S100b, neurone
specific enolase (NSE) and
tau protein in 833 CSF samples
from sCJD patients at different
stages of disease and in 66
sequentially repeated lumbar
and tau protein tended to increase
in sensitivity from onset (88%,
81%) to the advanced stage (91%,
90%). This was significant only in
the methionine-valine (MV) heterozygous
group of patients at
codon 129. The absolute levels of
S100b (p < 0.05), NSE and tau
protein increased in the last stage
of disease. High levels of tau
protein, NSE and S100b were
associated with shorter survival
times (p < 0.01). Sixty-six sCJD
patients underwent repeated LP.
These sCJD patients were younger,
had longer disease durations and
were more frequently MV at
codon 129 (p < 0.001) than the
whole group. 14-3-3 sensitivity
increased from 64% to 82% in the
second LP (p = 0.025) and 88%
sCJD patients had at least one
and absolute levels of CJD
markers increased with disease
progression and were modulated
by the codon 129 genotype. Early
negative results should be inter-preted with caution, especially in
young patients or those who are
MV at codon 129.
disease; prion; 14-3-3; tau; S100b; NSE; biological markers; repeated lumbar punctures; prognosis
Objective: To investigate various cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers that could assist in the clinical diagnosis of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD).
Methods: CSF samples were analysed for the presence of 14-3-3 protein, microtubule associated protein tau, and ß amyloid in 250 patients with possible CJD. Densitometric analysis was used to quantify the level of 14-3-3 in all patients.
Results: Analysis of the clinical data showed that cerebellar signs or myoclonus combined with progressive dementia were the main features leading to a clinical suspicion of CJD. While 14-3-3 detection had a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 92%, tau determination using a threshold of 1300 pg/ml had a sensitivity of 87% and a specificity of 97%. If the protocol for the analysis of 14-3-3 was modified (using densitometric analysis) a higher specificity (97%) could be obtained, but with a lower sensitivity (96%). Maximum sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value were obtained with a combination of 14-3-3 and ß amyloid determinations. The concentrations of 14-3-3 and tau in the CSF were reduced in CJD patients with a long duration of disease (more than one year; p < 0.05). The concentrations of 14-3-3 or tau were lowest at the onset or at the end stage of the disease, while the ß amyloid concentration remained low throughout the course of the disease.
Conclusions: Both 14-3-3 and tau protein are sensitive and specific biomarkers for CJD. The combination of 14-3-3 and ß amyloid analysis resulted in the maximum sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value. When these biomarkers are used in the diagnosis of CJD, the phase of the disease in which the CSF sample was obtained should be taken into account. Disease duration, dependent on the PrP genotype, also has a significant influence on the level of 14-3-3 and tau in the CSF.
The 14-3-3 protein test has been shown to support the clinical diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) when associated with an adequate clinical context, and a high differential potential for the diagnosis of sporadic CJD has been attributed to other cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteins such as tau protein, S100b and neuron specific enolase (NSE). So far there has been only limited information available about biochemical markers in genetic transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (gTSE), although they represent 10–15% of human TSEs. In this study, we analyzed CSF of 174 patients with gTSEs for 14-3-3 (n = 166), tau protein (n = 78), S100b (n = 46) and NSE (n = 50). Levels of brain-derived proteins in CSF varied in different forms of gTSE. Biomarkers were found positive in the majority of gCJD (81%) and insert gTSE (69%), while they were negative in most cases of fatal familial insomnia (13%) and Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (10%). Disease duration and codon 129 genotype influence the findings in a different way than in sporadic CJD.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; CSF proteins; 14-3-3 protein; Tau
A 71-year-old Caucasian woman presented with a 3 week history of progressive ataxia followed by rapid cognitive decline. Examination on admission showed cerebellar ataxia. This was followed by multifocal dementia with cortical, subcortical and brainstem involvements during her hospital stay. Protein 14-3-3 was identified in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as well as a markedly increased S100b. The patient was reviewed by the National CJD Surveillance Unit and the National Prion Unit who supported the pre-mortem diagnosis of probable Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The patient deteriorated rapidly, became cortically blind, bed bound and died in May 2009, 4 months after the onset of symptoms.
Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob-disease (sCJD) is a fatal neurodegenerative condition that escapes detection until autopsy. Recently, brain iron dyshomeostasis accompanied by increased transferrin (Tf) was reported in sCJD cases. The consequence of this abnormality on cerebrospinal-fluid (CSF) levels of Tf is uncertain. We evaluated the accuracy of CSF Tf, a ‘new’ biomarker, as a pre-mortem diagnostic test for sCJD when used alone or in combination with the ‘current’ biomarker total-tau (T-tau). Levels of total-Tf (T-Tf), isoforms of Tf (Tf-1 and Tf-β2), and iron saturation of Tf were quantified in CSF collected 0.3–36 months before death (duration) from 99 autopsy confirmed sCJD (CJD+) and 75 confirmed cases of dementia of non-CJD origin (CJD-). Diagnostic accuracy was estimated by non-parametric tests, logistic regression, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Area under the ROC curve (AUC), sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values (PV), and likelihood ratios (LR) of each biomarker and biomarker combination were calculated. We report that relative to CJD-, CJD+ cases had lower median CSF T-Tf (125,7093 vs. 217,7893) and higher T-tau (11530 vs. 1266) values. AUC was 0.90 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.85–0.94) for T-Tf, and 0.93 (95% CI, 0.89–0.97) for T-Tf combined with T-tau. With cut-offs defined to achieve a sensitivity of ∼85%, T-Tf identified CJD+ cases with a specificity of 71.6% (95% CI, 59.1–81.7), positive LR of 3.0 (95% CI, 2.1–4.5), negative LR of 0.2 (95% CI, 0.1–0.3), and accuracy of 80.1%. The effect of patient age and duration was insignificant. T-Tf combined with T-tau identified CJD+ with improved specificity of 87.5% (95%CI, 76.3–94.1), positive LR of 6.8 (95% CI, 3.5–13.1), negative LR of 0.2 (95% CI, 0.1–0.3), positive-PV of 91.0%, negative-PV of 80.0%, and accuracy of 86.2%. Thus, CSF T-Tf, a new biomarker, when combined with the current biomarker T-tau, is a reliable pre-mortem diagnostic test for sCJD.
Decreased β-amyloid1-42 and increased phospho-tau protein levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are currently the most accurate chemical neurodiagnostics of sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD). A report (2007) of the Third Canadian Consensus Conference on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia (2006) recommended that biological markers should not be currently requisitioned by primary care physicians in the routine investigation of subjects with memory complaints. Consideration for such testing should prompt patient referral to a specialist engaged in dementia evaluations or a Memory Clinic. The specialist should consider having CSF biomarkers (β-amyloid1-42 and phospho-tau) measured at a reputable facility in restricted cases presenting with atypical features and diagnostic confusion, but not as a routine procedure in all individuals with typical sporadic AD phenotypes. We submit that developments in the field of AD biomarker discovery since publication of the 3rd CCCDTD consensus data do not warrant revision of the 2007 recommendations.
Over the last 15 years, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers have been shown to be useful for both the diagnosis as well as the prognosis in Alzheimer’s disease. It has been shown the CSF levels of Aβ42 are a very good marker for the presence of amyloid deposition in the brain regardless of clinical status and that total tau and phosphorylated forms of tau are useful in detection of neurodegeneration. When combined together, these CSF markers are useful not only in differential diagnosis but also in predicting conversion and rate of progression from mild cognitive impairment/very mild dementia to more severe impairment. The markers are also useful in predicting conversion from cognitive normalcy to very mild dementia. This field is briefly reviewed and recommendations for future studies in this area is provided.
The definitive diagnosis of genetic prion diseases (gPrD) requires pathological confirmation. To date, diagnosis has relied upon the finding of the biomarkers 14-3-3 protein and total tau (t-tau) protein in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), but many researchers have reported that these markers are not sufficiently elevated in gPrD, especially in Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS). We recently developed a new in vitro amplification technology, designated “real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QUIC)”, to detect the abnormal form of prion protein in CSF from sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) patients. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the presence of biomarkers and evaluate RT-QUIC assay in patients with gPrD, as the utility of RT-QUIC as a diagnostic tool in gPrD has yet to be determined.
56 CSF samples were obtained from gPrD patients, including 20 cases of GSS with P102L mutation, 12 cases of fatal familial insomnia (FFI; D178N), and 24 cases of genetic CJD (gCJD), comprising 22 cases with E200K mutation and 2 with V203I mutation. We subjected all CSF samples to RT-QUIC assay, analyzed 14-3-3 protein by Western blotting, and measured t-tau protein using an ELISA kit. The detection sensitivities of RT-QUIC were as follows: GSS (78%), FFI (100%), gCJD E200K (87%), and gCJD V203I (100%). On the other hand the detection sensitivities of biomarkers were considerably lower: GSS (11%), FFI (0%), gCJD E200K (73%), and gCJD V203I (67%). Thus, RT-QUIC had a much higher detection sensitivity compared with testing for biomarkers, especially in patients with GSS and FFI.
RT-QUIC assay is more sensitive than testing for biomarkers in gPrD patients. RT-QUIC method would thus be useful as a diagnostic tool when the patient or the patient's family does not agree to genetic testing, or to confirm the diagnosis in the presence of a positive result for genetic testing.
Low levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) β‐amyloid 1–42 (Aβ42) and high total tau (T‐tau) are diagnostic for manifest Alzheimer's disease. It is not known, however, whether these biomarkers may be risk indicators for cognitive decline in otherwise healthy older people.
The longitudinal relationship between CSF markers, Aβ42 and T‐tau, measured in 1992, and change in Mini‐Mental State Examination (ΔMMSE) score between 1992 and 2002 were investigated in 55 women (aged 70–84 years, mean (SD) MMSE score = 28.3 (1.5)), who were participants in the Prospective Population Study of Women in Gothenburg, Sweden. These women did not have dementia when they experienced lumbar puncture in 1992–3.
Over the 8‐year follow‐up period, ΔMMSE (range = +3 to −21 points) was correlated with Aβ42 (Spearman's r = 0.40, p = 0.002), such that lower levels of Aβ42 were related to greater decline. This was also observed after excluding 4 women who developed dementia between 1992 and 2002 (Spearman's r = 0.34, p = 0.019). A multivariate logistic regression model predicting a decline of ⩾5 points on the MMSE (observed in six women), or a risk of developing dementia over the 8‐year follow‐up period (observed in four women), including age, education, Aβ42 and T‐tau as covariates, showed that Aβ42 was the sole predictor of significant cognitive decline or dementia (OR per 100 pg/ml Aβ42 = 2.24, 95% CI 1.19 to 4.22, p = 0.013).
Low levels of CSF Aβ42 may predict cognitive decline among older women without dementia.
Since 1987, dura mater graft-associated iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (dCJD) has been reported in many countries. We report the first case of dCJD in Korea. A 54-yr-old woman, who underwent resection of the meningioma in the left frontal region and received a dura mater graft 23 yr ago presented with dysesthesia followed by psychiatric symptoms and ataxia. Her neurological symptoms rapidly progressed to such an extent that she exhibited myoclonus, dementia, and pyramidal and extrapyramidal signs within 8 weeks. The 14-3-3 protein was detected in her cerebrospinal fluid; however, an electroencephalogram did not reveal characteristic positive sharp wave complexes. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance images, obtained serially over 64 days, revealed the rapid progression of areas of high signal intensity in the caudate nucleus and cingulate gyrus to widespread areas of high signal intensity in the cortex and basal ganglia. Pathological examination of brain biopsy specimens confirmed the presence of spongiform changes and deposition of prion protein in the neurons and neuropils.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome; Dura Mater Graft; Iatrogenic Disease
The gamma-isoform of the 14-3-3 protein (14-3-3 gamma) is expressed in neurons, and could be a specific marker for neuronal damage. This protein has been reported as a detectable biomarker, especially in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) patients by Western blotting (WB) or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). Western blotting for 14-3-3 gamma is not sensitive, and the reported data are conflicting among publications. An ELISA specific for 14-3-3 gamma is not available.
CJD patients (n = 114 sporadic CJD patients, 7 genetic CJD, and 3 iatrogenic CJD) and 99 patients with other neurodegenerative diseases were examined in this study. The CSF samples obtained were analyzed by Western blotting for 14-3-3 gamma, and by ELISA for total tau protein. We evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of the newly developed sandwich ELISA for 14-3-3 gamma.
The cut-off value of the 14-3-3 gamma ELISA was > 1, 683 AU/ml; and sensitivity was 95.2%, with 72.7% specificity. This specificity was the same for the total tau protein ELISA. Seven CJD cases were negative by WB but positive using the 14-3-3 gamma ELISA, indicating that the ELISA is more sensitive. All 21 cases of early stage CJD could be diagnosed using a combination of the 14-3-3γ ELISA and diffusion weighted MR imaging (DWI-MRI).
The 14-3-3 gamma ELISA was more sensitive than conventional WB, and was useful for laboratory diagnosis of CJD, similar to the ELISA for the tau protein. Using DWI-MRI and these ELISA tests on CSF, diagnosis of CJD will be possible even at early stages of the disease.
CJD; CSF; ELISA; prion disease; 14-3-3 protein; tau protein
Hippocampal volume change over time, measured with MRI, has huge potential as a marker for Alzheimer's disease. The objectives of this study were: (i) to test if constant and accelerated hippocampal loss can be detected in Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment and normal ageing over short periods, e.g. 6–12 months, with MRI in the large multicentre setting of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI); (ii) to determine the extent to which the polymorphism of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene modulates hippocampal change; and (iii) to determine if rates of hippocampal loss correlate with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease, such as the β-amyloid (Aβ1–42) and tau proteins (tau). The MRI multicentre study included 112 cognitive normal elderly individuals, 226 mild cognitive impairment and 96 Alzheimer's disease patients who all had at least three successive MRI scans, involving 47 different imaging centres. The mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease groups showed hippocampal volume loss over 6 months and accelerated loss over 1 year. Moreover, increased rates of hippocampal loss were associated with presence of the ApoE allele ɛ4 gene in Alzheimer's disease and lower CSF Aβ1–42 in mild cognitive impairment, irrespective of ApoE genotype, whereas relations with tau were only trends. The power to measure hippocampal change was improved by exploiting correlations statistically between successive MRI observations. The demonstration of considerable hippocampal loss in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease patients over only 6 months and accelerated loss over 12 months illustrates the power of MRI to track morphological brain changes over time in a large multisite setting. Furthermore, the relations between faster hippocampal loss in the presence of ApoE allele ɛ4 and decreased CSF Aβ1–42 supports the concept that increased hippocampal loss is an indicator of Alzheimer's disease pathology and a potential marker for the efficacy of therapeutic interventions in Alzheimer's disease.
MRI; mild cognitive impairment; ageing; human brain mapping; hippocampus
More than 750,000 of the UK population suffer from some form of cognitive
impairment and dementia. Of these, 5–20% will have Dementia with Lewy Bodies
(DLB). Clinico-pathological studies have shown that it is the low frequency of DLB
clinical core features that makes the DLB diagnosis hardly recognisable during life,
and easily misdiagnosed for other forms of dementia. This has an impact on the
treatment and long-term care of the affected subjects. Having a biochemical test,
based on quantification of a specific DLB biomarker within Cerebrospinal Fluid
(CSF) could be an effective diagnostic method to improve the differential diagnosis.
Although some of the investigated DLB CSF biomarkers are well within the
clinical criteria for sensitivity and specificity (>90%), they all seem to be confounded
by the contradictory data for each of the major groups of biomarkers (α-synuclein, tau
and amyloid proteins). However, a combination of CSF measures appear to emerge,
that may well be able to differentiate DLB from other dementias: α-synuclein
reduction in early DLB, a correlation between CSF α-synuclein and Aβ42 measures
(characteristic for DLB only), and t-tau and p-tau181 profile (differentiating AD from
Early identification of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is needed both for clinical trials and in clinical practice. In this study, we compared brief cognitive tests and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers in predicting conversion from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to AD.
At a memory clinic, 133 patients with MCI were followed until development of dementia or until they had been stable over a mean period of 5.9 years (range 3.2–8.8 years). The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the clock drawing test, total tau, tau phosphorylated at Thr181 (P-tau) and amyloid-β1–42 (Aβ42) were assessed at baseline.
During clinical follow-up, 47% remained cognitively stable and 53% developed dementia, with an incidence of 13.8%/year. In the group that developed dementia the prevalence of AD was 73.2%, vascular dementia 14.1%, dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) 5.6%, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) 4.2%, semantic dementia 1.4% and dementia due to brain tumour 1.4%. When predicting subsequent development of AD among patients with MCI, the cognitive tests classified 81% of the cases correctly (AUC, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.77–0.90) and CSF biomarkers 83% (AUC, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.82–0.94). The combination of cognitive tests and CSF (AUC, 0.93; 95% CI 0.87 to 0.96) was significantly better than the cognitive tests (p = 0.01) and the CSF biomarkers (p = 0.04) alone when predicting AD.
The MMSE and the clock drawing test were as accurate as CSF biomarkers in predicting future development of AD in patients with MCI. Combining both instruments provided significantly greater accuracy than cognitive tests or CSF biomarkers alone in predicting AD.
Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) and anti-NMDA receptor antibody encephalitis (NMDAE) can both produce a rapidly progressive dementia with resulting state of catatonia or akinetic mutism. Both are associated with movement disorders. In published case series, myoclonus appears to be the most frequent movement disorder in sCJD, while stereotypic, synchronized, one-cycle-per-second movements such as arm or leg elevation, jaw opening, grimacing, head turning, and eye deviation are seen in NMDAE. We report a case of a 59-year-old woman with rapidly worsening cognitive disturbance leading to a nearly catatonic state interrupted by stereotypic movements. sCJD was diagnosed via periodic sharp wave complexes on EEG as well as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) 14-3-3 and tau protein elevation. Characteristic movement disorder of NMDAE was present in absence of ovarian mass or CSF pleiocytosis. Given prior case reports of presence of anti-NMDA receptor antibodies in sCJD, we propose that the movement disorder in this case was caused by anti-NMDA receptor antibodies whose formation was secondary to neuronal damage from prion disease. It is important to consider sCJD even in cases that have some clinical features suggestive of NMDAE.
NMDA; Anti-NMDA receptor antibody encephalitis; Akinetic mutism; Catatonia; Orofacial dyskinesia; Stereotypies; Tics; Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Brain derived proteins such as 14-3-3, neuron-specific enolase (NSE), S 100b, tau, phosphorylated tau and Aβ1–42 were found to be altered in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) patients. The pathogenic mechanisms leading to these abnormalities are not known, but a relation to rapid neuronal damage is assumed. No systematic analysis on brain-derived proteins in the CSF and neuropathological lesion profiles has been performed.
CSF protein levels of brain-derived proteins and the degree of spongiform changes, neuronal loss and gliosis in various brain areas were analyzed in 57 CJD patients.
We observed three different patterns of CSF alteration associated with the degree of cortical and subcortical changes. NSE levels increased with lesion severity of subcortical areas. Tau and 14-3-3 levels increased with minor pathological changes, a negative correlation was observed with severity of cortical lesions. Levels of the physiological form of the prion protein (PrPc) and Aβ1–42 levels correlated negatively with cortical pathology, most clearly with temporal and occipital lesions.
Our results indicate that the alteration of levels of brain-derived proteins in the CSF does not only reflect the degree of neuronal damage, but it is also modified by the localization on the brain pathology. Brain specific lesion patterns have to be considered when analyzing CSF neuronal proteins.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare progressive neurodegenerative disorder, caused by the deposition of the pathological isoform of prion protein PrPsc in the central nervous system. The classic triad of symptoms consists of: rapidly progressive dementia, myoclonus and typical electroencephalographic findings (intermittent rhythmic delta activity and periodic sharp wave complexes). Detection of 14-3-3 protein in the cerebrospinal fluid plays an important diagnostic role as well. Magnetic resonance (MR) images of the brain have been recently incorporated into the diagnostic criteria of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
MR examinations were performed in a 65-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman with delusional disorder and cognitive dysfunction, respectively. Diffusion restriction (hyperintense signal in DWI) was shown in the cortex of the left parietal and occipital lobe in the first patient and symmetrically in the cortex of both cerebral hemispheres except for precentral gyri in the second one. In both cases, the first examinations were misread, with the suspicion of ischemic infarcts as the first differential diagnosis. Consultations and subsequent MR examinations in which lesions in subcortical nuclei appeared allowed for a diagnosis of probable CJD. In the first case it was confirmed by clinical picture, EEG and finally – autopsy. In the second case, EEG was not typical for CJD but the clinical course of the disease confirmed that diagnosis.
The authors present the cases of two patients with characteristic MR images that allowed early diagnosis of probable Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease before the characteristic clinical picture appeared. Early diagnosis is nowadays important for the prevention of disease transmission and in the future – hopefully – for early treatment.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD); magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
To better characterize the value of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteins as diagnostic markers in a clinical population of subacute encephalopathy patients with relatively low prevalence of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), we studied the diagnostic accuracies of several such markers (14-3-3, tau and S100B) in 1000 prospectively and sequentially recruited Canadian patients with clinically suspected sCJD.
The study included 127 patients with autopsy-confirmed sCJD (prevalence = 12.7%) and 873 with probable non-CJD diagnoses. Standard statistical measures of diagnostic accuracy were employed, including sensitivity (Se), specificity (Sp), predictive values (PVs), likelihood ratios (LRs), and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis.
At optimal cutoff thresholds (empirically selected for 14-3-3, assayed by immunoblot; 976 pg/mL for tau and 2.5 ng/mL for S100B, both assayed by ELISA), Se and Sp respectively were 0.88 (95% CI, 0.81-0.93) and 0.72 (0.69-0.75) for 14-3-3; 0.91 (0.84-0.95) and 0.88 (0.85-0.90) for tau; and 0.87 (0.80-0.92) and 0.87 (0.84-0.89) for S100B. The observed differences in Sp between 14-3-3 and either of the other 2 markers were statistically significant. Positive LRs were 3.1 (2.8-3.6) for 14-3-3; 7.4 (6.9-7.8) for tau; and 6.6 (6.1-7.1) for S100B. Negative LRs were 0.16 (0.10-0.26) for 14-3-3; 0.10 (0.06-0.20) for tau; and 0.15 (0.09-0.20) for S100B. Estimates of areas under ROC curves were 0.947 (0.931-0.961) for tau and 0.908 (0.888-0.926) for S100B. Use of interval LRs (iLRs) significantly enhanced accuracy for patient subsets [e.g., 41/120 (34.2%) of tested sCJD patients displayed tau levels > 10,000 pg/mL, with an iLR of 56.4 (22.8-140.0)], as did combining tau and S100B [e.g., for tau > 976 pg/mL and S100B > 2.5 ng/mL, positive LR = 18.0 (12.9-25.0) and negative LR = 0.02 (0.01-0.09)].
CSF 14-3-3, tau and S100B proteins are useful diagnostic markers of sCJD even in a low-prevalence clinical population. CSF tau showed better overall diagnostic accuracy than 14-3-3 or S100B. Reporting of quantitative assay results and combining tau with S100B could enhance case definitions used in diagnosis and surveillance of sCJD.
We report a 65-year-old woman who manifested with progressive cognitive impairment, abnormal behavior, slurred speech, inability to carry out activities with right upper limb, gait disturbances, emotional liability, and double incontinence that evolved progressively over the last 8 months. A clinical syndrome of “rapidly progressive dementia” was considered. The MRI of brain was unremarkable except for small para third ventricular enhancing lesion was detected in the left thalamic region. There was bi/tri-phasic sharp waves in the routine scalp EEG occurring at periodically 1.5–2.0 Hz, mimicking Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD). She was later diagnosed to have carcinomatous meningitis based on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytology. This case is being discussed for rarity and interesting EEG observations in patients with carcinomatous meningitis and to highlight the importance of CSF cytology in an appropriate clinical setting. One needs to be careful in concluding CJD as possible diagnosis in such scenario.
Carcinomatous meningitis; dementia; triphasic waves
Objective: To analyse serum concentrations of brain specific S100 protein in patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and in controls.
Design: Prospective case-control study.
Setting: National Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease surveillance unit.
Subjects: 224 patients referred to the surveillance unit with suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and 35 control patients without dementia.
Main outcome measure: Serum concentration of S100 protein in patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, in patients with other diseases causing dementia, and in the control group.
Results: Of the 224 patients with suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, 65 were classed as definitely having the disease after neuropathological verification, an additional 6 were classed as definitely having the disease as a result of a genetic mutation, 43 as probably having the disease, 36 as possibly having the disease, and 74 patients were classed as having other disease. In the 108 patients classed as definitely or probably having Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease the median serum concentration of S100 was 395 pg/ml (SD 387 pg/ml). This was significantly higher than concentrations found in the 74 patients classed as having other diseases (median 109 pg/ml; SD 177 pg/ml; P=0.0001). At a cut off point of 213 pg/ml sensitivity for the diagnosis of the disease was 77.8% (95% confidence interval 68.8% to 85.2%) and specificity was 81.1% (70.3% to 89.3%). There was a significant difference in survival at different concentrations of S100 in Kaplan-Meier curves (P=0.023).
Conclusion: Measurement of serum concentrations of S100 is a valuable tool which can be used more easily than tests on cerebrospinal fluid in the differential diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. More studies are needed to determine whether serial testing of serum S100 improves diagnostic accuracy.
Key messages Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare, fatal neurodegenerative disease. Diagnosis is made clinically and neuropathologically There is no serum test which allows the diagnosis to be made while the patient is alive In this study raised serum concentrations of S100 protein were found in patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease Serum concentrations of S100 could be used with a sensitivity of 77.8% and a specificity of 81.1% to confirm Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the differential diagnosis of diseases that cause dementia Serial measurement of S100 concentrations will enhance diagnostic accuracy
Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) has been reported to be a useful technique for diagnosing Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The present study reported DWI results in cases of familial CJD with a V180I mutation (CJD180) in the prion protein gene as well as neurological findings.
A retrospective analysis of 3 patients with V180I was performed. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, brain MRI, single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) were included. CSF was analyzed for biochemical markers, and each patient underwent brain MRI, SPECT, and MRS analysis. A brain biopsy from the frontal cortex, which corresponded to the area of increased DWI signals, was utilized for neuropathological analysis.
CSF analysis results revealed elevated total tau protein and the absence of 14-3-3 protein, as well as decreased concentrations of neuron-specific enolase, S100 protein, and prostaglandin E2. All patients presented with unique MRI features. Brain biopsy showed severe spongiform morphology, but comparatively preserved neurons and mild astrocytic gliosis. Accumulations of PrPSc were not detected using the 3F4 antibody, and microglial activation was subtle. SPECT revealed hypoperfusion throughout both hemispheres. MRS revealed a reduced N-acetyl aspartate/creatine ratio.
Results from this study suggested that increased DWI signals could reflect severe spongiform changes in CJD180 patients.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; Diffusion-weighted imaging; Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; Single-photon emission computed tomography; Brain biopsy
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.
amyloid beta; Aβ; tau; biomarker; dementia progression
Cognitive decline affects one in twenty people over the age of 65. There is often a paucity of clues as to the underlying pathology, and while the diagnosis will usually prove to be either Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia, there may be clinical features suggesting rarer alternatives. This case of a 71-year-old lady with a 3-month history of progressive cognitive decline illustrates clinical features suggestive of Creutzfeltd-Jakob disease such as rapid decline in conscious level and myoclonic jerking. Diagnosis was confirmed by 3 means: (1) Electroencephalogram demonstrating periodic sharp wave complexes, (2) MRI brain showing cortical ribboning and high signal in the caudate nucleus, and (3) presence of protein S100 and protein14-3-3 in the cerebrospinal fluid. Postmortem brain histology confirmed a typical spongiform encephalopathy. Establishing an underlying aetiology is dementia is important not only for prognostic reasons but in order to detect potentially reversible causes. In cases of an atypical dementing illness our proposed investigations may assist in confirming or excluding underlying Creutzfeltd-Jakob disease.