Additional value of CSF amyloid-beta 40 levels in the differentiation between FTLD and control subjects

J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20(2):445-52. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-1392.


To determine the additional value of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)amyloid-beta1-40 (Abeta40) next to amyloid-beta1-42 (beta42), total tau (Tau), and tau phosphorylated at threonine-181 (pTau) to distinguish patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and controls, we measured CSF levels of Abeta40, Abeta42, pTau, and Tau in 55 patients with FTLD, 60 with AD, and 40 control subjects. Logistic regression was used to identify biomarkers that best distinguished the groups. Additionally, a decision tree (cost=test method; Matlab 7.7) was used to predict diagnosis selecting the best set of biomarkers with the optimal cut-off. Logistic regression showed that Abeta42 and pTau CSF levels provided optimal distinction between AD and FTLD. A combination of Abeta42, Tau, and Abeta40 optimally discriminated FTLD from controls and AD from controls. The decision tree used Abeta42 (cut-off 578 pg/ml) to identify AD (positive predictive value (PPV) 97%), followed by Tau(cut-off 336 pg/ml) to identify FTLD (PPV 67%), and in the last step,Abeta40 (cut-off 10 ng/ml) was used to differentiate controls (PPV68%). Applying CSF Abeta40 levels in the model, the PPV of diagnosis increased to 75% as opposed to 70% when only Abeta42 and Tau were used. CSF Abeta40 levels added to the conventional CSF biomarkers increases the potential to discriminate subjects with dementia from controls. Our findings favor the implementation of CSF Abeta40 in differential diagnosis between FTLD, AD, and control subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptide Fragments / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • tau Proteins / cerebrospinal fluid


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Peptide Fragments
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-40)
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-42)
  • tau Proteins